How to Fix Peeling Paint on the Outside of Your House

Peeling Back the Layers of Your Home’s Exterior Woes

Have you ever glanced at your house and noticed the paint starting to curl up like it’s trying to escape?

Or maybe you’ve touched a seemingly solid section of your exterior, only to have flakes fall off like autumn leaves?

If these scenarios sound familiar, you’re about to embark on a journey that will not only solve these issues but also arm you with the knowledge to prevent them in the future.

This post will guide you through the ins and outs of how to fix peeling paint on the outside of your house, ensuring your abode in Ann Arbor, MI, stands out for all the right reasons.

By the end, you’ll have all the tools and tips you need to give your house an exterior painting facelift that lasts.

House with peeling paint all over the exterior which raises the cost



Why Does Paint Peel?

Peeling paint on your home’s exterior isn’t just an eyesore; it’s a cry for help from your house.

In Ann Arbor, MI, where the weather can go from one extreme to another, understanding why paint peels is the first step to a long-term solution.


Moisture: The Primary Culprit

Peeling paint on a ceiling around a light

Moisture is the arch-nemesis of a durable paint job.

When water infiltrates the paint surface, it disrupts the bond between the paint and the wood, leading to peeling.

  • External sources: Rain, snow, and high humidity are usual suspects, soaking into wood and causing paint to lift.

  • Internal sources: Moisture can also come from inside the house, especially in areas with poor ventilation, pushing through the walls and peeling the paint from the inside out. If you’ve got peeling paint on the inside of your home, be sure to read our blog on how to fix peeling paint on a ceiling.


Moisture’s role in causing paint peeling is undeniable, making it crucial to address both external and internal sources to fix peeling paint effectively.


The Role of Paint Quality

Not all paints are created equal, especially when it comes to withstanding Ann Arbor’s climate.

Using latex paint can make a significant difference.

You should also invest in high-quality paint from a reputable paint manufacturer, such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, or Behr.

  • Latex paint is favored for its flexibility and ability to expand and contract with the wood, reducing the risk of exterior paint peeling.

  • High-quality paint is an investment in your home’s exterior, offering better adhesion and resistance to extreme weather conditions.


Preparation and Application Errors

A flawless paint job begins long before the first coat is applied.

Proper surface preparation and application techniques are non-negotiable for preventing peeling.

  • Surface preparation: Cleaning and sanding the exterior surfaces to remove loose paint and ensure the surface is smooth and ready for painting.

  • Application techniques: Avoid painting in extreme temperatures or when the surface isn’t completely dry.

  • Use a primer: Applying a primer before the top coat ensures better adhesion.



Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Before diving into the repair process, gathering the right tools and materials is crucial for a successful fix.

Here’s what you’ll need to tackle peeling paint on your home’s exterior effectively:

  • Paint scraper: Essential for removing loose and peeling paint from exterior surfaces.

  • Wire brush: Helps clean off any remaining old paint and smooth out the surface.

  • Sandpaper: Use various grits to sand the surface smooth after scraping.

  • Patching material: For filling any cracks or holes before applying a fresh coat of paint.

  • Putty knife: Aids in applying the patching material evenly.

  • Primer: Prepares the wood for painting, ensuring better adhesion of the new paint.

  • High-quality exterior paint: Choose an outdoor paint that matches the existing paint or gives your home a new look.

  • Paint brush, roller, and/or sprayer: For applying both primer and paint evenly across surfaces.


Incorporating these tools and materials into your repair process will ensure that the paint peeling is addressed properly, leaving your home looking fresh and well-maintained.



Step-by-Step Guide to How to Fix Peeling Paint On Outside of House

How to fix peeling paint on walls by scraping it off first


Step 1: Preparation

The key to a long-lasting paint job is thorough preparation.

Start by using a paint scraper and wire brush to remove all the loose and flaking old paint from the exterior surfaces.

You can also sand the flaking paint away with 80 to 100-grit sandpaper.

Scraping off the old paint and cleaning the wall is very important.

Anything that gets between the paint and the wall can cause the paint to peel or crack more quickly.

This is why you’ll want to know how to clean painted walls properly.

This step ensures that you’re working with a clean, smooth base for the new outdoor paint to adhere to.


Step 2: Patching and Sanding

After scraping, you may find imperfections such as cracks or holes in the wood.

Use patching material and a putty knife to fill these areas, creating a level surface.

Once the patching material is dry, sand the patched area smooth with 220-grit sandpaper, blending the patched spots with the surrounding surface.

You may have to patch and sand multiple times to get it even.

This is especially true if a large portion of the wall is peeling.

The sanding helps everything to stick together better.

It gives a rough surface for the paint and primer to grab onto.

It’s like people trying to hold onto a slick ice cube versus a gritty rock!


Step 3: Cleaning and Priming

Before applying any paint, it’s crucial to clean the repaired area thoroughly.

A clean surface will allow the primer and paint to adhere better, reducing the likelihood of future peeling.

Wipe the area down with a damp cloth to remove dust or other debris.

After cleaning, apply a primer designed for exterior use, setting a solid foundation for the top coat.


Step 4: Painting

Now, it’s time to start painting.

Apply paint using a brush, roller, or sprayer, starting with a thin layer and allowing it to dry completely.

For the best results and durability, apply a second coat, ensuring your home’s exterior is protected and looking its best.

By following these steps and using the right tools and materials, you can effectively fix peeling paint on your home’s exterior, enhancing your house’s curb appeal and protecting it from the elements.

If you’d prefer a professional to handle these steps, you can learn more about the cost of exterior painting here.



Preventing Peeling Paint

House exterior after painting

Ensuring your home’s exterior remains vibrant and peel-free involves more than just addressing the current issues.

Preventative measures can save you time, effort, and money in the long run, especially in the variable Ann Arbor climate.


Regular Maintenance

Routine checks and upkeep are your first line of defense against peeling paint.

  • Annual inspections: Look for signs of wear, such as chipped paint or loose paint, and address them promptly.

  • Cleaning: Use a power washer gently on exterior surfaces to remove dirt and grime that can lead to paint damage.


Moisture Control

Keeping moisture at bay is crucial for maintaining a pristine paint job.

  • Gutter maintenance: Regularly clean your gutters to prevent water buildup or ice dams that allow moisture to seep into your siding.

  • Proper ventilation: Ensure your attic, including soffit vents and siding vents, is well-ventilated to reduce moisture accumulation that can affect your paint.


Quality Materials

As noted above, investing in the right materials can significantly extend the life of your paint job.

  • High-quality paint: Opt for exterior paint designed to withstand UV rays and extreme weather conditions.

  • Primer: Always use a primer on bare wood or repaired areas for better adhesion and protection against moisture.


Proper Application Techniques

How you apply paint can impact its longevity and resistance to peeling.

  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Paint adheres best when applied in mild weather conditions. Extreme heat or cold can lead to poor adhesion.

  • Apply paint correctly: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying paint. Start with a thin layer and allow it to dry completely before adding a second coat.


By incorporating these preventative strategies, you can ensure your home’s exterior stays looking fresh and free from flaking paint.

Regular maintenance, moisture control, using quality materials, and adhering to proper application techniques are key to a long-lasting, beautiful paint job that withstands Ann Arbor’s diverse weather conditions.



Special Considerations

A house exterior with peeling paint


When tackling peeling paint on your home’s exterior, certain materials and conditions require special attention to ensure a lasting paint job.

Here’s what residents of Ann Arbor, MI, need to keep in mind.


Dealing with Different Materials

Different exterior materials react uniquely to paint, affecting how you approach the repair process.

  • Wood: Ensure bare wood is properly sealed with primer before painting. Wood is prone to moisture absorption, leading to peeling if not properly prepared.

  • Metal surfaces: Remove any rust with a wire brush and apply a rust-inhibitive primer to prevent further corrosion before painting.

  • Masonry: For porous surfaces like brick or concrete, use a masonry primer to ensure the paint adheres well and lasts longer.


Addressing Wood Grain Issues

Wood grain can also significantly impact paint adhesion and longevity.

  • Vertical vs. horizontal grain: Wood with a vertical grain tends to hold paint better and is less likely to experience moisture-related peeling.

  • Treatment for flat-sawn surfaces: If dealing with flat-sawn wood, which is more prone to peeling due to its wide grain pattern, consider sanding it down and applying a special bonding primer that gives wood more grip before painting.


By understanding these special considerations and preparing your home’s exterior surfaces accordingly, you can achieve a more durable and attractive finish.

Whether you’re dealing with wood, metal, or masonry, the right prep work and materials are key to preventing future peeling and maintaining the beauty of your Ann Arbor home.



Give Your Home a Facelift with Tribble Painting Company

Throughout this guide, you’ve learned the ins and outs of tackling peeling paint, from identifying the root causes to executing a flawless repair.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to protect and beautify your home’s exterior, ensuring it stands up to Ann Arbor’s unpredictable weather.

Tribble Painting Company specializes in transforming homes just like yours, offering professional solutions to all your exterior painting challenges.

Our expertise as house painters in Ann Arbor ensures that your paint job not only looks fantastic but also lasts, saving you time and money in the long run.

Ready to give your home the attention it deserves?

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call.

Let Tribble Painting Company help you achieve the perfect exterior that your home is waiting for.

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