Photo by: Rodney Diaz
As a professional painter with nearly 20 years of experience, I’ve developed a thriving business. Getting there hasn’t been easy, though, and I’ve made my share of mistakes. However, I’ve used these mistakes to improve my technique and to seek out high-quality, problem-solving products that I now rely on for almost every job. Here, I’ll share some of my favorite products and some tips for getting the best possible exterior paint job.
The 2200-sq.-ft. house featured here was in rough shape when we started, and it demonstrated that it’s best not to neglect exterior painting for too long. Regular maintenance could have prevented much of the prep work and saved thousands of dollars when it came time to repaint. Because of the home’s condition, we had between four and eight painters on the job for nearly two months, which pushed the clients’ bill to more than $30,000. The price included removing the existing vinyl shutters; pressure-washing the entire house; scraping, priming, and painting all the trim and overhangs; stripping much of the siding down to bare wood; and painting the porches, siding, and window sashes. Finally, we painted and hung new, historically accurate wooden shutters.
In April 2008, the EPA released new rules for painting and remodeling houses that have lead-based paint. If you’re a contractor and you’re caught ignoring the EPA’s RRP (renovation, repair, and painting) rule, you’re risking your livelihood. One Connecticut-based company was recently fined more than $30,000 for violations. Homeowners doing their own work are exempt, but that doesn’t mean they should disregard the requirements. If you’re a homeowner planning to repaint your own house, I suggest reading up or taking a class on handling lead-based paint.