Painting Over Old Exterior Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you planning to repaint the exterior of your house after years of putting it off? Before you start, it's important to understand that painting directly on an old paint that's peeling off won't get you very far. The new paint will also fall off in a short time. Therefore, it is essential that you remove all loose paint before painting. But even before you paint, keep in mind that by getting rid of your previous paint job, you'll be left with a bare (or almost bare) surface again.

Therefore, you will need to apply a coat of primer before painting. Painting the exterior of your property is one of the best ways to increase curb appeal. However, you must decide what to do with the existing paint. If the existing paint is of the same type and the wall is in good condition, you can go ahead and paint without sanding. However, when it comes to wood, you may need to sand it to adhere properly.

You can also skip the sanding process and get by with a primer. For old paint in good condition or primed bare wood, you'll need approximately one gallon of paint per 400 square feet. If you plan to use a lighter color to paint over a darker one, tinted primer (which is the same color as the paint) can help you more easily cover the old tone and emphasize the new lighter tone. Paint sprayers cover four to five times faster than brushes, but the finish tends to be uneven and even with the airless version, half of the paint escapes. This first coat of primer makes small cracks, nail heads and other imperfections more visible, so you'll want to fill them with a latex putty and an outer filler, such as a two-part epoxy or a lightweight putty, and sand them until they're level. Some painters prefer the oil-based variety because of its penetration and ability to block stains that come off sequoia and cedar, but I would recommend acrylic latex to lay the foundation and achieve a long-lasting paint job.

In a nutshell, the primer plays the role of an intermediary, protecting the surface and helping the paint to be applied evenly and maintained for a long time. While summer may seem like the perfect time to paint a house, don't even think about climbing the ladder when the temperature exceeds 90°F. If the tape removes all the paint until it turns into bare wood, the house needs to be peeled before repainting it. Also check the label for any preservatives that get rid of mold, which can discolor the top coat of paint or cause wood to rot. A good paint job should last at least 10 to 15 years, but its longevity really depends on the location of the house and how well it is protected from the sun, wind and rain. Painting over old exterior paint is a time-consuming home improvement project, especially if you need to remove the peeling paint first. If you have doubts about the durability of your old exterior paint, get a scraper and get to work.

Allow fresh paint to dry for at least two hours before weather conditions cool to the point where dew forms. In fact, applying primer before painting is often a good idea, but it's especially crucial in certain situations.