modern Houses by brandt+simon architekten

​Mistakes people make painting their house façade

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Trial and error – that’s what it comes down to. And we’re not just talking about painting, as this applies to basically everything in life. Others must first attempt something, bump their heads, make some mistakes, and come up with new and improved ways to do the job better before it’s our turn.

That brings us to today’s piece on how to effectively paint the exterior surfaces of your house. Others before you have undoubtedly done the same and suffered a few home improvement mishaps, but guess what? Due to people coming up with better plans (and just more clever people in general), painting has become one of the easiest DIY tasks you can do – if you avoid these mistakes that others have caused in the past.

1. Picking price over quality

Going with the better quality (if more expensive) paint means you’ll have to paint fewer times throughout the years, giving you much better coverage. Remember that paint technology has improved dramatically over the past few years, with colours guaranteed to last longer than ever before. 

Thus, don’t skimp on paint just to save a few bucks upfront, as it may lead to you spending more (both money- and time wise) in the long run.

2. Ignoring the lead

If you’re painting a structure built before 1979, chances are that it’s covered with at least one coat of lead-based paint – and that’s not good. 

Lead-based paint can cause a heap of health problems, including brain damage. Special safety regulations are in place for professional painters regarding lead paint, such as taking a course before working on a structure containing lead-based paint. 

If you’re unsure, rather get a test kit for your home at a local hardware- and paint store.

3. Not considering Mother Nature

Good news! You won’t get to start that painting project of yours for the next few months, as a dry and sunny time (with as little rain and low humidity as possible) is ideal. 

Paint needs time to dry and will not adhere to surfaces that are not dry.

4. Forgetting to prep the landscape

It’s easy to forget how messy painting can be, with spills and splatters occurring seemingly everywhere. Be sure to cover the ground around you, including flowers and other vegetation below the area you’re painting. 

Also move or cover up any outdoor furniture, grills, décor pieces, etc. Use drop cloths and weigh them down on the corners or securely wrap them around the items you are protecting.

5. Not sanding and washing

Fig Tree Cottage: rustic Houses by CCD Architects

If you’re attempting to paint a dirty or rough surface, you’re wasting your time. Be sure to clean the siding and trim thoroughly, allow to dry, and sand. 

And if that surface has been painted before, first sand (or scrape as needed) any peeling paint to create a solid surface for the paint to stick.

6. Ignoring the primer

The rule of thumb has always been to apply a good coat of primer, sand, then follow up with your colour paint. Although this is still a good rule to follow, new paint technologies have combined primer and paint into one product, which manufacturers emphasise will cut down on the number of coats you will have to apply. 

And even though this newer paint is more expensive, it can compare to the purchase of separate primer and paint. Be sure to check out reviews of these newer paints before trying them out.

7. Placing the ladder just anywhere

You didn’t think this would be on the list, did you? But the truth is that most people don’t place their ladders properly, which is not only dangerous but can also damage their property. 

Place the top tips of the ladder under the high points of your walls’ siding. Do not put the ladder tips on the raised areas as this can damage them, especially if your house has aluminium or vinyl siding. The tip of the ladder on the high area will put a dent in the siding. 

homify hint: Treat yourself to some ladder mitts, which are soft tips for the top of the extension ladder.

8. Painting from bottom to top

It should be the other way around. Starting at the top and working your way down while painting helps control streaks – remember that little thing called gravity? 

Drips, whether you’re painting a wall, a fence or a door, are inevitable, but this method will allow you to control any mishaps in the direction you are working.

9. Doing a rushed job

Extension and renovation, Wimbledon SW19: modern Houses by TOTUS

Don’t squeeze that painting job into your little morning routine – take your time and apply at least two coats of paint, especially if it’s an outside surface.

10. Not sealing properly

When you’re done, be sure to properly close your paint containers with their lids to keep the paint from drying out. Use a rubber mallet to lightly hammer the lid shut. If you want, you can also add a plastic wrap film over the opening to ensure a tighter seal.

That's the outside, now how about indoors? Here are: 14 mistakes we know you make when painting walls.

Got any other tips to improve that painting project?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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