April 22, 2020| Lester Yat
Can exterior painting change a home’s character?
When it comes to sprucing up a home, nothing adds more flare than a complete color redesign. Colors are everything when it comes to visuals, and it’s usually the first thing people notice about both home interiors and exteriors. Great color symbiosis can be achieved with a brush and a few cans of paint. As most people who have visited a local hardware store or called a painting company know, the options are pretty endless when it comes to schemes and impressions. You grab your little color tabs and hold them up against a wall of another color, showing the possible improvements that will occur with a fresh new coat of paint.
Sometimes, it takes a while for a couple to agree on a certain color because both want different things. Maybe the man of the house wants a forest green bathroom while his female counterpart thinks it’s an abysmal color choice, but that’s just part of the decision-making process.
Actually, painting gives a house new life – especially on the outside. It’s like a visual transformation that appeases not just the eyes but all the senses. Also, it’s not as expensive when compared to other home remodeling projects, not to mention exterior painting can actually keep your house ‘healthy’ in the long run.
New paint, if properly applied against an already prepared surface, should last around 15 years. Sometimes weather may impact the lifespan of a paint job, but that’s up to nature and the elements.
There are three main steps when it comes to exterior painting, and they could be called the “Three P’s”: planning, preparing and painting. Planning is the ever important first stage that gets all the thoughts and ideas into play. Do you want to completely redo your entire home exterior, or you are trying to just touch it up with the same or similar colors? Will certain colors make your house look smaller or bigger? Do the owners agree with the new direction?
Figuring out how to do something is sometimes more difficult than physically implementing such ideas into reality. People don’t always agree all the time and that slows the process, but that kind of discussion is integral to achieve the best final result. Professionals are also helpful in this regard, offering tips and tricks for reaching a mutual decision. They can help people decide what color to choose, what kind of brush to use, selecting a sheen and even finding the right ladder for the job.
After the planning stage gets resolved, the next step is preparing to get the job done. This involves the all-important step of applying primer to the exterior (which is only relevant if the surface is in mediocre-to-bad condition), which leads to a longer lasting finish and a better overall look. There an array of things to focus on when painting, including: achieving a smooth finish; ridding the material of stains and black marks; preventing peeling before, during or after the job; using as few coats possible to still get a great finish; and improving the final touches if applicable.
Then, the painting finally ensues. Testing the paint is a good first step of advice, just to see how it looks in person and not on a piece of paper. T hen, a paint scraper or power washer should be used to rid the exterior of contaminants, such as oil, grease, dirt, rust, mold, etc. Cracks should be caulked as well. Once that is all taken care of, it’s all about smooth strokes that will create a perfect finish.
Exterior paint jobs can change everything about a home’s character because it’s the first thing people notice about a home, whether a stranger is driving by or a relative comes over. Using nice colors and completing the job by resorting to the “three P’s” will lead to a better looking home.
How to pick out the right exterior painting colors?
For starters, exterior painting does not have to become a huge money grab. It is a common misconception that buying paint and brushes will land you in a money hole, even if you factor in labor. With the right preparation and hiring the right people if desired, cost can stay quite reasonable.
Some things not to do include focusing time and materials on things that don’t require it, such as downspouts or air conditioning units. If you have extra time and money, then it’s up to the owner. But the main focus should be on the actual house.
The same goes for color styles and how it meshes in your neighborhood. Do you really want to live in a home that looks identical to the person next door or across the street? Probably not. It looks tacky and might even confuse you when you’re trying to find your own home.
The most important thing is to realize how important colors are and what kind of impression they make on others. A unique, creative scheme can separate your abode from that of your neighbors, while in the long run increasing home values and possibly resale value should you ever choose to sell. It’s all about perspective; a little observation can go a long way when it comes to adding a little paint here or there. Painting window panels and frames can also make a world of difference.
Draw color schemes from your own imagination and dare to be different. It is, after all, your home. You should love how it looks, inside and out.
Tips and tricks for novice exterior painters?
From the outside it seems pretty simple to pick a color, grab a brush and go to town with some exterior painting fun. But it’s not always that easy, at least for some. Sometimes people need a push in the right direction.
For example, there are two kinds of paint that can be used when painting: water-based latex and oil-based alkyd. Latex cleans with soap and water, doesn’t smell as bad and is less likely to crack. Alkyd paints require paint thinner for cleanup, though many professionals still prefer it because it’s durable and dries quicker.
When it comes to aspects like preparation, it’s important to clean the surface prior to painting on it. Ridding a surface of residue, knocking in any necessary nail heads and filling up cracks with caulk or putty is an important piece of the painting puzzle. The goal is to paint on a clean surface, rather than let dirt and grime live under a fresh coat.
Some may also ask whether they should use a brush or roller, and the answer is to actually use both to the best of their abilities. A brush is good to use for easier-to-reach places like edges and narrow surfaces, while a roller should be utilized for siding up high.
Finally, start from the top and work your way down. Avoid painting on wet surfaces and get the rough part out of the way first so that the job gets easier as you go along. Above all, practice makes perfect.