Owning a home for several years should require at some point painting the exterior, normally now most reputable exterior paints hold up even through extreme conditions for more than 15 years, if preparations are done correctly no matter what time of the year exterior painting is accomplished.
Here in Denver Colorado is no different than most other parts of the country, in that exterior painted surfaces collect dust, debris, not usually seen with the naked eye. This is why it is imperative to power wash, cleaning substrate, giving fresh new paint a clean surface to bond. If pressure washing is not done, fresh new paint will trap dirt and grime underneath, impairing the paint's life and duration. In the painting industry, pressure cleaning is referred to as giving the painter a clean canvas to work with; comparing to Van Go.
Pressure cleaning is important as described, but just as important, it is just as important to leave exterior siding 24-48 hours before any scraping, caulking, priming is done. Even though it is 85 degrees with low humidity you ask? Well, pressure washing normally uses 2500-3000 psi at the tip, not at surface, but forcing water to clean cracks, cervices where the debris typically lies. If caulking, priming takes place the same day, moisture will be trapped underneath, again harming the life of the products used.
After exterior siding and trim have completely dried out, a scraping of any loose paint must be removed. One misnomer is using power washers to take off peeling paint. Yes, high pressure will remove paint that is currently flaking, but will not get the majority. After surfaces have dried out, a hand scraper must be used checking problem areas of exterior siding and trim. Most of the time a hollow sound can be heard if tapped on it. This paint must be scraped off, or new paint is surely to fail in record time, no matter what quality you have purchased, having exterior painting done recently.
Now areas are scrapped, it is time to spot prime bare wood. Rarely do we see complete exteriors needing priming, as siding rarely cracks, peels, and flakes off. However, if siding paint has worn down completely, complete priming is the best defense. Trim paint is the first areas to fail on exteriors, as most of the time primers were never used originally. Bare wood where old paint has been removed, is where primers are important to spot prime, usually brushed on by hand.
After priming has been accomplished, removing old caulking in necessary that is showing separation on one edge if not both. If new caulk is covered up over old which is showing separation, new long term caulk will not last near the warranty either. Using a wet or damp cloth wiping caulk bead, smooths edge, giving a nice transition at 90 degree angles from wood trim to siding.
Now the cleaning, scraping, caulking, priming, is completed, it is time to mask all areas not to receive paint, especially with a spraying method is used for the body of exterior home. Using a 3-M Drop Film normally in a 48" width covers windows completely. Once areas are covered, it's time for the quickest part of the exterior painting job, actually applying the paint. Normally the preparations are 75% of the exterior painting job, with 25% is actually painting of exterior itself.
Some say brush is better than spray, and others say spraying is better than brushing. Either one is just as good as the other if applied properly. Spraying is a more frugal way of painting, not spending near as much time painting exterior, where time is money, and money is time, but still applying same amount of paint either way.
Generally most major paint suppliers including Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Kwal-Howell, Valspar, Glidden, and Behr all instruct the applicator to apply two coats wet on dry method. If brushing and rolling is used, applying two coats can be a very big job, and many shortcuts has been seen, not really applying both complete coats. A fresh new exterior painting job should have at least 10-13 mills thick of dried paint. Painting two coats wet on dry does not mean one coat one day, and the other coat the next. Once paint has dried to touch a second coat can be applied. The warmer the day, the faster the paint will dry to the touch, which can be top-coated building that 10-13 mills. Also noting that hanging 6-7 mills wet is not a problem with premium exterior paint, premium paints having heavier viscosity. Other less quality paints can sag, run, or drip with far less PVC's in material.
Winter months are much slower for exterior painting in the Denver Colorado area, as it is generally not on the forefront of most minds as in Spring times. However having warm dry days with temperatures reaching in the high 50's low 60's, exterior painting can be accomplished with the qualities still present. Days are shorter, so several steps are taken to ensure there is no paint failure during these cooler months. First, we use low temp. exterior paints that dry at lower temperatures, down to 35 degrees. Also in the winter months we start painting on the East side, following the sun, making sure exterior paint dries properly before the sun goes down. On the same note, we stop painting around 2:30 pm each day, so that the paint can cure before temps. start dropping in the later evening. Working with shorter days and cooler temperatures means for taking a bit longer for exterior painting, but we still warranty our work just the same, taking additional steps.
So whether home is just getting listed to sell, giving that superb curb appeal, or just recently purchased, putting that individual signature on your newly purchased home, or just wanting added protection to the exterior, exterior painting is done year around in Denver Colorado and Front Range Areas.
For more info. see us at
Eco Paint Specialist's Inc.
Oldest Painting Company, based in Aurora, Painting the Front Range of Denver Colorado.