As a leading professional residential painting contractor in North Virginia, we at All American Painting Plus highly recommend that you leave exterior house painting to professional painters. That may sound self-serving, but if you read on, we think you will agree that exterior house painting is definitely not a DIY project.
House painting should not be attempted by amateurs. Amateurs would include you, your nephew and his fraternity buddies from college, and the handyman who did a bang-up job staining the back deck. House painting conducted by inexperienced people is exceptionally time-consuming, expensive, potentially demoralizing, and quite probably dangerous if your feet have to leave the ground.
We’ll just touch on the highlights of why professional exterior painters should be doing this work.
Even if your home is a two-story square box with straight exteriors that sits on flat ground, you are going to need more than a ladder to effectively attack this job. You’re going to need scaffolding and planks. Do you have those tucked in your garage or will you have to rent them? But two-story square boxes on flat ground are few and far between.
Look around your neighborhood. How many homes have dormers, or gingerbread, or Queen Ann turrets? The more detail, the more roof work. Now is probably too late to ask you if you have a problem with heights. Remember, painting (at any altitude) is more than just pushing a brush or roller back and forth. There’s a lot of preparation work that can involve scraping, sanding, repairing or replacing damaged wood, and detail work around windows. It’s demanding work with both feet on the ground. It doesn’t get any easier 14 feet in the air.
Most of the labor involved in house painting is spent preparing the surface. Our North Virginia climate can be hard on a home. The first step in preparation is a detailed inspection. You’ll be looking for peeling paint, mold, wood rot, alligatoring, cracked window panes, crumbling glaze, loose caulking around trim and other issues. Do you know how to fix these common problems?
Then there’s every novice’s nightmare: cleaning the surface. You can speed this process along by renting a power washer. It will do a good job of removing dirt, grime, mildew, and loose paint, but won’t help with heavy chalking or serious peeling. For that you’ll need brushes, buckets, TSP, canvas drop cloths to protect shrubs and flowers, and elbow grease.
But don’t use up all that muscle power because you may be needing it to scrape off stubborn paint. If your home was built before 1976, congratulations, you now have a toxic waste disposal issue (lead paint) to deal with as well.
The broad stroke part of house painting is actually kind of fun, particularly if you can use a spray gun. Instant gratification. However, in most projects, there is a lot of work that requires patience and attention to detail. For example, imagine taping off window panes on a dormer while trying to maintain your balance on a sloped roof. Window frames, trim, and architectural features can require a delicate touch compared to the majority of siding. If you consider yourself a Type A personality, this kind of work may not be particularly rewarding.
There are, of course, many other considerations, not least of which is the amount of time you will have to devote to the project, the physical strength required, your experience level with exterior painting, rental and material costs versus exterior painting cost, and quite possibly, the strength of your marriage.
We suggest you spare yourself and call the professional exterior house painting service that has been providing North Virginia with seriously beautiful results for over 12 years. Call the exterior painters at All American Painting Plus now, and let’s get started!