One of the challenges that residential painting contractors in Northern Virginia face is the variety of building materials used in the construction of single family homes. The first rule of painting is the surface being painted has to be clean in order for the paint to adhere. That sounds pretty simple, but the “cleaning” of a surface can vary dramatically from one material to the other.

For example, interior painting projects usually deal with one of two types of surfaces: wallboard or plaster. Preparing those surfaces is essentially the same, with variations coming into play only when repair of the surface is required. Home exteriors, however, can come in a bucketful of different materials, and cleaning them requires different processes before the painting can begin.

Experience is the key here. Knowing which process to use and how to use it is essential to a long lasting, high quality, professional paint job. At All American Painting Plus, we specialize in exterior house painting services. We’ve seen all the exterior surfaces in our nearly two decades of serving homeowners from Springfield to Dulles. Our experienced and talented house painters can tackle any material and turn out beautiful, high quality results that delight our customers.

What Kind of Siding is On Your House?

If your home is ready for a new coat of paint on the outside and you are talking to exterior painting contractors, be sure to ask what experience they have with your type of siding.

The ultimate goal of all cleaning processes is to find and remove dirt, grime, mold and mildew, and to repair any flaws in the surface. Here’s how that is done for a variety of siding materials:

Wood 

This is the siding most people are familiar with. We’ve all seen crews scraping and sanding wood siding, and that’s a big part of the process. In addition, painters inspect and repair any dry rot they find. This process results in a clean surface that allows house paint to adhere. But, if they tried the scraping and sanding on other materials, they would completely ruin the material.

Dryvit

This is an interesting and flexible material. Technically, it’s a synthetic concrete. It can be applied to existing siding and it can easily be shaped into architectural features like arches. Dryvit also has the added advantage of providing an insulation value. In fact, the material is made by a company whose principal business is insulation. At some point, the color will fade or a homeowner will simply want a change. Preparation of dryvit is akin to giving it a car wash. Using a mild detergent recommended by the manufacturer, brushes, and elbow grease, painters will wash the surface. A low pressure hose can be used to rinse the siding. A big advantage of dryvit is it takes far less time to prepare the surface for painting.

Brick

 There are many brick homes in Northern Virginia and occasionally a homeowner will want to give a home a brighter look with a coat of paint. Preparing brick for paint is a fairly extensive process. It starts with a thorough power wash to remove grime, pollution residue, mildew, and other debris. The next step is to find and repair any chinks in the mortar. The next step is applying an acrylic masonry primer and allowing it to completely dry. Finally, fresh caulking needs to be applied around windows and doors. Preparation is time consuming but painting can be accomplished with rollers or spray guns.

 Stucco

 Stucco is a combination of powdered limestone or cement, blended with sand and water until it reaches a mortar-like consistency. Preparation is pretty simple, but if any patches are required, the project can be delayed up to ten days or more. Cleaning the stucco can be quickly accomplished with a power wash. If there are cracks or missing patches of stucco, use an acrylic caulk or a stucco dry mix to repair the material. Here’s the catch. You need to let the patches cure for ten days before going on to the next step. The last step is the application of a masonry primer. After that, painting can be accomplished using rollers.

Award-winning All American Painting Plus will be happy to give you addresses of customer projects in your neighborhood whose siding is the same as yours. You can see the quality yourself, then call to put our experience to work for you.

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