When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
The last big decision is how to apply the paint. Most pros use paint sprayers because they're fast, but in inexperienced hands a high-powered sprayer can leave drips, thin coats, and a mist that may land on many things other than your siding. If you do hire a painter who uses a sprayer, make sure he is meticulous about removing, covering, or masking off everything in the area that might get hit with overspray: gutters, roofs, windows, shrubbery, walkways, cars—you name it.
Concrete walls must always be prepared before painting, but in some cases previous finishes will also have to be removed so that paint doesn't peel or chip off. Additionally, special sealants, primers and paints may be applied to ensure concrete's endurance in face of the specific elements. Depending on the wall's condition and exposure to the sun, painting professionals will usually estimate between $500 (~250 sq. ft.) and $2,000 (~1,000 sq. ft.), depending on wall area to cover.
A professional painter will help you select an exterior paint designed for long-lasting results, superior protection, and ample coverage. Higher quality paint requires fewer coats and lasts far longer, saving you money down the road. Oil or latex paints in a flat/matte or satin finish make excellent choices for the exterior of your home. These paints will endure extreme weather conditions, can be customized to your specific climate, and are ideal for painting siding.