Exterior painting: a few tips

Which exterior surfaces can be painted?

Exterior painting includes the painting of different surfaces and different building parts. Indeed, the technological advances of the last years in the painting field gave birth to new efficient tools and products. Here are a few examples of exterior painting:

  • Painting of cornices
  • Painting of sidings (walls or façade)
  • Painting of roofs
  • Painting of doors and window frames
  • Painting of lintels
  • Painting of dormers and shutters
  • Painting of balconies and stairs

We can paint all types of surfaces: wood, metal (aluminum, wrought iron, galvanized metal, etc.) masonry (brick, stucco, concrete, aggregate, stones), vinyl (PVC).

What are the steps of exterior painting?

Surface preparation: replacing the metal sheets, repairing the bricks and stucco, restoring the roof, sandblasting, scraping, performing an anticorrosion treatment)

  1. Pressure washing: to maximize the paint’s adherence
  2. Application of paint primer (when needed)
  3. Sanding to give the best look possible
  4. Application of 2 coats of finish (sometimes more, depending on the surface’s condition)
  5. Final inspection done by both the foreman and by the client to ensure quality and the client’s satisfaction

A few tips for exterior painting

Just like a magician, a good painter never reveals all his tricks! But here are a few tips to help you paint better

  • Never forget to clean your surface thoroughly with a pressure washing tool wish pressure is adjustable
  • Wait for the surface to dry completely before starting to apply the paint. Metal cornices for instance can be scraped, washed and painted all in the same day as the sun heats the metal a lot more than wood, so it dries much faster. However, for wooden cornices, we have to wait a whole day for the surface to dry before painting it.
  • Do not paint directly under the sun rays in the middle of the day. Try to paint when the surface is in the shadows, or start to paint very early in the morning so the paint has time to dry before the sun cooks it.
  • Do not forget to sand the surface before painting and between each coat. (Except for masonry painting). This will give a nice and smooth final look.
  • Always read and apply the label recommendations on your paint products. Do not try to add water, to blend 2 different products together, or to add a new coat before the recommended drying time.
  • Prefer the spray painting gun when possible. The work will be done faster, and the finish will have a better look than with a roller.

Dave Beaupre