The Importance of Surface Prep for Exterior Painting 

June 9, 2021

So you’ve looked at the calendar and the weather reports only to realize that the next weekend may be the perfect time to take care of that exterior paint project you have been putting off for so long. That’s great! But before you open up those fresh paint cans, set up your brushes or rollers, and begin applying paint to the surface, remember that without proper surface prep your paint project may not adhere well or last as long as you had hoped. 

You may be asking why the prep of your exterior surface is so important. It looks clean enough. It seems smooth enough. Sadly, what might look clean and in good repair, may in fact, not be. 

Here is a quick guide to prepping your exterior surface so that your paint adheres properly and your aesthetic is maintained for years to come. 

paint equipment

Clean the Surface 

The exterior of homes can get dirty just from the contaminants, dust, and debris in the environment. Think about how much dirt comes up when you mow your lawn, edge your garden or play horseshoes in the backyard. Even those small activities can cause dirt and grime to be put into the air and stick to your home’s exterior. 

New Englanders also need to be aware of the sea salt that is in the air all year round as well as the chemical deicers used during the winter on the roads. These items could also be degrading their home’s exterior paint.

Homeowners can choose the method they want to clean their home’s exterior surface, but we suggest power washing regularly to remove these chemicals and dirt from the surface, most especially before tackling a paint project. 

Scrape & Sand 

Once the home has been thoroughly washed, it’s also a good idea to inspect the exterior for any areas that need to be scraped of peeling or bubbling paint. Removing these loose pieces of paint can allow for the new paint to adhere well to a newly primed surface. 

Sand down the areas that once had peeling paint so that the area will be smooth and allow for a uniform appearance. 

man painting a wall

Repair Damage 

Homes in our area can experience quite a bit of damage, from caulking that is missing around the windows to nail holes that need to be filled prior to painting. Go around your home and begin repairing all of these areas so when it comes time to paint you won’t need to stop the progress you have made to repair areas that need help. 

Professional painters spend a large chunk of time prepping an area before they even begin the actual painting. They know that a clean, scraped, sanded, and primed area allows for better adhesion and longer lasting projects. 


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