Alexandria, VA was founded in 1749; Arlington in 1801; Chantilly dates back to the 1700s; Pulte, Ryan Homes, and other developers are building brand new homes today. What this means is Northern Virginia has a uniquely diverse inventory of homes, from high tech condos to charming single-family residences dating back to the 19th century.
From a residential painting contractor’s perspective, this also means there is a diverse inventory of building materials used in the construction of these homes. Different materials present different challenges when they are the material involved in an exterior house painting project.
At All American Painting Plus, an award-winning painting service based in Reston, we’ve seen them all. That’s important because experience is the key to successfully painting these materials. Home painters without the requisite experience can deliver a good-looking product, but within a couple of years, an improperly applied paint job may result in blistering, chalking, and peeling. That’s not the level of service that All American Painting Plus finds acceptable.
All materials can be painted, but the preparation of the exterior surface is the key to delivering a professional and long-lasting exterior painting project.
Vinyl remains a popular, budget-friendly, low maintenance choice as a siding. Technological advances that have increased its durability have made it even more attractive. But it’s not invincible. It will fade, or you just might fall out of love with the color. If you want to freshen the appearance, it can be painted.
There are several keys to successful vinyl painting, but the first is cleaning the surface. Unlike wood, there will be no sanding or scraping. You have to treat preparation like a car wash for your house. You’re going after mold, chalk buildup, mildew, and debris, but you need to avoid scratching the vinyl. A trained technician on a power wash is the fastest way to accomplish this.
Vinyl needs a good quality paint high in acrylic and urethane resin to accommodate the expansion that vinyl experiences in warm weather. Use the same or lighter shade as the existing color to avoid peeling caused by overheating. The actual painting can be done with rollers or spray guns, which significantly reduce painting time.
Aluminum siding requires the same “car wash” treatment before you break out a paint brush. Aluminum needs to be thoroughly washed and allowed to completely dry before you consider applying a primer. And, unlike vinyl, you’ll need a primer, and that’s where a lot of people make a major mistake.
Most latex paints, including primers, contain ammonia. Ammonia reacts with aluminum, creating small amounts of gas. Over time, that gas creates bubbles in the paint, defeating the adherence and leading to blistering or peeling. The solution is to use an oil-based primer. It will take longer to dry but it will not result in the “Trojan Horse” effects of a latex primer.
Painting your brick exterior is like getting a tattoo – there’s no going back. It’s not impossible to remove paint from brick but it is costly. Make sure you really want the change before you commit to it.
Preparation is fairly extensive. It starts with a power wash to blow off dirt, grime, mold, and debris. The next step is to use an acrylic mortar patch to repair any missing or damaged mortar. Get the surface ready for the paint by applying a high-quality acrylic masonry primer and allowing it to completely dry. Compared to the preparation, painting is a snap. Rollers or spray guns can be used to apply a 100% acrylic latex paint.
The first step in painting wood siding is doing a careful inspection. The inspection is looking for dry rot that needs to be repaired or replaced, and mold which needs to be treated. The next step is labor intensive, and it involves scraping and sanding. How well this is done will determine what the finished product will look like. The smoother the surface is, the more professional and more “like-new” the project will appear.
If the preparation is done less than professionally, the most expensive house paint will not adhere properly. It’s like trying to put a note on a refrigerator without using a magnet.
At All American Painting Plus, we have the experienced exterior painters that you can trust with your home, regardless of the material. There’s a reason we have received twelve consecutive Super Service Awards from Angie’s List. Give us a call today and learn why for yourself.
All American Painting Plus is thrilled to be named Best Painter in Northern Virginia Magazine's Best of Northern Virginia. Winners are chosen by their read-ers, Northern Virginia locals who pick the companies they trust most to do things right. We're proud to be recognized for excellence in residential painting. If you live or work in Northern Virginia, find out why your neighbors and colleagues named us Northern Virginia's best painter.
All American Painting Plus has been my “go to” company for over 10 years for home and office painting and I’ve been consistently satisfied with the finished product and their professionalism. I’ve found Brian McCracken’s staff to be exceptionally skilled craftsmen and can count on them to do the job well, including taking care to prepare walls and fix problem areas before they paint so that the finished product is polished. Please ask Brian for my contact information if you would like more specifics.
I want to thank you and your team for the work you did on my residence. The men showed up at the appointed time to replace and paint the fascia board. You recommended a change from wood to a more modern substance, which I accepted, at a negligible increase in the price for the job. Thank you for that. You should be extremely proud of the team that did the work. They worked quickly, safely, and without complaint from neighbors on either side of the townhouse. As you know, I have fastidious neighbors, that watched the work on that day, and they told me later, that your crew impressed them as well.
Brian McCracken was courteous, professional and a delight, amazing qualities in a worker you invite into your home. I found him painting a home in my neighborhood. The homeowner had checked him out on Angie’s List and ranted as to the professionalism of the workers. It was important to me that the company was local and not a big, franchised company. Brian’s estimate was spot on. When I added more to the job, Rene – the foreman – consulted with Brian to give me an estimate on the additional work. The painters arrived when they said they would, working efficiently and cleanly. At the end of each day, it looked like they were never here. All of their tools picked up. When they needed to leave the ladders they asked if it would be ok and where would be the best place to leave they were they would be out of our way. All American has come back 2 more times to tackle different jobs for us. I have recommended them to friends. And now recommend All American to you. You will not be disappoint
We couldn’t be more pleased with the work All American Painting did for our home. The team did a wonderful job from start to finish, from sending us an incredibly detailed estimate so there was no guess work, to keeping the work area tidy throughout the project. We certainly will use them again! Cheers!