Prepping a Wall for Painting

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The key to a really great exterior revamp? Thoroughly preparing exterior walls for painting. Good painting contractors know this; which is why they take the time to do it properly. Taking shortcuts at this early point in the revamp may make for a reduced upfront investment, but it’ll only cost you down the line – painting on unprepared walls often means remedial work to fix peeling paint, or a complete repaint sooner than expected, as walls weather badly. Remember: the better the paint job, the great your home’s curb appeal, and therefore its perceived value!

Get rid of mould and mildew

Mildew comprises minute fungi which forms a white, yellowish, brown or black coating on damp surfaces. Since it can actually feed off some of the organic compounds in paints, it’s not a good idea to paint over mildew. To kill it off, mix up a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water and scrub walls using a wire brush.

Thoroughly clean exterior walls

Dirt and other debris collects on walls, as a result of exposure to the weather, and this can cause poor adhesion of the paint to the wall surface. Hose the walls down, or use a high pressure cleaner for stubborn dirt and mildew.

Remove loose paint

First, use a paint scraper to strip off loose paint from the walls. Going over the walls with a wire brush will remove the last remnants of flaked or chipped paint.

Repair cracks in walls

Fill in cracks and holes with an exterior filler. Exterior filler dries off with a smooth finish – don’t leave it this way, though, since your repairs will be obvious when painted. To match it to the plaster work, stipple with a stiff brush or roughen with a rag, so that the filler has the same texture as the surrounding paint.

Sand wood and metal areas

For wooden surfaces – cladding, door or window frames – use sandpaper to remove old varnish and paint. Use emery paper to do the same on metallic surfaces.

Use a plaster primer

Good quality primers act as sealants on porous surfaces, and help paint properly bind to surfaces.

Paint dry walls only

Painting walls before they are completely dry locks in moisture droplets – which causes paint to peel or blister.
Contact Spectrum Painters for residential painting projects.