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Getting Ready to Paint

 
 

As with all painting projects, the key to success is preparation. Your first step is to clean everything thoroughly with a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a good phosphate-free substitute. This removes dirt and grime that would keep new paint from adhering.

 

You can rinse everything afterwards using your garden hose, but don't blast it. Too powerful of a jet could force water between the seams of your siding.

 

Once everything is clean and dry, you'll need to patch any holes and caulk joints with a top-quality exterior latex caulk - be sure to get a caulk that is paintable.

 


WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


Step 1

Trim or tie back any bushes and cover nearby plants Trim or tie back any bushes and limbs that will get in your way. Cover nearby plants with drop cloths or tarps. Turn off any air conditioning units, and cover them with plastic and tape as needed.
  

Step 2 

Remove shutters and close storm windows

Remove any shutters, and close the storm windows. Inspect your siding and trim carefully, looking for holes and cracks, then make the necessary repairs. You should fill holes and damaged areas with some wood filler, let it dry, then sand it smooth.

 

 

  

Step 3 

Reglaze windows if old putty is cracked& apply new glazing compound

You'll want to reglaze windows if the old putty is cracked or shrunken. You can remove the old putty with a chisel or stiff putty knife, but be careful not to break the glass. Apply the new glazing compound as needed, pressing it in place with a putty knife.

 

 

  

Step 4 

Brush or broom to scrub the siding & trim with a solution of trisodium phosphate or a phosphate-free substitute

Use a brush or broom to scrub the siding and the trim with a solution of trisodium phosphate or a phosphate-free substitute. You can rent a pressure washer that makes fast work of this job, but be careful not to force water into any cracks between the siding. Be sure to wear gloves and other protective gear when using cleaners and chemicals.


Special Note: Remove existing paint only if it’s loose or flaking. If your home was built prior to 1978, be sure to follow proper safety and containment procedures for Lead Paint. Check with your local building authority and visit www.epa.gov/lead for more information.

  

Step 5 

Rinse the entire house with a garden hose until the runoff water is clear Rinse the entire house with a garden hose until the runoff water is clear. If you used TSP to clean the house, rinse twice to ensure the solution is completely gone. Let the siding and trim dry completely, usually 2 days, before painting.