When it is time to paint your home's exterior, it is important to prepare its exterior whether you will be painting it yourself or hiring a professional house painter. Cleaning and preparing your home's exterior is vital to helping your new paint adhere well and to ensure it will last for as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you clean and prepare your home exterior for new paint.
Deal With Old Paint Layers
If your home's exterior has previously been painted, the old layer of paint may likely be peeling and flaking from your home's exterior. Because applying the new layer of paint over an old peeling layer will cause the new layer to also flake off, you will need to remove all flaking and peeling paint. This does not mean you need to sand off all the old paint, but only the paint that is failing and peeling.
You can use a paint scraper to remove the old failing paint or sand it with a hand sander. You can also rent an electric orbital sander to help you make quick work of removing all the failing paint layers. Also use the sander to level any bumps or ridges on the painted exterior of your home. This will improve the appearance of your newly painted home's exterior as its surface will be more uniform and smooth, and so you can't see where the old layers of paint exist beneath the new layer.
To prepare an unpainted home siding exterior, you will need to clean the surface of all areas you will be painting. Any residues, such as tree sap, bird droppings, insect nests, and dirt and silt accumulation should be cleaned off.
If there are any sticky spots of tree or plant sap on your siding, scrape off as much sap as possible with a metal butter knife, then apply some rubbing alcohol to a cloth and rub it over the residue to break up and remove it. You can also try applying some baking soda on a wet cloth and rubbing it onto the sticky residue. There are commercial sap cleaners you can buy from most home improvement stores to help you remove sap spots. Be sure to follow the instructions to safely use them.
To clean other dirt, bird droppings and insect nests on the rest of your siding, a plastic scrub brush and a bucket of warm soapy water can be used to clean all surface areas. Scrub the siding's surface in small areas, then rinse it clean with your garden hose. You can also rent a power washer to spray off the dirt and residues. Be sure to use a power washer nozzle that will not damage your siding, and don't point the nozzle tip too close to the surface so you don't cause damage.
Use these tips to help you prepare your home's exterior for painting.