Home Improvement Tips – Exterior House Painting


Chicago Exterior Painting Tips

No Chicago home improvement project revives, protects and beautifies a house as quickly and affordably as exterior painting.

A new coat of paint can completely transform a house and, though painting a house can be a big job, it’s a project that can be completed in a week or two.


Whether or not you employ a pro or do-it-yourself, painting your house is something you won’t want to repeat in a few years. With this in mind, listed here are five critical tips which will ease the work and help ensure a beautiful, lasting result.

1: Don’t Skimp on Materials

Purchase top-quality paint, primer and caulking compound. Top-quality paint lasts longer, and flows and covers superior to poor-quality paint. Buy paint that features a lifetime warranty against defects inside the finish.

With a lot of house paint, you will get what you pay for: The best ingredients are expensive. High-quality exterior paint typically costs from $35 to $40 per gallon-in fact, it is possible to pay up to $70. Choose 100% acrylic paint.

Top brands recommended by Consumer Reports include Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior, sold at Home Depot, and Clark + Kensington Exterior, sold at Ace. Both contain VOCs (chemical toxins) below federal limits. Both performed well in Consumer Reports’ tests that simulate 9 years of outdoor exposure, and both cost from $35 to $40 per gallon. Other top-performing brands include Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior and Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior-pricier at about $68 per gallon. For complete ratings, visit ConsumerReports.org.

Flat finishes, preferred for siding,do a good job of hiding defects and irregularities. Satin and semi-gloss enamels, useful for trim, are more durable and easier to clean.

2: Do the Necessary Prep Work

For paint to adhere well, it must be applied to a surface that is clean, dry and not flaking or peeling. Depending upon the condition of existing siding and trim, this often means considerable scraping and sanding may be required before you can paint.

Begin by washing the surfaces. You can use a hose and a scrub brush with water and detergent, or a pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer, you must be careful not to drive water deeply into the joints between siding or erode the surface of the wood with the high-pressure water spray.

To remove loose, flaking paint, you’ll need a scraper. Then, for removing tougher paint and smoothing the surface, a 5-inch disc power sander or a random-orbit sander will work well. Start with 60-grit sandpaper and follow-up with 100-grit sandpaper. The idea isn’t to remove all of the paint—just remove loose paint and smooth the surface. Use a putty knife and wood filler to fill cracks and holes. Let the filler dry, and then sand these areas again. Brush off all of the dust, caulk the joints, and allow the caulk to dry before applying primer.

** –> A Clean Look has been doing exterior painting for over 25 years and knows what it takes to do the job right.  We always do the needed prep work including scraping and sanding, washing surfaces, adding primer and everything else required to produce a fantastic result for our clients.  Contact us today for a free estimate by calling 773-419-1718 or filling out Free Estimate Form.


3: Beware of Old Lead Paint

Though today’s house paints do not contain lead, old paint applied before 1978 is likely to contain lead.

According to the EPA, “Common renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint (like sanding, cutting, replacing windows, and more) can create hazardous lead dust and chips which can be harmful to adults and children. Home repairs that create even a small amount of lead dust are enough to poison your child and put your family at risk.” For lead testing and removal, the EPA recommends that you contact local lead-safe certified renovation contractors, which can be found through the EPA’s website.

4: Don’t Skimp on Coats of Paint

Begin with a high-quality oil-alkyd primer if you’re painting over bare wood or metal. Some painters like to tint the primer toward the final paint color to minimize the need for two finish coats of paint. Others prefer to tint the primer to a contrasting color, which will highlight any spots where the final coats haven’t completely covered.

Apply the first finish coat and, after it becomes tacky, apply a second top coat.

5: Be Realistic – Exterior Painting is a Big Job!

Don’t paint your house yourself unless you have the time, tools, skills, and stamina to do the work. Though saving half the cost of the job is a strong incentive, be prepared! Depending upon the size—and height—of your house and the condition of the existing siding, preparing and painting a house yourself can be a tedious, difficult job.


A Clean Look

Chicago Painters
5444 N La Crosse Ave
Chicago, Il 60630

Phone:    (773) 777-0048
Fax:        (773) 777-0048
Cell:        (773) 419-1718
Email:     sam@acleanlook.com

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