Exterior Paint or Stain Part One: the Preliminary Inspection

Because we repaint our homes on an average of every fifteen years, most homeowners will paint the exterior of their home a few times in life. Each time offers an opportunity to think about updating the colors, or comes about when the owner is tired of looking at chipping paint. Once it's time to start work, making smart choices means owners can wait another fifteen years or more without thinking about it, knowing they made the right calls.

Wood quality

How do those 300-year-old barns survive without paint? Even if the wood has aged and acquired antique character, the lack of rot on those structures can be remarkable. And therein lies the most important question before starting to plan: what kind of wood makes up the exterior trim of the house to paint?

Some projects are paint, or stain, or sometimes both.

Some projects are paint, or stain, or sometimes both.

Those old, stately barns are an excellent example of the results from quality timber. On most conventional homes today, however, exteriors are made with softer woods that we have to paint or stain more regularly. Between shopping for colors and building out the timeline, here are some common questions and valuable tips:

Is stain enough, or should the paint be used?

Once the type of exterior wood is established, that will help the choice of whether stain or paint is ideal for each surface. Owners might decide to stain the trim and paint the rest, or vice versa. Stain is more common on new wood because over time, moisture soaks in patterns wood exteriors. It begins to look significantly less consistent as it ages.

For those who are into that type of "character," they might enjoy seeing the patterns and pigments change between now and the next time they paint. But for someone with any doubt at all, it's a considerable commitment to choose without absolute certainty that could last fifteen years.

Why does the whole exterior have to be cleaned? And what are contractors looking for before applying the paint?

Cleaning is not just an aesthetic issue, although no client would like the texture of the paint if painters didn't clean the house before applying the paint coats. An exterior paint job is such a lasting investment that problems with the wood itself could accidentally be covered up unless it's examined when the opportunity presents itself.

Once all surfaces are clean, the contractor will inspect the exterior wood thoroughly for damaged wood. Rot will have nowhere to hide. A prudent expert pays particular attention to the trim areas and will search for insect damage. Scrutiny at this point in the process will be the only chance for quite a while to see what issues there are that need to be fixed.

In our next blog, we will talk about the process of exterior painting.

Premier Painting and Coating provides stellar service and excellent work for all residential and commercial exterior painting, interior painting cabinet painting, texture work and popcorn ceiling removal in the Tampa Bay area. For a free consultation, call us at 727-351-8113 today!