When is it time to paint or recoat the exterior of my home?


Wood elements like siding or hood trim should be recoated every 5 years. Stucco can be painted less frequently if the surface does not show extensive or widespread cracking.  Stained siding or shingles should be done every 3 years to keep the wood sealed and to prevent graying.  If any surface is showing widespread failure (meaning peeling or cracked in the paint film) or if the wood or stucco substrate itself is cracking then it is time to paint.


Do I have Lead Paint on my house?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assumes that any home built be 1978 contains some manner of lead based paint. Per the EPA in California, RRP Certification requires that painting contractors proceed with practices that handle a home as if it lead-based paint is present. We are a Certified Lead Renovator through the EPA.

What kind of preparation process do you use?

We divide the process into 3 phases to paint a house:

Phase 1 – Scrape, Sand and Wash – During this phase we remove all loose and failing paint. We do this before washing the house to contain all loose paint chips. We thoroughly sand the areas exposed after paint removal to feather out the edges and integrate them into the substrate of the home.  For the final step we wash the house in order to remove any underlying dirt and grime and to give the surface a fresh start.

Phase 2 – Prime and Seal – This phase of the process is where we lay down the initial layer of protection for the home. We mask off the windows, fixtures and other elements that need to be protected and spray the prime coat on all of the surfaces scheduled for paint. Once primer is applied we began the patching, caulking and sealing process. We typically apply these materials after the primer so that they have a sound, clean and coat surface to bond to. Our main goal is to not only seal areas of the home where water can enter, but we also want to achieve a beautiful, renewed surface to apply paint to.

Phase 3 – Finish Coat – This is of course where the fun is! We get to put color on the home. We use a variety of methods depending on the color placement scheme and what surfaces are being painted. Our main method of paint application is using an Airless Spraying. We use brush and roll when we need to do finer work and when it the time to spend masking outweighs the time it takes to brush and roll. Spray application provides a smooth even surface and lays paint on the surface at the volume that is equivalent to 2 separate applications of a brush and roll process.

What kind of materials are used in an exterior paint job?

Phase 1 – Heavy plastic, Duct tape, scraper blades and sanding discs

Phase 2 – Sherwin Williams Pro Block Primer or Kelly Moore Kel Bond Primer, Premium grade caulking,  Smith’s Epoxy, Bondo or stucco patch depending on the needs of the surface

Phase 3 – We have found good success with the Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Kelly Moore Brands.  All 3 provide a similar level of quality for what a typical homeowner needs. Each have different color stories and that is was often leads a homeowner to choose one over the other.

Stained elements on the house – Clean thoroughly by either washing if practical or sanding and brushing down wood. We apply stain with a sprayer and brush and wipe application depending on the needs of the surface.

What sheen of paint should I use?

There are 3 main sheens available for Exterior surface: Flat, Low Lustre, and SemiGloss.

The surface determines the best level of sheen. Stucco is best in a flat sheen. Wood siding can look great in a Low Lustre if it is in good shape with minimal cosmetic blemishes. Trim elements should almost always be coated in a SemiGloss sheen. Unless you deeply dislike shine on anything, SemiGloss provides the best amount of protection for the life of the product. It resists dirt and can take a beating from sun and rain.

How will my landscape be protected?

Plants should be covered with lightweight materials and uncovered at the end of the day.  Some can be pulled back from the home gently landscaping should be trimmed back before the job begins to provide clearance.

Do you have to wash the house, especially while we are in a drought?

It is a very important step that can undermine the quality of the job if not done, depending on the surface. The washing removes embedded grime and mildew and provides a clean surface for the primer.

Are there any rules for choosing colors?

There are a few basic rules:

  1. Take into account the existing elements of the home, ie roofing material, hardscape like brick or slate walkways, patios, wood features like deck, patio or trellis
  2. Neighboring homes or structures
  3. Landscape
  4. Architectural features of the home

If you get stuck and just can’t decide, our service includes a 1-hr consultation with a professional Color Consultant. We will also apply paint in a small 2’x 2’brush out on the wall and on trim.

How long does it take to paint a whole home from start to finish?

Depending on size, building materials, amount of paint failure, a typical 1000 square foot home with a moderate amount of paint failure and simple color scheme could take 2 weeks with a 2 man crew.

How long can I expect my paint job to last?

On exterior projects, we recommend that wood elements be painted every 5 years, stained elements recoated every 3 years and stucco elements every 10 years unless widespread cracking is taking place.

How much will it cost?

Cost is dependent on the scope of the work, what the surface conditions are, what the desired color scheme is and how much materials will be needed. The best way to understand cost is to schedule a consultation where we get a complete understanding of what your goals are and what will be required to complete the project. 

What is the first step in the process?

Getting a professional, on-site consultation! Each home is unique and can pose a number of challenges depending on condition of the surface of the building materials, the number and detail of architectural elements, the proximity of neighboring homes or structures and size of the home. Give us a call now!