Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Vocational/House Painting, Exterior

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House Painting, Exterior
General Conference
Skill Level 3
Year of Introduction: 1938

1. Know and explain the difference in composition of exterior paints versus interior paints.[edit | edit source]

Paint is made for interior or exterior use, and they are made to have different characteristics.

Interior paint characteristics Exterior paint characteristics
Good scrubbing and stain resistance Color retention/fade resistance
Ability to hide/cover (whatever is being painted over) Flexible (expands or contracts with weather changes)
Spatter resistance Mildew resistance
Easy touch up Durability

2. Tell how to prepare the outside of a house for painting by doing such items as preparation for new and old work, paint removal, priming, puttying, finishing, etc.[edit | edit source]

Preparing the house for repainting, if done properly, almost always takes longer than the painting itself. It is also the most crucial step in the entire job, as it is the foundation upon which the rest of the work relies.

Inspection & Repair[edit | edit source]

Begin by making a careful inspection of the entire house. Look for cracked or rotted boards. Severely cracked or rotten boards will need to be replaced, and this may require that you get a building permit (check with local authorities). You cannot simply caulk over rotten wood, as this does nothing to stop the process of decomposition. Soon after you caulk and paint over rotted wood, you will find that even more has rotted, and you will have an even bigger job to do.

Check around the edges of the roof for flashing. All the fascia should be covered with metal flashing to protect the wood from weather. Doors and windows should also have drip edging to direct the water away from the openings and to the outside of the house's siding.

Remove any shutters from the house before painting. Shutters can be repaired (if necessary) and both sides painted while the painter is on ground level (use a drop cloth). They are rehung after the rest of the house has been painted. This allows the careful painter to paint behind the shutters. Though that area may not be visible to onlookers, it still requires the protection from the weather provided by paint, and it cannot be properly painted while the shutters are in place. The same can be said of the back side of the shutters themselves.

Cleaning[edit | edit source]

Once repairs have been made, the surfaces to be painted should be thoroughly cleaned. A pressure washer can do this effectively. Painting over dirt or algae growths is always a bad idea, as when the dirt flakes away, the paint will go with it and the house will be exposed to the elements. Do not rely on paint to cover the dirt and expect the paint to hold the dirt in place. It must be removed.

Ladders and Scaffolding[edit | edit source]

Scaffolding is superior to ladders for painting because it allows you to work on a larger area for a long time before you have to move it to another area. However, scaffolding is considerably more expensive than a couple of ladders, so this option may not be viable for you.

When setting up a ladder, be sure the feet are on level ground. If placing it on a hillside, place something solid under the lower foot to raise it up. Test the stability of the ladder before climbing higher than a step or two.

Most people fall from ladders because they are reaching out too far. Do not make that mistake, as a fall from a ladder can cause serious injury, or even death. Keep your weight centered over the ladder, and do not attempt to reach over too far. Getting down and moving the ladder frequently is far easier than spending a few days in the hospital, and the painting will get done quicker that way too.

Scraping and Sanding[edit | edit source]

After the exterior has been cleaned, it is time to begin removing the old paint. Paint that is well-adhered to the surface need not be removed, but all flaking paint must be. Paint should be scraped off with a scraper. In places where some paint is scraped off but other paint is well-adhered, the intersection between painted and unpainted should be sanded to make a smooth transition. Edges in the paint will cause the paint to drip there.

Caulking[edit | edit source]

In places where the wood has been lightly cracked, it is appropriate to fill in the cracks with caulking. Be sure to select a caulk that can be painted (not all of them can be - some repel paint). Smooth the caulk with a putty knife, allow it to dry, and then sand it down. Also caulk around windows, doors, electrical entrances, vents, water faucets, etc. How do professionals apply caulk?

Professionals follow a systematic approach to ensure a clean and effective caulking job. Here are the general steps they take:

1. Preparation 2. Selecting the right caulk 3. Cutting the caulk tube 4. Applying the caulk 5. Smoothing the caulk 6. Cleaning up

Masking[edit | edit source]

Apply masking tape to the glass near the edges of the panes. Alternately, you can go back and scrape paint from the glass after the paint dries, though it is generally better to mask it off in the first place. Be sure to remove the masking tape when the paint has dried (and before you take down the ladder or the scaffolding!)

Priming[edit | edit source]

Bare wood should have a coat of primer before the paint is applied. Primer is applied the same way paint is, so you can follow the instructions given below.

Painting[edit | edit source]

After all that has been done, you are finally ready to paint. Maybe. If the temperature is below 10°C50°F, do not begin painting. Also resist the urge if there is rain in the forecast. A light shower can quickly ruin a paint job. If the wood is damp, do not use oil-based paints, as the moisture will cause the paint to blister. Buy paint in large containers (20 liter5 gallon buckets are preferred) so that you can paint an entire section from one batch of paint (for color consistency). Paint for the trim (which should be painted last) can be bought in smaller containers.

Always open the paint container on a surface that will not be marred by a paint circle whose diameter matches that of the can (formed when paint drips down the sides and meets the ground). Use a dropcloth if necessary. You don't want to leave little paint circles on the driveway, porch, sidewalk, or lawn. Place the can in a place where you can easily reach it, but where you will not accidentally kick it over as you step back to admire your work. Admiration comes to an abrupt end when the can tips over.

Pry the lid from the can with a common screw driver or with a tool designed for this purpose. Place the lid next to the can so you are not likely to step on it and track paint everywhere. Shoe prints look even worse than the paint circles.

If the paint was mechanically shaken at the paint store within a day or so of being opened, all you will need to do is stir it briefly. If it has been sitting for a while, you will need to stir it more thoroughly. Failure to properly stir the paint may cause the color to change as the can is used. Stir the paint frequently while you are painting, as the paint components may separate as it sits (this is why you should stir it in the first place too).

Some painters like to punch a hole in the rim of the can so that paint can drip out of the rim and into the can. This hole will be completely covered by the lid when it is replaced, and can be made with an awl or with a nail.

When replacing the lid, be sure to wipe all the paint from the rim of the can. Place the lid on the rim, and then lightly tap around the edges to seal it. If the rim was insufficiently cleaned, paint will splatter all over the place, so it is important to do that job carefully.

If using a brush, dip the tip of the brush into the paint no more than a third the length of the bristles. Wipe the paint from one side of the brush onto the inner side of the can's rim. Then raise it to the surface to be painted and brush it on with a smooth horizontal motion.

Don't completely empty the brush before refilling it with paint. It takes a lot longer to paint a house with a brush that is empty most of the time.

3. List ten proper color schemes for house painting (if possible, use color charts from a paint shop in making the display).[edit | edit source]

Color Wheel

Before you go to the paint store, it might be a good idea to review color schemes. For this, we turn to the color wheel, which shows all the colors of the rainbow cycling from red, to yellow, to blue, and cycling back to red again. These are the primary colors and all the other colors in the wheel can be formed by mixing them together. If equal amounts of primary colors are mixed, we get a secondary color: red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green, and blue and red make violet.

Mixing a secondary color with an adjacent primary forms a tertiary color. For example, blue mixed with green makes blue-green.

Black and white are not considered colors, though they do affect the way colors look. Mixing white with a color produces a tint. Mixing black with a color produces a shade.

Many types of color schemes have been devised for all sorts of purposes, but we will focus on three:

  • Monochromatic
  • Complementary
  • Analogous

From these three recipes, you can easily make ten color schemes (just choose a couple of different "base" colors for each until you have ten).

Monochromatic[edit | edit source]

In this scheme, only one color is used, but various tints and shades are combined, such as blue, light blue, and dark blue. The painter may also use various tints, such as light blue, lighter blue, and a blue still lighter than that.

Complementary[edit | edit source]

Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange, red and green, purple and yellow.

The high contrast between the colors creates a vibrant look, especially when used at full saturation. Complementary colors can be tricky to use in large doses.

Analogous[edit | edit source]

Also called harmonious colors, are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Some examples are green, light green, and yellow or red, orange and yellow. Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are pleasing to the eye.

4. Tell how to prepare and paint metal properly.[edit | edit source]

All rust and flaking paint should be removed before applying new paint. Heavy flakes can be removed with a wire brush, or with a wire brush attachment for an electric drill. Once the heavy flakes and rust have been removed, go over the surface with sandpaper.

Next, determine what type of solvent is used for cleaning the paint. This will depend on the type of paint chosen, and could be turpentine, mineral spirits, paint thinner, or some other solvent. Dampen a clean rag with the solvent and clean the metal with it. Once the solvent dries, the surface is ready for primer. You may use either one or two coats of primer. Follow the directions on the can to determine the amount of time needed between coats. The time between coats of primer may differ from the time between the final coat of primer and the first coat of paint.

5. Name at least three paint thinners and give their specific uses.[edit | edit source]

Mineral Spirits[edit | edit source]

Mineral Spirits is a petroleum distillate commonly used as a paint thinner and mild solvent. Outside of the United States and Canada, it is referred to as white spirit. Painters use mineral spirits as an alternative to turpentine, one that is both less flammable and less toxic. Because of interactions with pigments, painters require a higher grade of mineral spirits than many industrial users, including the complete absence of residual sulphur.

It is used as a degreasing solvent and as a solvent in aerosols, paints, wood preservatives, lacquers, varnishes, and asphalt products. In western Europe about 60% of the total mineral spirits consumption is used in paints, lacquers and varnishes. Mineral spirits is the most widely used solvent in the paint industry. In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes after decorating. Its paint thinning properties enable brushes to be properly cleaned (by preventing the paint from hardening and ruining the bristles) and therefore enabling them to be re-used.

Turpentine[edit | edit source]

Turpentine (also called spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, wood turpentine, gum turpentine) is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin obtained from trees, mainly pine trees. As a solvent, turpentine is used for thinning oil-based paints and for producing varnishes.

Mineral Turpentine[edit | edit source]

Mineral turpentine, also known as turpentine substitute, turps substitute, or just turps is an inexpensive petroleum-based replacement for the vegetable-based turpentine. It is commonly used as a paint thinner for thinning oil-based paint and cleaning brushes, and as an organic solvent in other applications.

Acetone[edit | edit source]

Acetone can be used for thinning and cleaning fiberglass resins and epoxies. It is a strong solvent for most plastics and synthetic fibers, so it should not be used when it could come into contact with these materials.

It is ideal for thinning fiberglass resin, cleaning fiberglass tools and dissolving two-part epoxies and superglue before hardening. A heavy-duty degreaser, it is useful in the preparation of metal prior to painting; it also thins polyester resins, vinyl and adhesives. It easily removes residues from glass and porcelain.

6. Show ability to properly use brush, roller, and spray equipment in outside work.[edit | edit source]

Brush[edit | edit source]

Load the brush directly from the paint container as described previously. Be sure to force some paint between clapboards with the brush. Wipe the paint onto the surface, and then brush it out with two to four strokes. Latex should not be overbrushed, as this will leave brush marks in the finished surface. Reload the brush with paint as soon as the paint begins to lighten. It takes much longer to paint a surface with an empty brush than with a full one.

You should be able to tell whether you need to use horizontal or vertical strokes by considering the surface you are working on. On clapboards or horizontal siding, work the brush from side to side. Shingles should be painted with vertical strokes.

Roller[edit | edit source]

A roller should not be used on siding or clapboards. It should be reserved for flat surfaces such as masonry walls. Pour some paint from the container into the roller tray, filling it so that the paint covers about half the ramp. Place the roller at the top of the ramp, and roll it into the reservoir. At the end of the reservoir, lift the roller and carry it back to the top of the ramp. Then roll it down again. If you roll it back up, you will succeed in wetting the part of the roller that is already wet, and no paint will be loaded into the dry portion of the roller.

Then roll the paint onto the wall with broad up-and-down strokes. First you will apply the paint, then roll it out to a smooth finish. You can paint the edges and corners with a brush if necessary. When the roller is empty, reload it. An extension handle is a handy time saver that will allow you to paint a large vertical section of the wall.

Sprayer[edit | edit source]

Before using any spray equipment, carefully read and follow the instructions. Sprayers invariably cover more area than anticipated by the novice, so be careful to mask off a very large area adjacent to the surface to be painted. Use tarps and drop cloths for this, covering grass, shrubbery, and concrete. Move cars away from the house before starting. Mask all the glass on windows, not just the parts near the muntins and mullions (i.e., the pane separators). Cover roof shingles too.

Spray the paint on using several thin coats, allowing the paint to dry between each application. Houses are big, so you should be able to move on to another area while the coat dries. If you spray it on too thick, it will drip and look quite unprofessional. Clean spray equipment thoroughly when finished.

7. Paint the outside of a house with at least four rooms (if possible, make this a group project for a special-needs person in the church or community).[edit | edit source]

Ask your pastor if he knows of a person whose house needs to be painted. Because he makes regular visits to members in need, he should be aware of anyone who could use your assistance.

You will be supplying the labor for free, but the primer, paint, tape, and caulk may need to be purchased. There are several options available for this:

  • Ask the manager of a paint store to sponsor your project.
  • Ask your church board for money to cover the cost of materials.
  • Hold a fundraiser so you will have money to buy materials.
  • Ask the person whose house you are painting to pay for the materials.

In reality, you could use all four of these approaches. The paint store may agree to give a discount on the paint (or provide it free of charge). You could hold a fundraiser to cover part or all of the rest, or the church board could cover it, or the person who benefits could. There may also be other ways to pay for the materials too - use your imagination!

Be sure to do a good job. Be careful not to slop paint all over the shrubbery, windows, driveway, etc. People will be watching to see what kind of job you do - especially those who helped pay for the materials. Don't let them down.

Historical Notes[edit | edit source]

House Painting - Interior, House Painting - Exterior and Paperhanging were originally one honor called simply House Painting. They were separated into Housepainting and Paper Hanging in 1944, and then discontinued in 1956. They were re-introduced in 2002 as three distinct honors.

References[edit | edit source]