How to Properly Prepare Your Home's Siding for Painting

calander Jun 21 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Siding prior to paint job

Painting your home exterior about every 5-7 years is a great way to not only refresh your home’s appearance but also maintain its value and protect the integrity of its surfaces. If you let your home’s paint job deteriorate, you’re opening the door to various problems down the line. Bare siding is susceptible to wind, moisture, harsh sunlight, and other environmental threats. Eventually, you may be in for a complete siding replacement, which is time-consuming and costly. Keeping your exterior surfaces well-guarded will help you avoid such an extreme outcome. That said, there are a number of things you should do before the paint brush or roller hits your siding in order to ensure optimal results. Here’s how to properly prepare your home’s siding for a beautiful and long-lasting paint job.

How to Prepare Siding for a Paint Job

Give Your Siding a Good Cleaning

Never paint a dirty surface. If you go this route, don’t expect your coatings to go on evenly or last very long, as the underlying dirt and grime will create an insecure buffer between the paint and the siding itself. As such, you must always thoroughly clean your siding before painting it, no matter the siding material. Of course, different types of siding may warrant different cleaning methods. Power washing remains the most efficient exterior cleaning method out there, but it can damage brick and other siding materials, especially if handled improperly. In some cases, then, manual cleaning may be advised. Whatever the case, the goal is to remove any and all dirt, debris, mold, mildew, and grime that may be lingering on your surfaces.

Remove Loose Paint

After you’ve washed your siding, there’s a good chance that some (if not most) of the previous paint job is peeling away from the substrate. Simply painting over this loose material is akin to painting over dirt and grime -- it won’t work. So any and all peeling paint should be scraped away prior to applying new coatings. Your pressure washer may remove much of the loosened material for you, but more stubborn portions can be manually removed via scraping and sanding.

Patch Up Holes, Cracks, and Other Damage, Then Sand

Now that you’ve gotten to the nitty gritty of your siding, you’ll have a clearer view of any signs of damage, such as holes, cracks, dents, and more. Ideally, you won’t encounter any major issues, though some serious siding repair might be necessary. Most of the damage you find will likely be minor, however, and easily fixed with the right joint compound and patching tools. After all of your repairs and patches are complete, it’s worth gently sanding down your siding to provide an even finish that’s easier to paint. Doing so will whittle down any protrusions. Ultimately, you want your siding to be free from breaches and streamlined for a fresh coat of paint.

Seal Gaps with Caulk

Even if you’ve blocked up every damaged part of your siding, your home’s exterior will feature natural crevices between joints. These areas also need sealing to keep moisture, pests, and other contaminants at bay. To achieve this, remove any old caulk if necessary and use a caulking gun to fill in gaps around trim, windowsills, underneath boards/panels, etc. Keep in mind that some caulking should be done prior to painting but some can also be performed after the fact, depending.

Prime Your Siding Before Painting

Finally, it’s always a good idea to apply a coat of primer before getting started with your first coat of paint. At the very least, prime any areas that you’ve repaired and/or where old, loose paint was removed. Priming your siding appropriately will provide a more receptive surface for the incoming paint, helping it go on more evenly and adhere to the surface longer.

Siding with the Right Residential Exterior Painting Provider

The preparation work that comes before exterior painting is just as important as the paint job itself. We know this well at Anderson Painting, which is why our teams are equipped to handle both the prep and painting processes efficiently and properly. Let us make your siding shine this season. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!