Exterior Home Painting - Make Ready Residential, LLC
Exterior Home Painting

Exterior Home Painting for a Fresh, Updated Look

Posted on May 23, 2022 by Hunt Holdridge

With summer upon us, now would be a good time to check the condition of your exterior home painting. The dry, hot weather is also an ideal time to restore and restain your porch and deck, which fades quickly with time and use.

Once you decide to freshen up your exterior walls, there are several points to take into consideration, including the building materials – is it brick or siding? What about the soffits? These are all questions that a good painting company representative will ask.

Painting the siding

For the first question, painting siding is an easy decision. All you need to do is choose a color and the quality grade of the paint you will use.

Make sure that your contractor thoroughly examines the condition of the siding. While it is expected to last decades, sometimes siding can crack due to impacts, stresses or other factors. It is imperative for the contractor to test whether any broken siding has caused water damage underneath, because it will have to be repaired before any painting gets done.

Overgrown trees or bushes that are rubbing against the house should be pruned before the job starts. Those plants shouldn’t be touching the exterior of the house anyway. And plan on covering any bushes that are close to the walls, so they won’t get paint on them. Check with your contractor to make sure they have planned for this.

Should you paint your brick exterior walls?

Remember when you first bought the house, and you fell in love with the brick exterior, giving it that traditional or colonial look? For many people, masonry is still lovely and works for them, as it is a timeless style. For others, it’s just a reminder of how much they would like an updated look.

One of the main things to keep in mind is that once you paint your brick, it’s forever. While it is possible to remove the paint with harsh chemicals, the brick will not look the same, and it might actually look worse. Additionally, the Brick Industry Association recommends repainting brick every three to five years, compared to 10 to 15 years for siding, depending on the local climate.

Choosing the right colors

While color is a personal choice, choosing the right hue can improve the curb appeal of your property. A house that gets lots of sun will look great with darker colors and light trim. 

Some contractors work with color consultants who can provide advice on the right color for the home. The consultant can also help you choose if you and your significant other are having trouble deciding on a color. 

And don’t forget the trim, which can add fabulous contrast to the new paint. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of shades for each color, so choosing the right one to go with the rest of the house is key.

In some instances, if your house has unpainted brick, for example, you could go with the color of the trim, or a garage door, if you have one.

The same goes for the soffits. It’s a personal style, and some homeowners go with the same color as the siding, so they’re less noticeable. In other cases, going with a color that matches the trim could be a way to create some separation between the roof and the rest of the house.

Decks and porches

Decks and porches get a lot of wear and tear—foot traffic, rain, snow, sunshine, wind, dirt, and more. Because of that, and in contrast to the walls, those surfaces require more frequent maintenance, like sealing and staining. Otherwise, you might have to replace them earlier than you would normally have to because of wood rot and deterioration.

A well used deck needs to be restained every two to three years. This depends on its condition, region and other factors.

As is the case with walls, your contractor should carefully inspect the wood and ensure that the wood is in good shape and does not need to be replaced. 

When it’s time for maintenance, you have the choice to stain or paint the wood. While some might find paint on beautiful wood a sacrilege, others prefer the look of paint on their deck. 

With stain, your deck will look natural and more appealing to its outdoors surroundings. A semi-transparent or clear stain will make the grain of the wood more visible. However, a solid stain will cover it up. 

Staining the deck will protect the wood from rot. But a clear or semi-transparent stain may lead to sun damage. 

While it is cheaper to stain a deck for the short-term, it needs to be done more often than painting, so the long-term costs can be higher.

If you decide to go with paint, your deck will get a cleaner look, but the wood grain will be hidden. Depending on the color you choose, you can make it look sleek and fresher than stain would, and it will last longer.

Painting a deck is more labor- and time-intensive, as it requires several steps. The wood needs a wood preservative, followed by a primer. Then, a couple of layers of paint, and finally, a sealant.

For paint, you will also need to choose the type: latex or oil-based. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Your contractor can make a recommendation based on your needs, but latex is generally better in hot areas like Texas, and it dries faster. Oil-based paints protect from moisture and last longer.

Whatever method you decide to go with, make sure your contractor power-washes the wood deck or porch before they stain or paint it.

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