Questions We Get Asked About Exterior Painting

Do you have questions about exterior painting? You’re not alone! We get asked all sorts of questions about exterior paints and painting issues. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most common questions we hear. By doing that we hope you will find useful tips for choosing the right paint or painter for your home’s exterior. So whether you’re a homeowner looking to DIY or you’re hiring a professional, you’ll find what you need here. Let’s get started!

Hiring Professionals or Doing it Yourself

This is a primary question some homeowners have. If you are physically able to climb ladders and own some tools and equipment, you can definitely do a simple paint job yourself. If you need to climb high ladders and deal with major paint failure, hiring a painting contractor is your best option. Hiring professionals is expensive but a professional painter will have the experience needed to get the job done right.

Does my House Really Need Painting?

It’s no secret that a well-maintained exterior paint job can add curb appeal and value to your home. However, how can you tell if it’s time for a new paint job? What are some obvious signs that your exterior paint is starting to show signs of wear? Peeling, cracking and colour fading are all common indicators that it might be time for a fresh coat of paint. If you’re unsure whether or not your house exterior really needs painting, here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Peeling paint can lead to water damage and rotting wood, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
– Cracking paint and defective caulking can allow moisture and pests inside your home, which can cause further damage.
– Faded colours might not be aesthetically pleasing, and could also lead to a decreased resale value.

Black paint is cracking
Cracking paint means that a paint job is overdue

If you decide that your house exterior does need painting, it’s important to hire a professional painter who will use quality materials and take the time to do the job properly. A good paint job can last anywhere from five to 10 years, so it’s definitely worth investing in!

How Many Coats Do I Need?

When painting the exterior of your home, you may need to apply more than one coat of paint. In many cases two coats are recommended in order to hide the previous colour and provide enough protection to the surface. However there are times when one coat is sufficient:

  • You are painting the same or similar colour.
  • The surface is in good condition and you just need a refresh.
  • A good acrylic primer is applied on all surfaces.
  • The primer is tinted to match the paint colour.

If you are unsure of how many coats of paint you need, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and apply more than one. This will help ensure that your home looks great and is protected from the elements for years to come.

Is it a Good Idea to Paint my Brick House?

Paint your brick home and you’ll never have to worry about it again. Exterior brick painting is a great way to protect your home from the weather and add some color. You can choose from a variety of trendy designer colours and completely transform the look of your home. Some of the most popular colours we painted recently are whites, grays, charcoal grays, even black. Despite what you may have heard, painting brick is not a skill intensive task. Most people find it enjoyable.

Flat white paint on bungalow exterior
This bungalow was painted with white flat paint.

If you’re thinking about painting your brick exterior, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Painting brick is a permanent solution. Once you paint your brick, it’s permanently covered.
  • Brick painting is a messy process. Be prepared for the mess and make sure you cover everything.
  • It’s important to use the right type of paint. Use acrylic breathable flat paint so as not to trap any moisture.
  • Prep the surfaces well by dusting off any loose particles and repairing cracks and damaged brick.

Enjoy the process of painting your brick exterior. And if you don’t like the results, you can always paint over it or call us for help. If you need help with colour for your house read our blog.

Can You Paint Metal Railings and Fences?

Yes, you can paint and maintain metal railings. The biggest problem with metal surfaces is keeping the rust away. When you are dealing with small signs of rusting, a little sanding is all you need to do. If there is a lot of rust it gets a little more complicated. Remove as much of the rust as possible with a wire brush, sand the area and wipe the dust with a rug. Prime the affected areas and bare metal with red oxide primer before coating it with a rust-inhibitive paint.

The beauty of Black Railing
Freshly Painted Metal Fence in Black
Failed paint on galvanized iron
If only they used the right primer (acrylic)

Sometimes rust is not the reason paint is peeling but the use of incompatible coatings. Galvanized metal should be cleaned well and coated with an acrylic primer but alkyd paint is used instead. This always results in paint failure and the paint completely separating from the railing.
With a little product knowledge and some elbow grease, a metal railing or fence can look good for years.

What is the Best Time of the Year to Paint Exterior?

There is no single best time of year to paint, as the weather can vary greatly depending on your location. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your painting project goes as smoothly as possible. For starters, you should avoid painting when it’s too cold outside. The paint won’t dry properly and you could end up with a mess on your hands.

Exterior project completed by October
Halloween may be too late to paint exteriors

Never paint below 10 degrees celsius, even if you use “low temp” rated paint. In the middle of summer, the heat and humidity make it uncomfortable to paint and the surfaces get hot. So it’s best to wait until the weather becomes moderate. Painting exteriors in the Toronto area can be very challenging as our winters are very long. There are some exeptions but as a rule of thumb, we put our paint brushes away after September.

How Often Do I Paint My House Exterior?

How often do I need to paint my exterior? This is a question that many homeowners ask us and the answer depends on a few factors. The quality of the exterior paint job is one important consideration – a good paint job should last for 5 to 8 years. The condition of the exterior surfaces is another important factor – if they are in bad shape, then they may need to be painted more frequently. If you have a problem surface, such as wood rot, then your house will likely need to be repaired and painted more often. Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a professional house painter to get an accurate estimate of how often you should repaint your exterior.

Amazing paint job on columns
This paint job will last a long time

It’s also important to keep in mind that exterior paint can last longer if it is properly maintained. This means washing off any dirt or debris regularly, and watch for cracks and re-apply caulking every few years. Taking these steps will save you money by helping your exterior paint job last as long as possible.

Why is Exterior Paint So Expensive? – Is It Worth It?

Better paints (more expensive) are easy to work with and offer increased durability and surface protection. Paints with 100% acrylic resins are better but not all acrylics are the same. The quality of the raw materials and the proportions being used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. In fact their proportions differ between product lines of the same manufacturer. 

Let’s compare these numbers between two popular exterior Benjamin Moore paints. Information is available in their Technical Data Sheets – TDS:

Ben Exterior Flat
Cost: $45 per gallon
Solids (by volume):
34.5 percent
Dry-film thickness: 1.3 mils
Coverage / gallon: 350 to 475 sq. feet

Aura Exterior flat
$70 per gallon
Solids (by volume): 46 percent
Dry-film thickness: 2.1 to 2.9 mils
Coverage per gallon: 250 to 350 sq. feet

So, is it worth it? The answer is an emphatic YES! Even when using the most expensive per gallon options, the cost of paint is relatively small compared to the cost of labour. Better paint is like cheap insurance against surface deterioration and gives you peace of mind. (Source)

Does Exterior Painting Increase Home Value?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. It all depends on the quality of the paint job that is done. If you decide to hire the right professionals, then most likely your home’s value will go up. A bad paint job will be a hindrance to a future sale. If you decide to do it yourself, pay attention to all the necessary prep work and only work within your limitations. A good paint job requires precision, skill and a lot of equipment that most homeowners do not have.

Home before paint job
Home before painting for resale
An "after" shot of house
Home sold soon after paint job

In order to get the most out of your painting project, it is important to choose the right colors. You may think bright or bold colors will make your home more attractive, and occasionally that’s true. It could also backfire if they are not in line with what buyers expect. Stick to conservative colours like beige, tan or white to play it safe. These colors also have the added benefit of making your home look well-maintained and updated.

Some final thoughts: Questions about exterior painting are plenty and we’re here to help. We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions in this blog post, but if you have any others, don’t hesitate to ask us. We know paint and we want to help you choose the right product or colour for your home’s exterior. Whether you decide to DIY or hire a professional painter, we hope these tips will be helpful for you!

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