Prepping for the Best Exterior Painting in Walnut Creek

The secret of the best exterior painting in Walnut Creek is that most of the hard work is done before a brush ever touches the surface.

While prepping a surface is pretty much considered a dreadful chore, it is necessary to make the surface ready for the topcoat. A surface that’s dirty or damaged can lead to paint adhesion problems.

Surface preparation can save a lot of time and money as well as substantially reducing the chances of coating failure and costly re-painting work. It also gives the opportunity to check the surfaces for peeling or flaking paint, cracks, holes, fissures, etc., so that they can be repaired before painting takes place. The topcoat will have problems adhering to the surface if it is damaged.

If the current exterior paint is in good condition, there may be no need for prepping except for simple wiping with a clean, damp rag. But if the surface has sustained significant damage due to various factors (from overexposure to the sun to mold), then you need to prep it properly.

1) Scrub and rinse

You can wash and rinse the dirt away from your home’s exterior by using a regular garden hose or a power washer. Speaking of power washer, it is a highly effective way of getting rid of the stubborn dirt – when done well by someone with experience. The high pressure of the power washer can damage walls and even break windows, so use the equipment with caution.

It is possible to prep the surface using just a bucket of water, a scrubbing brush, and detergent. If there’s mold spreading across the surface, get rid of it by mixing a solution of one-part bleach and two parts water. Spray onto affected the area and leave it for about 15 minutes. You should then be able to simply remove most of the mold with a brush or a coarse rag.

Make sure to rinse the surface thoroughly and let it completely dry first before proceeding to the next steps.

2) Sand the surface

Check the surfaces for any peeling, cracking, or alligatoring paint. Make sure to address the underlying causes of any of these flaws before removing the loose paint. Sand the surface with a regular medium-grit sandpaper, or you can use a random-orbit or pad sander to make the job faster. Don’t forget to wear a dust mask while you’re sanding away.

3) Fix the flaws

Check the surfaces for any nail holes, cracks, or dents. If there is any debris inside them, scrape them out. Cover the hole or dent with a fast-drying spackle to bring the spackle level with the drywall surface. Let it dry for 24 hours, or the time required as directed on the label. Sand the surface to make it smooth and even.

For cracks around doors or windows, they can be mended with an epoxy wood filler. For larger holes, you should patch them with a piece of wood that’s cut to size. Glue and insert the wooden piece into the hole, then apply a wood preservative to both patch and frame. Once the glue is completely dry, sand the surface and fill in any holes or gaps with a wood filler.

4) Prime the surface

It helps to know which type of primer is compatible with your home’s exterior surface. Water-based (acrylic) primers are commonly used for walls and ceilings where there is new work and preparation is required. They are ideal for all bare wood, fillers, and areas of chalky paint. Oil-based primers are primarily used for doors, windows, metal, or woodwork. Also, they are compatible with some types of wood, such as cedar or redwood.

Priming is not a necessary step – if the current paint is clean and well-adhered, you can generally skip it. If you want to drastically change the color or the shade of the finishing paint, you can go with a primer with tint, but not in the same color as the current paint as you also want to cover some surface flaws.

Let the primer dry before proceeding to paint. Check your region’s weather forecast to make sure you will be able to paint outside under good weather conditions. Paint on the shady side; don’t paint under too much sun exposure. Likewise, hold off painting when it is damp and cold outside, rather wait instead until weather conditions become more ideal.

If you are hiring a professional painter, you can do the prep work by yourself and let the pros do the rest. That way, you can save a lot of money and time and still end up with the best exterior painting in Walnut Creek finish.