These are the best ways to restore dull, chipped and damaged paint
The exterior and interior walls of our homes endure a lot of wear and tear. From children’s art projects, pets scratching, dings from moving furniture or vacuuming, they make your home look less new. You can easily revive those areas with some TLC and touch-up paint.
“Over time paint can crack and become damaged from sun rays, rain, cold and heat,” said Joe Campbell, owner, Arizona Painting Company.
Run your hand over the stucco on the south and west side of your house. If chalking paint comes off, that is a sign the paint coating has completely broken down and has literally turned to dust. If stucco comes off, it’s time to get it repaired.
Inspect the stucco for cracks around the windows, corners, and along the foundation. If there are cracks larger than a business card it’s time to paint. Those cracks will allow water to infiltrate and can create a larger issue with a leak.
Peeling paint under the eaves (soffits) and wood trim (fascia) is common and a sign the wood is not protected. “Leaving this untreated will likely result in the wood rotting which will need to be replaced,” said Campbell.
In areas where there are gaps in the wood trim, repair them by caulking, re-nailing the wood, and smoothing out the caps. This step will prevent water infiltration and future wood rotting. Rotted wood is commonly seen in areas that have been left unprotected. Check the eaves around the patio and the corners of trim. Dark areas may be “dry rot” that needs to be replaced prior to painting.
“If you have wood siding, make sure to check near the foundation,” said Campbell.
“We commonly see this start to ‘bow out’ or bend when it’s time to paint. Cracks will start to appear between each siding panel.”
Peeling paint or bare concrete is ugly and a true early indicator of whether a paint job might need to be scheduled.
Patio or entry ceiling
If your patio ceiling is covered in drywall, inspect it for loose tape seams, cracks, and poor texture. Cracks need to be repaired or it will result in a larger repair. Tip – do not hose off your patio ceiling. You could cause more damage.
Cleaning the surface
Safety Tip – When chipping or scrapping paint, wear a respirator and eye protection. Power washing can rid the exterior paint of sand and dirt that may eat away and damage the paint job. Read the power washer’s manual first to avoid further damage, or hire a professional.
For smaller surfaces, use a soft brush and detergent, working up and down to softly clean your paint, getting in the nooks and crannies. Before tackling a large area, test the cleaning solution on a small area to make sure it will not damage the paint.
Use a duster or microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris that has dulled the paint’s appearance. Dusting will make cleaning more effective.
Campbell suggests removing scuffs with a wet cloth or wipe. Depending on the paint finish, some marks will come off easily. If not, use mild dish soap. For stubborn stains, ammonia, vinegar, or baking soda diluted with water will work in most cases.
Never mix ammonia with bleach. The fumes are toxic and the mixture will destroy the paintwork. Avoid using bleach or coarse scrubbing brushes. Open the windows during and after cleaning for ventilation.
If you encounter mold, don’t mess with it. Hire a professional mold remediator to remove it.
Do not allow the wall to dry naturally. You will end up with water stains. Towel-dry each section as you finish cleaning.
Touching up paint
If the imperfections don’t come off with simple cleaning tactics then consider concealing them with a touchup layer of paint.
“One of the biggest and most common mistakes when it comes to retouching paint is selecting a different shade than the original paint,” said Campbell. “This could make the situation worse by painting over an imperfection with mismatched paint.”
Campbell recommends using the original paint color and tool used to put down the original paint coat. If a roller was used, then use that for the touch-up. The same goes for paintbrush, sprayer, and so on. This will help the paint blend.
Another trick is to dilute the paint slightly with water for a seamless blend. This will make the touch up less noticeable since thinner paint looks nicer than a patch of thick paint.
Stir the paint thoroughly, especially if it has been sitting in the garage or other non-conditioned storage closet for a long period of time. You want the paint to be as smooth as possible for a nice, clean look once it dries.
For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 35 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the Rosie on the House radio program from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays on KTAR-FM (92.3) in Phoenix, 9 to 11 a.m. on KAFF-AM (930) in Flagstaff, and 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson.