How important is Exterior Painting Surface Prep? – Blog Post

The majority of paint failures is the direct result of inadequate surface prep. Even premium products are only as strong as the material it is anchored to. A properly prepared exterior surface can actually hold paint better and give a long lasting impression. Apart from the long lasting paint result, proper surface preparation also makes sure you get the right finish once the paint job is done.

Clean: The Key is to remove anything that will get in the way of superior adhesion, including dirt, mold, mildew, surface damage, rot and old, failed coatings to name a few. Pressure washing or hand scrubbing are effective ways to complete this step.

Let It Dry: Pressure washing can leave a surface wet for days. It is important to allow several days for the surface to completely dry-out before moving forward.

Scrape: Leaving any peeling or curled edges of paint will contribute to paint failure. Scrape all of the loose coatings until all that’s left are sections of well-adhered paint and bare surfaces.

Repair Damage: Rotted or damaged sections of siding or trim need to be repaired. Read our blog on Rotten Wood Repair for further information regarding the importance of this step.

Sand: All surfaces should be sanded until smooth. The dust from sanding needs to be removed so the primer and paint will stick.

Prime: For any surfaces in which you peeled paint from, spot-priming those bare areas is important as paint does not always stick to bare substrates. Our product specialists are knowledgeable as to which primers are best for specific surfaces.

Caulk: Caulking doesn’t only give the paint job a finished clean look, it also prevents water from getting into the structure and causing damage. All siding butt joints, as well as gaps where siding meets trim should be sealed to prevent water infiltration.

Once all steps have been completed, the surface is prepped for paint.