Exterior painting projects typically require only a little bit of prep on the part of the homeowner. While there is usually much less to do to prepare than for interior work, there are still some basic ways to prepare for exterior painting to ensure you project goes smoothly.
Pick Your Colors!
Chances are that you’ve already talked with us about paint colors. We might have even setup a color consultation. Make sure your colors have been picked out before the start date. You can email the choices to your project manager… please specify where each color goes (siding, trim, fascia, doors, etc).
Don’t forget the sheen! This is how shiny the finish is. Satin/eggshell is the most commonly used sheen for home exteriors, with flat being the next most popular. Doors are often satin or semi-gloss.
Give Us Access To The Property
If we can’t get in, we can’t paint! Make sure that the project manager knows how to access the property if you can’t be there. If there is a hidden key, please let us know where it is. Unlock any access gates that we will need to get around your house or building, and that the path is clear all the way around.
Depending on the size of the project, we will usually need space for 1-3 vehicles, sometimes with a small trailer for tools, ladder, spray machines, etc. Ensure that any HOA pre-approvals have been obtained that are required.
Condos and commercial buildings frequently require pre-approval or notification if there will be contractors coming. Please also check beforehand if they have any specific insurance requirements.
Having Doors Painted?
If we will be painting any exterior doors or the garage door, you will need to be at the property (or leave us access to the house). In order to completely paint a door it needs to be open. Once painted, exterior doors usually take 3-6 hours to dry. Because of that, we will remove the weatherstripping from the door frame so the door can be partially closed without paint sticking to the weatherstripping. Once dry, the weatherstripping is replaced. Likewise, a garage door has to be opened and closed several times in order to paint the edges of all the door panels.
Cut Back Shrubs & Trees
At the very least, our painters need a couple of feet to maneuver between a building and the landscaping. Shrubs or trees that are touching or are very close to the house should be trimmed or pulled back. In many cases we can pull them back a little, but please have any trimming done before we begin power-washing the house.
Please point out any sensitive landscaping beforehand. Because of the nature of house painting work, we have to walk or put ladders in landscaping on nearly every project. We will do our best to leave it as undisturbed as we can.
Move Outdoor Items & Take Down Decorations
A painter usually only needs a couple of feet of space for painting work. Because of the potential of overspray from a paint sprayer however, it is best to move items as far away as practical before painting. Patio furniture can be moved to the lawn or a corner of the yard and covered with plastic. Loose items such as potted plants, toys, yard tools, hoses and more should also be moved so they are out of the way of the painters.
If you have decorations or items hanging on the outside of the home, take them down if it is practical. Larger or permanent items can remain and be masked off instead.
Access To Water For Cleanup
Nearly all of the paint used now for home exteriors is water-based. Therefore, the majority of our cleanup just requires water, so access to an outdoor faucet/hose is all we need. If there is a specific faucet or cleanup area you prefer that we use, just point it out to the project manager. Otherwise we will locate a discreet faucet and location for cleaning brushes and tools at the end of each day.
Check With The HOA!
Many HOA’s have rules regarding contractors, house colors, permission, etc. Please make sure that any approvals have been obtained beforehand from the HOA, landlord, condo association, or other relevant authority. Painting work does NOT require permits, but these other entities will have their own rules. Expensive mistakes can be avoided by checking with them when planning any remodel project.