Repainting the exterior of your home or business may seem like a daunting task. It may be expensive and time consuming yet the many benefits that far outweigh the negative are sure to encourage you to move that “daunting task” higher up on your to do list. A fresh paint job for a business not only increases curb appeal, drawing more attention and customers and giving you an edge over competition, but it also improves the overall sturdiness of the structure saving you money in the long run. Exterior paint adds protective barriers from weather, potential pests, sunlight and more. This alone can prevent surface damage and cracks that can lead to more issues later on.

Once you have decided to take on the task of painting the exterior of your home or business, your next decision is to choose the right commercial contractor for the job. For tips on how to choose the best contractor for your project, view our blog “What to look for in a commercial painter”.  

While you will likely be hiring a professional painter for the job, it is important for you to be educated on some of the important elements that go into an exterior paint job such as types of paints used for different materials and textures, number of coats, appropriate weather conditions and more. Having this knowledge will help ensure you select a contractor who doesn’t take shortcuts and will assist you in making decisions about your project. 

Types of Exterior Paint

There are two main types of exterior paint: oil-based, and more commonly used latex paint.Oil based paints are water-resistant and extremely durable. They will result in a hard finish and are the best option if you are painting over an existing oil based painted surface. If you are unsure what type of paint is already on your home or business, simply peel a small piece off; if it bends before it breaks it is likely latex as oil based paints tend to snap. You can also bring that paint sample with you to the paint store just to be sure. Latex paint is much easier to work with but is not as durable as oil-based paints. Latex paint is easy to apply, has a quick and easy clean up, is resistant to sunlight damage and will cover just about any building material including properly primed metal. If you are doing your project yourself, be sure to select an exterior acrylic latex for the best quality.

When to Paint

While you should take weather into consideration for any paint project, particularly in humid Louisiana, it is especially important when painting outside. Professional painters will know when it is and is not appropriate to tackle the job, but we still recommend you choose a time of year that is more dry with low chances of rain the week of. Your surfaces will need time to properly dry and will not properly adhere to any surface that is not fully dry which will result in premature peeling. 

Process

Be sure to properly clean and prep the surface of the structure prior to starting to paint. Paint does not apply well to dirty or rough surfaces, and not taking the proper steps is a guarantee that your work will not last as long as it should. After a thorough clean with a pressure washer, sand or scrape as needed to remove peeling or chipped paint, and replace any rotten or damaged siding materials. You can use a putty knife with an epoxy filler to fill cracks or holes (You can also fill cracks in with exterior caulk). Before you start priming (if not built into your color that is) cover anything that will not be painting. This step is especially important if you will be applying paint with a sprayer. When it comes to applying, technique is similar to that of indoors. Always start at the top and work your way down to help control streaks or paint drips and allow your first coat to fully dry. Depending on what color your home was before painting, and the color you are applying, more than one coat may be necessary.

When to Call in the Professionals

If you allow yourself time for proper prep work, it is not an impossible task to paint the exterior of your home or business yourself. It may take a bit longer, but when done properly will save you the cost of hiring a commercial or residential painter. If you notice that lots of repairs are in order during the cleanup and prep process, the project may end up being more of a task than you anticipated. If you are a business owner, you understand that time is money when it comes to these types of projects. Hiring a professional paint contractor will ensure the job is done quickly and efficiently. If at any time throughout your painting process you are ready to throw in the towel, contact JMA painters to help finish the job. If you know you would like to contract out the work, contact us today for your free quote.