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The Importance of Good Preparation

The Importance of Good Preparation
The Importance of Good Preparation

Most people have heard the saying, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." While this is applicable to many aspects of life, it is particularly relevant when it comes to painting. Poor preparation leads to a significantly shorter lifespan on your paint job. Conversely, diligent preparation can extend the life of your paint job.

To protect your home, your painting contractor needs to account for the following:

Cleaning: Paint will not adhere to a dirty surface. It is imperative that a house be chemically treated to kill mildew and power washed to remove dirt and peeling paint.

Scraping/Sanding: After sufficient drying time, any remaining peeling paint needs to be addressed by scraping. If not, the original paint will continue to peel after the new paint is applied. It is also critical to "feather" sand the rough edges where paint has been removed to diminish the chances of further peeling.

Repairing Surface Flaws: Cracks and dings in your siding should be repaired with exterior spackle, caulk, or wood putty to prevent further deterioration and improve overall appearance.

Caulking: This is a critical step in preventing moisture infiltration. Any caulk that is cracked or separating from the surface must be removed. A high grade exterior acrylic latex or elastomeric caulk must be applied to these areas. Special attention should be applied at all window, door, and corner trim.

Rust Treatment: Rusty fasteners should be treated with a rust-inhibiting primer after removing loose rust scale.

Spot Priming: all bare wood should be primed with an exterior stain-blocking primer.

Wrapping: landscaping should be covered with drop cloths or plastic. Air conditioning units, decks, and any unpainted surfaces should also be covered with drop cloths. Window and door openings should be covered with plastic prior to spraying. Cardboard shields are typically used along the roof line when painting fascia boards.

One major distinction between a reputable painting contractor and a less-than-reputable one is the amount of preparation that is included in a painting proposal. My experience is that 35-50% of the labor required in an exterior repaint is the prep work described above. If the house exterior hasn't been routinely maintained, the percentage of prep work will be higher.

If you are collecting quotes for a project and find one of your bidders is significantly less than the others, one reason may be that he has not included the prep work required for a quality paint job. All too often, this leads to paint failure within 2-3 years.

The old adage that we get what we pay for rings true, especially when it comes to painting preparation.

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Why Customers Choose Beach Painting

  • Expertise - we have the experience and versatility to take on the most demanding painting and residential construction projects.
  • Integrity - we only use the highest grade materials and take the time to do the job correctly.
  • Dependability - our employees are directly employed (not subcontractors) and covered under our liability and workers' compensation policies.
  • Professionalism - we carefully measure all components of the work and provide a detailed scope in our estimates and proposals.
  • Longevity - with over 20 years of steady growth, we have become the largest full-service painting contractor on the Outer Banks.
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