{exterior paint prep: how much scraping do you really need?}


The unfortunate truth about repainting the exterior of your home is that it’s a multiple-step process. You aren’t painting on a “blank canvas,” so you can’t treat it that way. The painter must evaluate how much scraping, sanding, and priming needs to be done in order for the finished product to look polished and refreshed.

paint scraper

However, thanks to the advances in paint (and related products), some of these steps can be cut down – or cut out altogether.  So here’s a primer on scraping and sanding – and not always needing primer.

  • How much scraping is enough?
    As a rule of thumb, you can stop scraping when the surface is no longer flaking. Remember, the paint must bond to the surface, and if that surface is loose and flaky, then the new paint has nothing to cling to. Be sure the surface is clear of loose paint chips and debris to get the best adhesion.
  • Do you need to sand after scraping?peel bond
    If the scraping is done efficiently, most painters will not be able to detect the edges of pre-existing paint on the surfaces. Various woods have unique qualities, but overall, sanding is not a necessary step in painting an exterior. Another alternative to endless scraping is a product called “Peel Bond” by XIM that we sell at all of our Hirshfield’s stores.  It’s a bonding primer that goes on clear and essentially “glues down” the edges of the existing paint to create a smooth, ready-to-repaint surface.
  • Do you have to apply a primer?
    Paint technology has advanced over the past decade – so much that priming can pretty much be treated like a step from the past. A number of our exterior paints are self-priming – meaning they are thick enough and forgiving enough that two coats should do the job, including Hirshfield’s Platinum exterior. In fact, you can also use all-in-one paints for most interior jobs, except when you are painting on bare wood, bare sheetrock, or something unusual like old wallpaper paste.
  • How late in the year can you paint an exterior?
    If you put off your painting project until the fall, make sure you don’t wait too long. Here in Minnesota, professional painters can work on exteriors into early November – if the weather holds. Latex paint is best applied between 50°- 85° F, and 40% to 70% humidity is the right range to ensure that the paint dries properly.

For more tips on painting your exterior, stop by your local Hirshfield’s to talk to our paint experts. We offer a wide selection of paint for your exterior painting projects.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

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