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Exterior House Painting Preparation

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Exterior House Painting: Clean the Surfaces Prior to Painting

Once the surface is scraped and sanded and the surrounding landscape area is protected with cloth drop cloths, it's time to give your house a good washing. Cleaning the surface free of dirt, grease, loose or flaking paint is essential for the primer and paint to properly adhere to the substrate.
  • Remove your home's window screens, storm doors and storm windows and anything else that should not get painted.
  • If you have a power washer use it at the lowest pressure possible while still cleaning the surface of dirt. Use a wide spread fan tip and NEVER place the tip close to the wall surface. Remember, you can do serious damage to your exterior wall if improperly used.
  • If you're going to wash the house by hand it's worth it to get a car wash brush unit that gets attached to the garden hose to help make shorter work of this task.
  • Put on your eye protection and in a bucket mix water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) to clean the wall surface and degloss any existing paint. Be careful using TSP, it is a powerful chemical.
  • Work from the top of your house down. Rinse each section you complete with clean water.

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

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