Exterior Painting in Denver Colorado
There is much to be said for exterior painting in Denver - Colorado Springs, covering the Colorful State of Colorado. Colorado offers a picturesque setting painting many home's siding and trim either up in Colorado's High Country, or down in Denver and Colorado's Front Range.
The Spring, Summer, and Fall months offer premium weather conditions above Denver in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. However down at the Mile High City, Denver and the Front Range offers superb exterior painting year round.
Exterior House Painting Basic Steps
We will go in chronological order with basic steps one needs to take, providing excellent paint protection for a home's exterior siding and trim. Before getting started, this can be an overwhelming task for the DIY (do-it-yourself-er), so don't say I didn't warn you.
Exterior painting should be left up to the Professional Paint Contractor if homeowner has no previous home improvement and painting experience. Normally most house painting services companies will charge more
having to go back over fixing what has already been done, if the lines are not straight, and paint coatings are not consistent and uniform.
I have seen some loo-loos in my time, mostly resulting from inexperienced homeowners, always leaving the door wide open with the suggestion as to the previous owner or neighborhood school painter on Summer break. Below, are the basic steps one should take, painting the exterior
of a home in Colorado, as there is no deviation to these steps from most Professional Denver painting contractors.
Before picking up a spray gun or paint brush, one must clean the siding, normally done by power washing. Using a high pressure washer having anywhere from 2000-3300 psi. Great care needs to be given, never touching tip when dispensing high pressure spray. This can inject water into the skin, causing water in the blood, and this can be very serious. So keep hands, arms, and legs away from spray tip when power washing the house. This safety measure also applies to airless spray guns, getting skin too close to spray tip, paint can be injected into skin and bloodstream as well.
Now power washing is not intended to peel the old paint off, however if flaking paint is present, a high pressure wash will remove a lot of this old paint. This procedure normally takes approximately 30-45 minutes going around the home, from ground level. You do not need to get up close and using a ladder, as this can harm the wood getting spray too close.
Also using a Red Tip for second stories, and a Yellow or Green Tip for closer surfaces. Power washing is meant to clean the dirt and grime off the surfaces, sometimes using a chemical wash additive. Power washing is important, like having a clean canvas to paint on, or a clean exterior siding to repaint.
Now the exterior siding and trim is clean, you should wait 24-36 hours before you do anything else. I know you may want to do something else, but relax and forget it. Wait 24-36, as everything else will adhere and have much stronger adhesion capabilities if you wait, letting surfaces to dry back out.
Now the substrate has dried, it is time to go over all surfaces scraping all wood surfaces where exterior paint has "Lifted up" but not actually peeling up, commonly referred to as "Blistering". Old aged paint has a tendency to pull away from the wood surface, especially not having a bonding primer applied first on wood surfaces. This is the first sign, hard to see, paint deterioration, that must be removed before any new paint coating is applied.
If old lifting paint is not scraped off, new paint will lift be lifted off with older in a very short period. So trick is getting all old, aged, lifted paint up, cleaning substrate below, using sandpaper and or wire brush. This will insure the surface will accept exterior primer and bond properly.
Haha, you thought that was all for scraping? Not quite. All old caulk that has separated from one substrate or another, normally found in corners of the home's siding, or at 90 degree angles where trim boards are present, this caulk needs to be removed. Caulking over old separated caulk with new caulk is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm.
The reason is caulk tends to follow separation, and as the old caulk continues to pull away, so does the new caulk in record time. Caulking over old separated caulk can look good at first, but worthless as tits on a boar hog, not lasting a flipping year before you see cracks in your caulk. Therefore, take that extra time involved, and scrape all old caulk that has separated, replacing with new.
After all scraping has been completed, caulking all 90 degree angle wood joints is next on the list. Caulking around windows and door frames is a must. This seals out moisture, and drafts, making all interior crevices protected from the outside elements. One of a professional house painters tricks when caulking is taking a damp or wet rag and wiping caulk to a smooth uniform finish. This also applies to caulking interior trim surfaces as well.
Wiping off any excess caulk that may have found it's way on other outside surfaces using same wet rag is best before any outdoor painting begins. Caulking is to exterior painting, as an artisan prepares for the first paint colors to be applied, making sure the canvas is all prepared. A good or bad caulking job can make or break the final outcome of an exterior paint job, so pay close attention to the smallest of details when caulking.
A good caulk we like using is either Sherwin-Williams 950A Pro Select or Comex 45 year, both a flexible acrylic caulking compound, specifically formulated with silicone with the latest research and development of waterborne sealants. These silicone improvements offer added paint-ability, durability and adhesion in all applications.
These caulks are also treated with a mildew-cide having a negative effect to mildew growth. Caulks are generally easy to work with, having very little solvent odor, and cleans easily with water before it has time to set up and dry. Caulk dry times increase the cooler the outside temperature is, and shorter times the warmer the ambient temperature is, normally 45 minutes on a 60 degree day.
Noting, you should never attempt to caulk during high humidity, rain, or freezing temperatures. Caulking during these times can and will impede the lasting qualities these exterior caulks will have. Not wearing dentures yet, I don't think freezing my Fix-O-Dent before using, would last the normal time-frame either. 🙂
This is where the meat and potatoes for quality painting preparation. Normally most exteriors do not need a complete exterior priming job, although we have required some to meet our workmanship warranties. A good rule of thumb we use is, if more than 25% of the exterior needs priming because of bare wood, oil spots coming through siding, the whole exterior shall receive bonding primer.
When using Life-Time-Warranty paints, priming is not required, as the Duration, and Legacy paints from Sherwin-Williams and Kwal Howell has primer built right in. Either way, priming the whole exterior or using Life-Time-Warranty paints is not cheap by no means. Exterior trim is normally the first area to require painting, as is from dimensional raw bare wood, normally never primed before.
Priming bottom of siding edges is very important as well, sealing those opened edges before the exterior finish coats are applied. Most of the time spot priming is needed where paint has been scraped off. Loading up liberally, priming over caulk as well, helps seal caulk for paint-ablity and durability, helping keep the caulk's elasticity.
Masking off areas not to receive paint is very important, cleaning off paint is very time consuming, eating away the time it take to complete the exterior painting job. I have seen novice painters mask windows using 12" paper, leaving big squares of opened exposed glass and window frames open.
This exterior tip not to do, is very easy falling victim, opening up, exposing large areas of clean-up. It is always a company requirement with Eco Paint, masking off windows 100%. Masking off roofing where exterior siding meets the roof usually on upper stories is also a requirement.
Also masking off concrete, walkways, flagstone, patios, decks, and vegetation growing close to the home are other areas to mask off, protecting from paint splatters and over-spray, goes without saying. Automobiles not able to be moved is also a concern to mask over, normally using large plastic drop film.
Basic Exterior Painting Steps
- Power washing
Knowing this, when painting exterior home's siding, we like upgrading our customers to a Life-Time-Warranty paint for the trim. Never scrimping on exterior paint quality, we use Sherwin-Williams, Kwal Paint, or Benjamin Moore. Although there are other very high quality paints available such as Valspar, Glidden, Behr, and Devoe, all have their Low, Mid, and High Quality grades, similar to stopping at the gas pump.
Remembering driving up to the filling station, meeting the "Man Who Wears the Star", wiping off your windshield before asking what grade of gasoline you would like" Texaco and Eco Paint have very similar characteristics.
Once all steps of preparation is finished, it's time to break out the paint brushes, paint rollers, and spray guns. Normally the main body is sprayed, using a "Cross-Hatch" spray pattern, laying a consistent, uniform and even paint coating, working from one side of the home to the other.
On warm days, once you get to the end of the final side, you can go around once again, applying the second coat. Latex, Acrylic paints dry by touch within a matter of minutes the warmer the temperature is, which in this case, a 50-60 degree F., day Latex paint should dry within 30-45 minutes.
After two coats have been applied to the main portion or body we call it, it's time to remove the masking tape, paper and plastic covering any trim. Brushing and or rolling all trim, gutters, facia, flashing, doors is next on the list. This area of exterior painting is by far the most time consuming, and thus exterior trim painting costs are more than actually spraying the body.
I could talk your ears off painting the exterior, but will leave some left for another day and another article. I must conclude, if this seems more than you wish tackling yourself, by all means contact a professional exterior painting service and painting contractor today!
If you have any questions or comments please list them below.