Whichever way you look at it, painting the exterior of your home is a pretty big job. It’s usually not until you get started with the process that you realize quite how big of an undertaking it really is. The size and complexity of your home will of course make a difference, but in any and all cases, it’s no job for the faint-hearted.
Needless to say therefore, chances are you’d prefer the paint job carried out to last as long as realistically possible. Whether looking to hire the very best painting company in Alexandria VA or planning to go about the job yourself, long-lasting results are always preferable. And of course, the longer your home holds onto that ‘just-painted’ gleam and sparkle, the better.
But what exactly can you do to ensure your exterior paint job lasts as long as possible? Well, most of the time a professional painting firm in Alexandria VA will take care of the most important things on your behalf. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to be aware of a few simple yet important pointers from the experts, in order to ensure your home looks its very best for the longest possible time.
1. Quality Paint
For example, the quality of the paint you use to paint your home will have a big impact on how long you can expect the finish to last. If you head out and pick up the cheapest $5 paint you can lay your hands on, you can’t expect it to perform like premium paint costing $35 for the same quantity. It’s not to say that overspending always guarantees stellar results, but chances are you’ll soon regret cutting corners with low-grade paint.
2. Clean Surfaces
Making sure the exterior of your home is immaculately clean before going ahead is an absolute must. While the paint you apply may stick well enough to the dirt and dust on your home, the same can’t be said for the dirt sticking in place long-term. Any surface dust or dirt at all will have a detrimental effect on both the overall finish and how long the paint holds in place.
3. Dry Surfaces
The same also goes for moisture, as the only surfaces that are suitable for painting are those that are 100% dry. Not almost dry, but completely and flawlessly dry. There’s often very little you can do to speed up the process manually, which is why it can demand a fair bit of patience in the meantime. If you’re not fully convinced it’s as dry as it’s ever going to get, you might want to wait a little longer.
4. Use Primer
If you are painting any bare wood on the exterior of your home, do not overlook the importance of primer. Just as is the case with the paint itself, it’s important to ensure that you invest in primer that is both suitable for the materials in question and of sufficient quality. When using primer, always give each coat applied plenty of time to dry, before painting over it with anything else. Again, patience may be called for!
5. Paint or Stain?
You also need to be aware of the fact that while certain materials and surfaces can be painted just fine, other will require staining. If you are unsure as to which areas of your home require which, it’s a good idea to speak to the experts. Making the wrong decision will not only make the job more difficult than it needs to be, but will also compromise the quality and integrity of the result.
6. Watch the Weather
You might not be able to control the weather, but you can certainly control when you decide to paint the exterior of your home. It’s generally advisable to wait until the outside temperature is consistently above 10 degrees centigrade, as below this temperature the paint may not dry properly. Right at the other end of the scale, don’t make the mistake of attempting the job when it’s too hot outdoors.
7. Address Imperfections
If you’re painting over an existing layer of paint, don’t fall into the trap of painting over cracks, peeling paint or any other imperfection. It may do a decent job at the time, but it won’t take long for the cracks and damage to once again show through and ruin the new paint job. It may take a little more time and effort, but it’s far better to address minor imperfection as you go along.
8. De-Gloss Existing Paintwork
It is much more difficult to achieve a high-quality, long-lasting result when painting over shiny painted surfaces. As such, when you come across any areas of your home’s exterior that are glossy, it’s a good idea to sand them down until they are no longer shiny. It doesn’t take long and will make your job so much easier to go about.
9. Take Your Time
If more than one coat of anything needs to be applied, always err on the side of caution when it comes to how much time you give each layer to dry. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, always allowing a little extra time just to be on the safe side.
10. Ask the Experts
Last but not least, the very best way of achieving a long-lasting result to be proud of is by hiring an Alexandria VA painting company you can trust. Armed with the most outstanding equipment, supplies, skills and experience in the business, you’re guaranteed a final result that goes so far above and beyond what’s possible with the DIY approach. And with long-term warranties offered as standard, a leading painting company can also represent unique value for money, as an added bonus!