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A Guide to Exterior Paint Preparation for Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona Homes

The Foundation of a Durable Paint Finish

Achieving a professional paint finish doesn’t begin with paint and brushes; it starts with thorough preparation. When it comes to preparing surfaces for painting, the process is more involved than merely laying down tarps and applying tape. Painting over rough, damaged, corroded, or weathered surfaces may provide a quick fix, but it often leads to unsatisfactory results, including issues like cracking, peeling, bubbling, and even rot. Proper preparation not only results in a better-looking paint job but also ensures a long-lasting finish. This means you won’t have to worry about repainting for years to come.

The Significance of Proper Preparation

Painting over existing damage as an attempt to conceal it is a recipe for disaster. It not only leads to headaches but also leaves you with an unsightly paint job that might be worse than what you started with. Investing the time to address issues such as blistered, cracking, peeling, and corroded paint or other damaged finishes will save you money, frustration, and disappointment in the long run. Spending a few extra hours cleaning and preparing the surface will yield professional-looking results, enhancing the overall quality of the finish.

Identifying and Addressing Common Issues

While some paint imperfections are inevitable, many can be prevented with proper preparation. Whether you’re painting the interior or exterior, working on plaster, wood, or siding, there are common problems that can affect the quality and longevity of your paint job. Here’s what to look for and how to address these issues in advance to ensure a durable finish:

  • Cracking, Flaking, Peeling, and Lumping: Cracking and peeling are frequent issues, often stemming from inadequate preparation, thin or thick paint application, and fluctuations in humidity and temperature. To address these problems:
    • Remove all cracked and peeling paint using a scraper, heat gun, wire brush, or chemical remover.
    • Sand the scraped areas, paying close attention to the edges that meet undamaged paint.
    • Clean and prime the surface before painting to avoid painting over dust or dirt.
    • Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before applying additional coats.
  • Blistering: Blistering, caused by heat and moisture, can occur on various surfaces, from metal to wood. To prevent blistering:
    • Pop the bubbles to identify the issue: moisture or heat.
    • If it’s a moisture problem, ensure the surface is below 90 degrees before starting to paint.
    • Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint, as it’s less prone to blistering.
  • Chalking: Chalking, often seen in hot and dry climates like those in Scottsdale and Phoenix, manifests as a white powdery substance on the paint. To resolve this issue:
    • Power wash the surface with a gas-powered 3500 PSI machine or higher.
    • Pre-soak the exterior using an environmentally safe cleaning solution, especially for stubborn stains or mold.
    • Rinse and let the surface dry completely before applying new paint.
  • Alligatoring: Alligatoring resembles reptile skin and is often a result of temperature fluctuations, painting over a glossy finish, or insufficient drying time between coats. To address this issue:
    • Remove the alligatoring by scraping, dry brushing, sanding, wire brushing, or using a chemical remover, depending on the surface.
    • Rinse the area thoroughly to remove dust and debris.
    • Use high-quality primer and paint, consulting a professional paint store for recommendations.

Interior Preparation

While some of the above issues can affect interior paint, additional challenges may arise when painting indoors. Two common interior problems are mildew and wallpaper:

  • Removing Mildew: Mildew cannot be concealed by painting over it; it grows through the paint, complicating matters further. To eliminate mildew:
    • Mix one part water with three parts bleach.
    • Apply the solution to the mildewed areas and let it sit for several minutes.
    • Scrub the area with a soft brush until the mildew is removed.
    • Rinse and allow the surface to dry completely before painting.
  • Removing Wallpaper: While some sources suggest painting over wallpaper is acceptable, it’s often better to remove it to avoid complications like peeling, lumping, bubbling, and the potential for more trouble than it’s worth.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

Not everyone has the time or expertise for extensive paint preparation. This is where hiring a professional painting service can be invaluable. While DIY painting may seem like a cost-saving option initially, it can lead to more significant expenses in the long run, not to mention the need for tools, products, and cleaning supplies. At Double G, we take pride in our work and can handle any preparation work necessary for a smooth and long-lasting finish. Our team possesses expertise in both interior and exterior paint preparation, along with general contracting knowledge, allowing us to address any situation to ensure your paint job endures for years.

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