June 16, 2024

Thrive Insider

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5 Pro Tips for Long-Lasting Exterior Finishes

Investing in long-lasting exterior finishes for your home not only adds to its curb appeal but also protects it from the elements. Maintenance can be a chore, but with the right approach, you can enjoy a pristine look for years to come. Whether you’re painting your home’s exterior or finishing off your deck, we’ve got you covered with these pro tips that will make all the difference.

1. Choose High-Quality Paint and Finishes

The first step to ensuring a long-lasting finish on your exterior is to choose high-quality materials. From paint to stains and sealants, opt for those with UV resistance, as this is one of the key factors that cause the fading of colors over time. Water-based acrylic paints and stains are excellent for their durability and low maintenance. When it comes to sealants, look for ones that provide a barrier against moisture and have a high tolerance to temperature changes.

2. Prep, Prep, Prep

The success of your exterior finish job lies in preparation. This involves cleaning the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt, mildew, or old finishes. Use a pressure washer or a good quality cleaner to get the job done right. Next, sand down any rough spots and caulk any gaps to ensure a smooth and uniform surface. Neglecting this step can lead to adhesion issues, which will compromise the finish’s longevity.

3. Don’t Skimp on Primer

Primer is the unsung hero of the painting world, especially for exterior finishes. It provides an adhesive base for the paint or stain to stick to, as well as additional protection against weathering. Make sure to use a primer that is compatible with your finish of choice (oil-based primers for oil-based paints, for example) and apply it generously. This extra step will save you from having to repaint or restain much sooner than you’d like.

4. Follow the Weather and Application Guidelines

Timing is everything when it comes to applying exterior finishes. Most professionals will tell you to avoid painting in high humidity or extreme temperatures, as this can affect the drying process and the overall finish. Plan to paint when the weather is mild and dry, and follow the recommended drying times between coats. Also, be mindful of applying the finish correctly; don’t apply too thin or too thick of a coat as this can lead to failure down the line.

5. Regular Maintenance is Key

Even with the best materials and application, regular maintenance is critical to the longevity of your exterior finish. Check for peeling, cracking, or fading at least twice a year, and touch up any damaged areas as soon as you notice them. If your finish is past the point of repair, it’s better to strip it down and redo it properly rather than layering on top. Remember, a little maintenance now can save you a lot of work later.

By following these five tips, and with a little elbow grease, you can enjoy the fresh, long-lasting look of your home’s exterior finishes for many years. Plan, prepare, and maintain—your home will thank you for it!