Exterior paint has gone up in price almost twice as much since 1995, however the R&D (research and development) has followed, making most exterior paints lasting much longer as well. Knowing the expense of high quality 100% Acrylic paints now available, coupled with other various materials, time and labor, most who have an exterior painting job performed, do not wish repeating this any time in the immediate future.

Now, most exterior painting jobs are lasting any where from 12-25 years, depending on the quality of exterior paint. However, even using the very best products and materials will not insure paint warranty listed on the can. The following are key shortcuts to avoid when painting an exterior, insuring lasting beauty and protection from weathers harsh elements.

1) Never apply and painting materials the same day of power washing: This applies to caulk and primer. Allowing the substrate to completely dry out from cracks and crevices, normally 24-48 hours after power washing has taken place will ensure a dry surface for these products to adhere and bond to. Many times unscrupulous painting contractors who are in a hurry to start and finish an exterior painting job will start caulking and priming the same day of power washing, which is a big no-no.

2) Do not think power washing takes the place of scraping: After power washing is completed, and completely dried back out, hand scraping is necessary. Power washing only removes dirt and grime, and large chunks of paint that has lifted up, curling. High pressure washing will damage the wood surface, washing too close to surface, so using a hand scraper is the order of business, just like a dentist uses a tool to check for cavities.

3) Caulking over old caulk: Aged caulk will many times separate from at least one surface substrate, if not both, at 90 degree angles, say where trim meets siding. Never caulk over old caulk, as this separation has already taken place with old caulk, and new caulk will follow the same lines of separation if old caulk is not removed. A little more time is involved, but well worth the efforts, before any exterior paint is applied.

4) Do not paint over bare wood areas with finish coat paint: Bare wood will receive primer much better than trim or body paint in your choice of colors will. Exterior primers are designed having better bonding materials within the paint than finish coats, thereby allowing the finish coats to bond to exterior primers much better than bare wood. Once all loose flaking paint has been removed, apply a thick uniform coat of exterior primer on all bare wood surfaces.

5) Do not think 1 coat is adequate: Every paint manufacture has recommended mill thicknesses for the paint warranty. Knowing more paint is needed, this recommendation is not designed to line the pocketbooks of the painting companies, but how the particular paint was tested before rolling out to the public, spending countless dollars on R&D. Yes, paint manufactures will benefit with more paint purchased, however you will benefit as well following directions listed on the paint can, for a sound uniform and quality finish. Exterior painting normally requires 13-16 mills wet. This can be achieved by applying 2 separate coats wet on dry method of 6-10 mills of wet paint each.

Top quality painting contractors follow these suggestions without question. It is a good idea to ask questions, and observe any work taking place when hiring this out, knowing none of these debilitating shortcuts will eventually impede the quality for years to come. Also when picking out a top quality painting contractor, see other painting services offered, from interior painting, to deck cleaning, deck staining, siding repairs and siding replacements.

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