Top mistakes L.A.-area homeowners make when painting their homes

Top mistakes L.A.-area homeowners make when painting their homes

Painting your home’s exterior is more involved than picking the right paint and loading up on supplies. Two highly rated Los Angeles-area painting experts dish on the common mistakes homeowners can make when trying to paint without a professional.

Michael Bellotti of Michael Bellotti Painting in Los Angeles says the wrong primer or the lack of primer is one thing he sees often.

“Paint is formulated to bond to primer,” he says. “It’s not just covering it, there’s a chemical bonding. When the right primer’s on the right surface, then the paint really bonds to it rather than covering it.”

Bellotti says it’s important to remember that not all Los Angeles-area houses are made of the same materials, so knowing what primer to use is important.

“There’s a different primer for stucco than there is for wood,” he says.

Stucco, he explains, is porous and needs to be sealed differently than wood. Otherwise, “the paint just won’t hold on as long,” Bellotti says. “It might chip or peel off. It can always be corrected. There’s no permanent damage.”

Dan Dugan, owner of highly rated Wet Paint Company in Laguna Niguel, Calif., says he commonly sees homeowners who do not make the right preparations before getting out the rollers and brushes.

“Eighty percent of a good, quality paint job is the preparation,” he says. “When [homeowners] get stuck, it’s usually because they didn’t prep it right.”

Dugan says washing the home and outer surfaces well and covering surfaces with drop cloths to prevent paint damage is often forgotten.

“The best thing is to clean everything first and then cover everything really well,” he says.

Bellotti said another common misstep for homeowners is waiting too long to paint an exterior in need of a fresh coat.

“If the paint’s starting to fade and you paint it in a timely way, the wood survives,” he says. “But when it goes past a certain point, the oils and resins come out of the wood, and the wood is basically degraded and sometimes the wood needs to be replaced.”

Waiting too long isn’t a problem with stucco homes, Bellotti says, but waiting on wood can cause irreparable damage.

“You can never really bring it back if you go too far,” he says.


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