It’s inevitable, your paint job will naturally breakdown given enough time. There is a simple secret to get the longest lasting paint job and it’s all to do with the surface.
The most important part of a successful paint job is a clean surface. I can not stress this fact enough, without a clean surface your paint will fail far sooner than later. While this seems simple, it is deceptively time consuming. Through my decades of painting I’ve discovered a straight forward process of appropriate preparation of a surface/job.
You will see me spend a dedicated amount of time prepping the surface and cleaning the area before actually painting. Here are the simple steps that should be taken when preparing a surface for paint or stain.
- Clean – a thorough clean of the project area – at this point you will use warm soapy water or a cleaning product if necessary – this includes vacuuming.
- Scrape (predominantly exterior) – scrape any loose or peeling paint – Here is a great example of the need to keep your area clean – paint chips are notoriously hard to clean up this is why prep is so important. It is far easier to plastic an area to catch the paint chips than it is to clean them up off the ground.
- Sand – don’t forget to wipe down after you’re done sanding. Rough Grit – Your first sand is vital to remove gross imperfections, general dirt, feather paint, ect… This step assures correct adhesion will occur but it won’t work if your sand marks are filled with dust. Those clean sand marks are important for the paint to work.
- Prime – if priming – cover all surfaces as evenly as possible. Priming is great for seeing imperfections that need to be addressed. Priming before filling or caulking allows those products to last longer. When the fill compound or caulk is against a bare surface it dries out before it is able to completely set, this leads to cracks and shrinkage. To find out more about priming see this post.
- Fill/Fix/Repair – fill holes, replace rotted boards, mud, etc…
- Sand – Fine Grit – At this point it is important to feel the surface, you want it smooth, feathered, and blended.
- Clean – Pay extra attention to corners and junction points (where two or more surfaces meet) – these must be cleared of dust/debris, vacuum thoroughly. Warm water if necessary.
- Caulk – Very neatly push (yes! Push not pull) the caulk into the surfaces needed.
The extra hours you spend at this point will extend the life of your paint job by YEARS!