Many people love to take up the task of painting the exterior walls of their house because, it is an easy way to give a fresh, new look to their residence. However, the nature of this home improvement project is such, that you cannot afford to make any mistakes. After the new paint job, your house should look unique, but should not out of place in the neighborhood. The choice of colors should be consistent with the other houses around it, and should also be in harmony with the colors of your interior walls. Therefore, this task requires a lot of meticulous planning. Tips and instructions that you can use for painting the exterior of your home are as follows.
Preparing the Walls
Paint, whether it is on the exterior or interior of the house, will not adhere to any dirty or damaged surface. Therefore, the walls have to be prepared well prior to the painting job to ensure a good finish. If you find any damages like cracks, holes etc. on the exterior wall, repair them before you apply paint to it. To get rid of the dirt and debris from the wall, the easiest option is to wash it off using a pressure washing unit. Then, with the help of a paint scraper, remove all the loosely bound cracked old paint from the wall. When paint is to be applied on rough walls, make sure you sand them to make them even. Also keep in mind, that paint does not stick too well on a glossy surface, so they will need to be sanded as well.
Types and Finishes
Generally, paints available for exterior walls are formulated in such a way that they can withstand expansion and contraction, that takes place due to changes in the weather, as well as prevents the growth of mildew, moss, and mold on the surface. There are two different categories of exterior paints: latex and alkyd based paints.
Latex based paints are more popular because it gives a good porous finish to the walls and does not let them trap any moisture. This paint does not peel off with time, making it highly durable. It can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Oil or alkyd based paints are good if the exterior walls have glossy surfaces. Even though walls painted with this variety of paint look beautiful, they tend to be difficult to clean. Some states forbid use of such paints because of air quality regulations. Exterior paints have three different finishes: flat, gloss, and semi-gloss. Glossy paint may give a bright appearance to the house, but brush strokes and wall defects become easily visible, therefore, for larger areas people mostly go in for semi-glossy paints.
Colors and Shades
The color and shade of the walls play a major role in the appearance of the entire house. Light shades give the house a bigger and spacious appearance, whereas darker color, make the house look smaller than what they are. Darker colors also fade over time, which makes the house look old. Never use a single color for the entire exterior surface of your home, as by providing contrast the visual appeal is greater. Depending on the curves of the house, you can use several colors to highlight their intricacies. Paint the larger wall surfaces with light colors and use dark shades for the trims. In this way, with the right combination of light and dark shades, you can create a stunning designer looking house.
When the surface is ready to be painted, and the colors have been decided, start by applying a coat of primer. This coating is added to make the paint last for a longer time. Let the primer dry thoroughly before you apply the paint. Using brushes for applying the paint is recommended, as the finish provided is better than that of rollers. It not only gives an even coat, but also helps to paint the crevices in a better manner. To start, mix the paint well before you apply it on the walls, and it should be done till your entire house has been painted. Always start from the top and move downwards. In the beginning, paint the borders of the walls that are next to the trim. Then paint the main surface of the wall. The strokes of the paint should be in the same direction as the wood grain. Once the applied paint dries up, move on to paint the trims of the exterior doors and windows. The walls exposed to maximum amount of sun and rain should be painted with two coats. The second coat should be applied only after the first one dries up.
Before you start the paint job, it is very important that you check the weather forecast. If it rains during or after the paint work, then all the paint will get washed out, and your home enhancement project will look like a total mess.