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The West Houston Painting Company Exterior Preparation Process.

My time in the painting trade has allowed me to experience different systems when it comes to preparing the exterior of a house for repaint. The construction culture in Houston TX emphasizes speed. Is that statement a warning or praise to contractors? It could go either way in my opinion. Some contractors will invest in technology that speeds up preparation and production, some contractors will designate more men and woman on a job to get a job done faster. Other contractors may skip steps. Homeowners who unknowingly hire contractors who skip steps will not know the service they paid for was done improperly until months later. Streaks may appear in the finish, cracks may form on siding, or worst case paint may begin to peel off.

Many homeowners may have heard the the phrase, "Painting is in the prep work", and if they haven't they have surely heard "measure twice cut once". Both expressions allude to the construction rule that attention is required before irreversible work is done. The price for the paint on the exterior (material price) is usually between 900 and 2000 dollars depending on the size of the house. Imagine having to go back, re prepare, and reapply those top coats in a year. It's unbearable.

That being said, I'd like to publish our exterior painting preparation process so you, the reader, have a better idea of what you're investing in when you decide to go with the West Houston Painting Company.

1) House Wash - Power washing removes dirt and peeling paint. This is a step that's rarely worth passing over.

2) Sanding - Sanding smooths our rough areas for a better look and better adhesion. This step can be passed over if the existing siding and paint are in good condition. On the flip side, this process may need to be beefed up if siding is in poor condition. Siding in poor condition should be tested for moisture with a moisture reader. If the moisture level in the siding is above 28% the siding is decaying and should be replaced or refurbished.

3) Quick Clean- cleaning is required if there're paint chips and dust over the siding and property. We usually do this by hand and with a leaf blower.

4) Masking - By this time WHPC may have masked the windows to protect glass or metal while we sand and scrape. Before caulk and primer can be applied, protection against spills and stains needs to be laid out and taped down. We use construction paper and plastic, as well as canvas matts.

5) Caulking - Caulking's meant to seal gaps ,create a better surface for the top coat to adhere to, and to keep water out. There are essential areas that need to be caulked, like butt joints where siding and molding meets trim, windows, and doors. However, caulking lap joints in siding is not necessary, but does enhance the uniformity of siding. Some homeowners prefer this look, so make sure to talk to your painting contractor about extending this step if your interested in that look. I don't recommend leaving caulking unpainted. Caulking is an adhesive, so dirt and mildew build up on caulking rapidly and ruin the appearance of a home.

6) Priming - There are various types of priming products, all meant for different situations with different levels of quality in each situation. An explanation behind different types of primers will be for another post. Procedurally, homeowners need to see primer over exposed bare wood, rust stains, metal, and masonry. If any of those elements are not covered before the top coat is applied your guaranteed to have paint failure. A good painting contractor can diagnose what needs to be primed and will be able to explain his / her reasoning behind choosing a specific primer. An exterior with different building materials will need different primers.

7) And now we are ready to paint.

Thank you for reading the West Houston Painting Company's preparation process. According to the needs of the job, steps may be legthend, shortened, deleted, or altered. However, the process remains nearly the same. We look forward to talking about your needs, and tailoring our process specifically to your home in order to produce a pristine paint job.


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