Preparing The Exterior Of Your Home For Painting: Different Steps For Different Exteriors

Exterior painting is not a "one job fits all" sort of task. Since homes and buildings all have different materials making up the exterior walls and siding, professional painters have to take different approaches with each type of exterior. Just to give you an idea of the kind of preparation you would have to do to prepare your home's exterior for a new paint job, the different steps for each type of exterior are as follows. 

Wood Exteriors

With wood exteriors, the painters would have to scrape and sand away all loose and peeling paint and then attempt to remove any larger bits of old paint that could be seen through the new paint. Thinners and strippers are generally avoided, since residues from these agents could affect how the new paint adheres to the wood. Sanding with rougher grit sandpaper by hand or on a belt sander removes most of the remaining paint and makes the wood surfaces smooth enough to accept new paint. 

Vinyl/Plastic Siding

This type of exterior has to be thoroughly washed and cleaned. Dirty siding will not allow the paint to adhere as well. A pressure washer is typically used for this job, and painting begins almost immediately after the washing has occurred to avoid getting any windswept dirt caught on the siding again. Sometimes a speed dryer is used to dry the siding quickly so that nothing is attracted to or gets stuck to the siding before the painters begin painting. (Yes, you could just reside your entire home with a different siding color, but that is often more costly than just painting it. 


It is not common to paint brick exteriors, but some people will if the brick looks worn or if vandals have repeatedly made a mess of the brick and it cannot be scrubbed clean anymore. If you have a brick home, but you would like to have a different sort of look, you can paint the brick. If it can take a washing, it is a good idea to power-wash it ahead of painting, but it is not totally necessary. Brick, by nature, tends to be porous and dirty, and cleaning it may only accomplish so much. It is the pores of the brick that help the paint stick. Painters may need to do more than one coat to fully cover the bricks. Consider a color that does not look too out of place with the brick, possibly white, brown, or red. 

For more information, contact an exterior painting contractor in your area.