If there’s one home improvement task that many homeowners procrastinate about, it’s painting the exterior of their homes. While some may attempt to do their own minor interior painting, the natural elements in the Arizona environment can create problems that make exterior painting much more complicated than interior painting. As in other situations, “following the rules” with residential painting can make all the difference in the final results.

The first rule for a great and long lasting exterior paint job is to spend a little more to get top quality paint. The cost of the painting materials makes up only a small portion of the overall cost to paint your home, so selecting a high-quality product does not yield more expenses in the long term. The longevity and color fastness of the better products will by far outshine the cheaper products. This means you will have to repaint your home much less often. Also, make sure that you are not dealing with a contractor who will water down the paint – this will result in a poor quality paint job that will be hard to match later for touch ups.

The second rule for a long lasting paint job is proper surface preparation. This means removing all the remnants of old paint and imperfections to provide the new coat of paint the best surface to adhere to.
Preparing the exterior surfaces of a home to be painted is the part of the process that oftentimes takes the longest. First, dirt and residue must be pressure washed from all surfaces that are to be painted. Once the outside of the home has been cleaned, it will be necessary to scrape or sand off old paint that has chipped, bubbled, or peeled. If the home is older, it would be wise to have a sample of the paint checked for lead.

Once the exterior surface is clean, then the holes and cracks must be patched and filled to provide a smooth painting surface. When people hire a professional residential painting company, they may think that primer is a money-making gimmick. However, a good layer of primer can help paint adhere, last longer, prevent it from drying out and make it easier to cover areas with even coats of color.
Once all of the preparation has been done, then the actual painting can start. Another rule to keep in mind when painting your house is to hire only a licensed, insured and professional painting contractor. The law will not protect you if an uninsured contractor or crew member hurts themselves while working at your home. Like the well-known cases of criminals who twist their ankles while robbing someone, premises liability can come into play in an unpleasant and unfair manner. Do not risk having an uninsured contractor or a contractor who subs out work to crews or individuals who are uninsured. Hiring an unlicensed contractor means that you will have no recourse through the Registrar of Contractors if you have a problem with the quality of the work.

If you follow these simple rules when considering painting the exterior of your home, the whole process will a) be much easier and b) result in a high-quality and long-lasting paint job.

Author Kirsten Ghaster

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