Many older homes have exterior trim that consists of painted wood. Many homeowners opt to have this covered with vinyl trim or aluminum trim to eliminate the task of painting the exterior trim on their house. However, vinyl and aluminum trim are expensive and for those on a budget, painting your exterior trim will save you a significant amount of money.
The exterior of your home sees tremendous abuse from the weather. Constant rain, snow, hot sun and other factors take a toll on the exterior surfaces of your homes. Most exterior surfaces are designed to stand up to these rigorous conditions for years. However, painted wood surfaces are not one of the exterior surfaces that fare well under this type of abuse.
If you are on a budget, replacing your wood trim with vinyl may not be an option. A typical home would cost more than $2000 to have the wood trim covered in vinyl and aluminum trim. This is a costly option. However, there is another option. You can paint your exterior trim to freshen up the exterior of your home and to protect the wood underneath.
Painting exterior trim will not cost a lot of money. You will need only basic painting supplies, primer, and exterior grade paint. The whole process should only take a few days and cost you less than $100. You will need to purchase or rent a ladder capable of getting you up to the trim on your particular house. And you should have a helper since you will be up on a ladder and should not be on a ladder without someone nearby.
The basic process is simple. You will begin by taking a paint scraper and removing any loose paint. If the paint is cracked or peeling, scrap it off until you have removed the bad paint and only have paint in good condition left behind.
Now you will have to spot prime any bare wood areas. Use an exterior primer and a brush to spot prime bare, exposed wood. If you removed a significant amount of paint by scraping, you could prime the entire trim on the house, but spot priming will usually be sufficient.
After priming, you will have to apply two coats of the exterior paint that you choose for the job. The paint should be a semi-gloss or gloss. Semi-gloss and gloss paint offer increased durability over satin and other lower sheen paints.
Begin painting the exterior trim with a brush from the top of the house down. By painting from the top down, you will not accidentally get wet paint on you as you lean over to paint trim sections and you will have a dry section to lean the ladder on. This process will make more sense once you start the project. All houses are different and you may have to think about what section makes the most sense to paint first on your particular house.
Once you have painted the entire trim, you will have to apply a second coat. Brush painting is almost never done in one coat and a second coat will give you better coverage and protection. After completing the second coat of paint, the project is complete.
By using quality paint and applying two coats of paint, your paint job should last for 5 years or more at which time you can choose to repaint it or have vinyl trim installed. The entire job of painting your exterior trim should only take a few days and is easy to do yourself.