Beginning with the prep work and ending with last coat of paint or the finishing, an exterior paint job will last anywhere from one to two weeks. After completion, homeowners using low-quality paint will need to repaint every four or five years to keep it well maintained; homeowners using high-quality paint can go longer without a new coat -- usually about seven or eight years, depending on the type of paint and material.
When you go to the home improvement store, find out how much 12 gallons of the paint you want would cost, and that will help you determine your cost. Maybe it's a low-quality paint that costs $30, in which case you're looking at about $360 for paint. If you choose high-quality paint that costs around $70, your total paint cost could be closer to $840. Professionals also recommend that you add an extra 10 or 20 percent to your total square footage, depending on the type of siding you have. Some textures require extra paint because they're rough. This is especially true with wood and stucco siding.
For particularly heavy deposits of paint, heat may be more effective than muscle. One way to apply heat is with an electric paint remover, which is a device with a platelike heating element that "cooks" the paint and has a built-in scraper to pull it off. Wearing heavy gloves, hold the heating element against the surface until the paint sizzles. Pull the remover firmly over the surface. The attached scraper will pull off the cooked paint as you go.
Next, undercut the trim to create a gap (Photo 3). When you’re done, scrape any dirt or gunk out of the gap with a putty knife and blow out the dust using a vacuum or air compressor. To avoid staining the concrete, run at least three layers of masking tape under the wood. Apply repellent to all bare wood (Photo 4) including the underside (Photo 5). Bend a putty knife in a vise to make a handy tool for reaching into tight areas. Remove the tape right after application.
As you scrape, you may find that the wood has turned gray or black in some areas. Check for rot by probing these areas with a nail. Spots that are discolored but firm are simply weathered. Weathered wood doesn’t hold paint very well, so sand away the gray surface. If you find soft areas, you’ve got rot. Small, shallow soft spots can be dug out and repaired with a two-part filler such as Minwax High Performance Wood Filler. But when rot is deep and widespread, it’s best to replace the entire piece of wood.