Believe it or not, there is more that goes into house painting than putting paint on a wall. There is prep work, clean up, priming and other details that must be addressed, which should be included in your initial quote. Before you sign on the dotted line with a painting contractor, you should get a detailed quote that lists all the steps being taken and how much each service will cost, including:
If there is any peeling — and there usually is somewhere — it's essential to scrape off any loose paint. This doesn't just mean the parts that are already separated from the wood and ready to fall off on their own. Each spot where paint has peeled loose needs to be scraped thoroughly until you can no longer get the sharp corner of a putty knife under any of the surrounding edges of paint. Then, the bare spot needs to be sanded until the paint edges are smooth.
Protect exterior surfaces from damage by the sun, rain, wind and snow: When your house is exposed to various elements over the years, it will probably experience damage of some sort. Painting the exterior of your home can quickly fix any worn-down siding, chipped paint or anything else that needs updating. This also protects your house from those same elements for the next few years, keeping your home safe and sturdy.
More recently, professional painters are responsible for all preparation prior to painting. All scraping, sanding, wallpaper removal, caulking, drywall or wood repair, patching, stain removal, filling nail holes or any defects with plaster or putty, cleaning, taping, preparation and priming are considered to be done by the professional contracted painter.
For particularly heavy deposits of paint, heat may be more effective than muscle. One way to apply heat is with an electric paint remover, which is a device with a platelike heating element that "cooks" the paint and has a built-in scraper to pull it off. Wearing heavy gloves, hold the heating element against the surface until the paint sizzles. Pull the remover firmly over the surface. The attached scraper will pull off the cooked paint as you go.
Start by thoroughly examining the outside of the house or outbuilding -- not just the exterior walls but under the eaves, around windows and doors, and along the foundation. Look for split shingles and siding, popped nails, peeling or blistering paint, mildew, and rust stains. Once you've identified the areas that need attention, roll up your sleeves and make the repairs.