It’s Saturday morning and the whole weekend stretches before you. Your conscious begs you to tackle a do-it-yourself home improvement project. But, before you decide to dive in and paint your home’s exterior, weigh the pros and cons.
“Many homeowners don’t have a clue as to how complicated and time-consuming it can be to properly prepare and paint the outside of a house,” says Ron Rooker, owner of Ron’s Painting in Fort Myers, Fla. “This is not a spur-of-the-moment weekend project — and it’s not a project that DIYers can tackle easily.”
Ron’s Painting, a Pro-X Certified Contractor™ with APV Engineered Coatings®, has been professionally painting the exterior homes in the Fort Myers/Sanibel Island area of Florida for more than 30 years. “Every geographic area has its own challenges,” says Rooker. “In Florida we have high humidity that leads to mildew and algae. Unless you’re specially trained to properly prepare an exterior surface and then select the right paint, a home painting job can be useless.”
18 Steps for Prep and Painting
On day one of a painting project, Rooker stresses the importance of properly cleaning and preparing the home’s exterior. Without these critical steps, a new paint job may not properly adhere to a home. For each project, the Ron’s Painting crew follows these steps:
Step 1 – Rinse all bushes and vegetation surrounding house with clean water.
Step 2 – Apply a mixture of chlorine and water to all parts of the home’s exterior to kill mildew, staying away from vegetation.
Step 3 – Pressure clean the home to remove the chlorine, taking special care not to damage any wood areas, gutters or window frames.
Step 4 – Hand spray chlorine on foundation and work to remove stubborn mildew and stained areas.
Step 5 – Rinse the entire house (including windows, vegetation and all exposed areas) with fresh water. Let dry overnight.
Preparation continues on the second day of work as the team methodically completes the following steps:
Step 6 – Securely cover all windows, doors, screens and aluminum surfaces that will not be painted.
Step 7 – Affix drop cloths near edges of home and tape to floors.
Step 8 – Cover vegetation with drop cloths.
Step 9 – When preparing to paint over stucco, determine if house surface is chalky to the touch. If it is, apply chalk sealer to the entire home and let air dry. This assures that the caulk, patch, and paint will later stick to the surface.
Step 10 – Caulk and patch all areas needed, except windows. Using an elastomeric caulk, any areas where there are gaps (such as around spigots and outlets) will be sealed.
Step 11 – Patch cracks in stucco walls and ceiling areas. Let cure overnight.
Only when the Ron’s Painting team approaches day three does the actual painting begin.
Step 12 – Using a two-step process, initially spray the NeverFade paint on the home and then back roll it into the stucco to make sure the paint properly adheres to the porous stucco. This provides an even finish and assures that the paint covers all crevices where mold is likely to grow.
On day four, the professional painters are back on the job, inspecting the initial paint coating and headed for touch-up work.
Step 13 – With spray painting complete, next comes the brush work and small roller cut-ins for all areas of the home.
Step 14 – Hand paint fascia, gutters and trim covers.
Step 15 – Remove plastic from windows. Caulk around windows and allow to cure overnight. Once caulk has been cured, hand brush or “cut in” paint on trim and smaller areas.
Step 16 – Review base areas of house and hand brush in final areas.
Step 17 – Top-to-bottom examination of home to assure all areas perfectly done.
Selecting the Best Paint Given the humid weather throughout Florida, Rooker recommends a satin finish for the exterior of homes and semi-gloss finish for trim work on a house. His preferred exterior paint, NeverFade™, is formulated with Kynar Aquatec® polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and is warranted against fading for 15 years and resists algae, fungus, stains and abrasions.
The water-based NeverFade paint is eco-friendly and has low VOCs, making it ideal for homes throughout Florida. The paint can withstand harsh thermal, chemical and ultraviolet environmental conditions.
“I was so impressed with this paint that I immediately signed up to become a Pro-X Certified Contractor in our area,” says Rooker. “This paint has a creamy, rich texture that makes application splatter-free. Best of all, it covers evenly and looks terrific. The 15-year warranty is icing on the cake for both me and my customers.
“With the extreme weather conditions we experience throughout Florida, I can’t imagine a longer-lasting paint than NeverFade. This product is an investment for a home or business that will pay off royally over the years.”
NeverFade paint may be applied to vinyl siding, PVC, wood, aluminum siding, stucco, masonry, and fiber cement surfaces. Since each paint order is custom made, the exterior paint is available in an unlimited number of colors.