Prep Work on Exteriors

Exterior painting is more than just making your home look beautiful. It is a protective coating that slows down deterioration of your wood. The sun, wind, rain and extreme temperatures are very harsh to your exterior. The proper prep work and good quality products are crucial to a long lasting paint job on your exterior. Selah Painting takes the proper steps to make sure your paint job lasts as long as possible. We perform the proper prep work, use the right products for each specific task and we recommend the highest quality, most durable products. 

Exterior prep work consists of cleaning, scraping any loose paint, sanding the edges smooth, priming with the right primer, caulking where it needs it and repairing or replacing damaged areas. It is basically prepping things that are not right and getting the area ready for finish paint. This is called necessary prep work (you can read about the specifics in more detail below). These things have to be fixed or they will cause your paint job to fail prematurely. Only after the necessary prep work is completed can a high quality finish paint be applied.

Another type of prep work is aesthetic prep work. It involves fixing things that look bad, but are not damaged. Not performing aesthetic prep work won’t cause your paint job to fail. It just consists of making things look more beautiful. For example, maybe you have decades of paint on your home and where the paint has peeled off in the years past and painted over, you can clearly see the blemish. Aesthetic prep work would involve patching that blemish. There is no real damage and the area is not peeling anymore, but it looks bad.

At Selah Painting, we perform the necessary prep work on all damaged and failing areas on your exterior. It is up to you how much aesthetic prep work is performed. When you contact us for a free estimate, and we come out to take a look at your exterior, we will ask you exactly what you want and then form your bid accordingly.

What we do:

  1. Clean the exterior- There are a few times that an exterior doesn’t need any special cleaning. But most of the time it does. When it is dirty, it either needs power washing or cleaning with a solution and/or scrub brush. We do not always recommend power washing as it can sometimes do more harm than good. Our cleaning recommendation depends on each individual home.
  2. Scrape all loose paint and repair/replace any rotten or damaged wood- This is probably the most important step for a long lasting paint job. If your exterior is in decent shape, then there won’t be extensive scraping or damaged wood. But if your house has visible signs of paint peeling or rotten wood, then most of your exterior will be gone over with a scraper to find any loose paint or rotten areas. It is during the scraping process when we find rotten or bad wood. Then we determine if the rotten area should be treated or replaced, inform you of our recommendation, and let you make the decision.
  3. Prime- Since it is always recommended that at least 2 coats are applied for durability on exteriors, although 3 coats is best, we always use a Porter Bonding Primer as the first coat. The Bonding Primer is tinted to the color of the finish coat so that the finish coat covers. This bonding primer adheres to almost anything. It is also thick bodied for filling in cracks and smaller blemishes. It ensures a longer lasting paint job than just two coats of finish paint.
  4. Patching- We use a high quality patching material to patch any holes or larger than normal imperfections. For areas that crack or any joints that are at risk of splitting apart, we patch with an elastomeric patching material that stretches with the crack or joint without splitting back open.
  5. Caulk- Everything that should be caulked gets caulked. This seals things up and keeps water out. Plus it makes everything look better. (Note: it is not necessary to caulk eaves and some overhangs that are not easily seen from the ground. It is also not recommended to caulk the underside of lap siding as it needs to breath). For high-risk areas of splitting apart, we recommend and use Big Stretch Caulk. It’s like the elastomeric patch. It stretches with the cracks and usually does not crack again.  
  6. Finish paint- Finally, we paint with a high quality finish paint. a high quality paint is a little more expensive, but it lasts longer and resists fading better than lesser products.