Exterior Painting Service

At Step Up Painting, we know a paint job is only as good as its prep work. Our commitment to thorough and professional preparations means your home will be looking beautiful for years to come.

Cleaning/Pressure Washing/Mildew: Our exterior paint projects start with a thorough cleaning. This can be as simple as pressure washing. If surfaces exhibit mold, mildew, or other organic issues, a hand application of trisodium phosphate (TSP), bleach, mild detergent, or other suitable cleaning agent may be applied.

Scraping: A paint job is only as good as its prep work. Good prep work means making sure that no peeling paint is left on the house after scraping. All existing paint on all exterior surfaces eventually peels, no matter what. The question is, will it peel in 60 years, or 60 months? Good prep work means removing ALL paint that’s already peeling, and locking in the remainder of the existing paint to the house under a brand-new, durable, impermeable coating, so that we can maximize the amount of time before the pre-existing paint begins to peel. Usually when paint is scraped, bare wood is exposed in some (or many) places. It is absolutely crucial that these exposed areas be primed before being repainted.

Sanding: The “feather” sanding of the transitions between peeled paint and non-peeling paint is a good way to smooth out the ridges and craters that scraping can create. While not absolutely necessary to a “quality” paint job, feather sanding not only improves the aesthetics of the finished product by making these areas less noticeable, but also improves the longevity of the paint job. As a result of a recent EPA regulation concerning the disturbance of lead-based paint, all sanding on surfaces which contain lead requires the use of sanders connected to HEPA filter outfitted vacuums. This new requirement increases the difficulty and expense of sanding. Because of this, many painting companies will no longer bid jobs where sanding is required. Step Up Painting has the equipment required to be within the federal guidelines for lead-paint sanding.

Rot: Many houses that have experienced deferred maintenance may have areas of rot. If the rot is extensive enough, it may be necessary to replace whole boards or sections of boards. But many times the rot is in isolated pockets and can be repaired. We use special products, such as RotFix, to halt the rotting process and dry out the rotten area. The loose particles of wood can then be scraped or wire-brushed out, primed, filled, sanded, primed, and repainted, for a complete solution to the rot problem.

Caulking: Caulking is an important part of the prep process. All cracks not architecturally designed for ventilation (usually the horizontal cracks in-between siding), should be caulked with a high-quality latex caulk. Larger holes and cracks wider than ¼ inch should be filled with an appropriate compound. Usually, a high-quality exterior spackle will suffice, but for load-bearing features or areas likely to experience significant expansion and contraction, we recommend a two-part, sandable, paintable product called SculpWood.

Glazing: Some older houses’ windows have failing glazing. We remove failing glazing and replace it with new glazing.

Painting: Finally, the house is ready to paint. In many cases, two coats of paint are better than one. The exception to this rule is when a house already has many coats of paint on it, no significant color change is required, or there is a concern that extra paint could create inter-coat adhesion problems. In these situations, we will occasionally recommend the client select a lower-grade of paint, like Benjamin Moore’s Ultra Spec. Its adhesion is less tenacious, a lower grade of paint will be less likely to cause existing paint to bubble and peel prematurely. This compromise can affect other aspects of the finished job (washability, fade-resistance, mildew-resistance, etc.) For clients whose houses have 12 coats of paint already and whose budgets don’t allow total chemical paint removal, this can be the best option.

We use a number of methods to apply paint, depending on what is needed. For larger, wide-open surfaces we use an airless paint sprayer in combination with back-rolling. If an area is too large to brush, but too small to justify masking-off for spraying, we simply roll it out. For skinny, small, or detailed areas, we use a variety of different brushes. For surfaces that require an extremely smooth surface (front doors, corbels, etc.) we use an HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) sprayer.

Large or small, Step Up Painting has the experience and expertise to give you the superior exterior paint job you deserve!

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