When it comes to painting a house, the quality of the products used and their application can be the difference between a paint job that begins to crack and chip as soon as it’s done drying and one that can last decades. In fact, every step of the process of painting a house — the paint products, preparing the surface, the application — contributes to giving a structure a paint job that can weather many seasons. However, the first step is finding the right products to use. Here’s what you should know to help you choose the best paint products to paint a house.
Primer for Exteriors
An important first step to painting is priming, which serves a variety of purposes. For one thing, primer helps paint to look more even and prevents it from looking blotchy or showing any possible colors you’re trying to cover up. Primer also helps paint to dry properly by giving it a smooth, consistent surface to which it can bind, making it more durable and able to last much longer. Painting over primer rather than the raw surface also helps minimize the unsightly bristle marks that your brush could leave behind in the dried paint.
For painting on wood, primer will help to keep the wood from swelling when there’s excess moisture in the air, which will cause your paint to stretch and crack. The best woods for holding paint are redwood, baldcypress, white pine, red cedar, and sugar pine; however, lodgepole pine, hemlock, spruce, Douglas fir as well as red and southern pines do not hold paint as well and will require the use of very high-quality primer. It’s usually pretty easy to find out what wood is being used for newer constructions, but for older homes you may not always be able to tell. Going with a high quality, oil-based primer will improve the wood’s ability to hold paint regardless of the type of wood.
You should also consider the climate when choosing a primer to paint a home. In areas high in moisture, oil-based primers are preferred by most professionals. Some advocate applying a water-repellent when painting in moist, humid regions while also using primers that repel mold and mildew.
Paint for Exteriors
Like primers, there are different types of paint that you can use when you’re painting the exterior of a house. The main paint types available are oil-based paint and water-based latex paint.
Oil-based paint takes much longer to dry, but it tends to be much more durable. They also tend to have some of the highest adhesion of any paint. However, they tend to become very brittle over time and can also oxidize. Oil-based paint is best when painting surfaces that are “chalky” — a powdery substances comes off when you run your hand across the surface — as well as on most trim, when you’re painting on a surface that’s been painted over several times, and in areas of high moisture and humidity.
Water-based latex or acrylic paints, however, have great color retention, dry quickly, and clean up easily. They’re also more flexible — almost stretchy — than oil-based paints, which can make them better in some instances. Most professional will recommend the use of water-based latex paint on vinyl and aluminum, on wood, in areas that experience cold and freezing temperatures, and on new masonry.
There are many types and brands of paints available, it is best to work with a painting contractor or paint store expert to find the best product for your home.
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