Your Home for Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement and Home Repair Tutorials, Tips, Advice, Projects & Products

1. Start by thoroughly cleaning the outside of your home. Paint won't stick to dirt, grease, grime or dust. You may be able to get by just spraying the siding with a hose and nozzle. But you'll do a more thorough job and get better results with a brush attachment for your hose. These brushes often come with a reservoir for liquid soap. You can also wash by hand with rags or sponges. If you do use soap, be sure to rinse the siding after you've washed it.

Start at the top and work your way down the sides of the house. If your siding has areas of mold, mildew or discoloration, wash it with an anti-fungal cleaner, available in most hardware and home center stores.

2. On wood siding, fill in any gouges or holes with an exterior-grade patching compound, sometimes called "plastic wood." If damage is more extensive, replace the area with a new piece of siding.
3. Remove even small areas of loose, flaking, chalky or blistered paint thoroughly. If not too extensive, this can be done with a paint scraper, putty knife and wire brush. Loose paint can also be removed with a power washer. Sand the edges of the area of removed paint afterwards to help the new paint cover and hide the edge.
4. To remove larger areas of damaged paint, or multiple layers, you can use a heat gun. This device, which looks a bit like a hair blower, generates temperatures of 1000° F or more. Aim it at an area to soften the paint, and then scrape away the paint with a putty knife. r hands away from the barrel of the gun. Never point the heat gun at anything except the paint to be removed. Set the gun down on the butt plate provided.
5. An alternative to the heat gun is a rotary paint remover you attach to an electric drill. Its stiff wire tines quickly remove large areas of paint. Take care not to press too hard on the siding, or it may gouge the wood. Practice on a board or other surface before you begin on the siding. td valign="middle" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
6. Caulk all cracks, seams and gaps with a top-quality, paintable exterior caulk. This includes areas like the perimeter where siding meets windows and doors, corners and the edges of exterior trim. Cracks and seams leave edges where fresh paint can quickly begin to deteriorate. For detailed tips and procedures see the tutorial on exterior caulking.
7. Mask off areas that are not to be painted. You may want to place masking tape along the edge of house trim, and around window and door frames and trim, since this is likely to be painted in a different color or with a higher sheen paint. You can also tape newspaper or plastic drop cloth material over windows and doors, including sliding glass doors, to protect them from drips.
8. Place plastic drop cloths over plants and shrubs, or where paint may drip on porches, roof sections, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces. Now you're ready to go on to the Exterior Painting tutorial.


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Additional exterior paint job questions

I live in the Southern US, not near salt water but in an area of high sun, frequent rain, and summer pollution. I intend to use the best paint available and to get workers who will do the best preparation available.
Material, as stated above in OP, is wood on partial areas, HardiPlank siding on other areas.
Is there a formula for figuring how much the paint and labor should cost by area covered? Present paint job is believed to be less than 5 years old except for one side which appears to have been gone after with a spray gun by a teenager--as in let's not paint the side that doesn't show

Ogdensburg home rehabilitation program gears up for phase two, on schedule  —
Some homes will receive extensive and visible rehabilitation, including the installation of vinyl siding, roofing and windows. Other homes won't have an obvious exterior update but will have new furnaces or flooring put in.

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