If you plan to re-paint the exterior of your home soon, then you likely want your new paint to stay in good condition for as long as possible. While one of the keys to ensuring that your exterior paint stays in good shape for as long as possible is to choose a high-quality paint, there are many additional steps you can take before and during the exterior paint application process to help ensure the paint dries to a durable finish and resists chipping, cracking, and bubbling as long as possible. Read on to learn three tips for an exterior painting job.
1. Choose Between Oil- and Latex-Based Paint Wisely
There are two main types of exterior paint: latex-based paint and oil-based paint. While latex exterior paints have become more popular over the years, because they are often easier to work with and do offer many benefits that oil-based paints can lack, oil-based paints are still often a better option when painting some exterior home surfaces.
Latex-based paints are suitable for a wide variety of home exterior surface types and can be applied when outdoor temperatures are as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit. These paints also dry very quickly, and lighter shades of latex paint, such as white, are less likely to become yellow after years of sun exposure.
However, latex paint is not always ideal for wooden surfaces because wood can absorb the water in the paint and swell, making obtaining a good final finish more difficult with this paint type. In addition, some latex paints simply lack the durability of oil-based paints.
Oil-based paints, on the other hand, do not cause wood to swell upon application, which often leads to a better final result when using oil-based paints on wooden surfaces. In addition, these paints often provide more coverage with a single coat and tend to dry to a super-tough finish that can withstand harsh outdoor weather conditions well.
However, oil-based exterior home paints have been banned in a few states due to the fumes they can emit that have the potential to harm the environment. In addition, these paints must typically be applied when outdoor temperatures are mild and not too cold.
2. Add a Hard Coat to Latex Paint
If you would like to complete your exterior painting job with latex-based paint, yet would like the durable final finish that can typically only be obtained with oil paint, then consider mixing a hardening paint additive into your latex paint. While there are several paint-hardening additives on the market today, all are mixed into wet latex paint and aim to help it provide a more durable finish when dry.
3. Prepare Exterior Wood Properly Before Painting
While all exterior surfaces can benefit from some preparation before painting, exterior wood surfaces often need extra preparation to ensure a long-lasting final paint job result. To prepare exterior wood for painting, first use a pressure washer to remove dirt, debris, and loose paint from its surface. Then, scrape or sand away any loose paint that remains, along with mildew and stubborn debris.
Next, after allowing the wood to fully dry, apply a high-quality exterior paint primer to any exposed bare wood and paint areas that have begun to chalk. Paint experiencing chalking often has a powdery surface due to UV-ray degradation of the binders and resins in the paint over time.
While a fresh layer of paint will adhere well to existing paint that is still in good condition, a primer helps aid in proper paint adherence to surfaces that may resist this adherence, such as bare wood and powdery, chalking paint.