Painting your house would be much easier if you didn't have to prep the walls first. However, you want a clean, smooth surface for the paint to roll over, or the paint job will look messy. Cleaning the walls takes time and that drives up the cost of professional painting. If you take care of the job yourself, the pros spend less time prepping and more time painting. Here are some things you can do.
Scrape Loose Paint
If you haven't painted your home in a long time, it could have a lot of loose, peeling paint, especially around the soffit. It may require a lot of elbow grease to scrape it all off, but it has to go. You don't need to scrape off all the old paint, just the parts that are bubbly and peeling. When you run your hand over the surface, it should be nice and smooth. You can use a paint scraper for this job, just be careful if you're scraping siding that you don't scratch it. If you need to scrape paint off a metal railing, you might have better luck with a wire brush.
Pressure Wash The House
Pressure washing makes it easy to knock off dirt and flaking paint. Just be careful not to use a high setting or you might cause some damage. If you're working on siding, be sure to use a gentle spray and hold the nozzle level so you don't shoot water under the panels. Use the pressure washer to go all around your house and wash it from top to bottom. Do this at least a couple of days before the painters arrive so the walls have plenty of time to dry. If you don't want to rent a pressure washer, just use a garden hose. You may also have to use a sponge and soapy water to get rid of stains and dirt. Just be sure to rinse the soap thoroughly.
Remove Mold And Algae
If part of your home is in the shade all day, it may have algae stains on it. A pressure washer might remove these. If it doesn't, you can buy an algae cleaner at the hardware store. Be sure to buy a product that can be used on the type of walls you have. For instance, if you're painting over vinyl, be sure the label says the cleaner is safe to use on vinyl.
Once your house is clean and ready to paint, the only thing left to do is make room for the painters before they arrive for the day. Remove outdoor furniture and potted plants so the painters can work and move ladders without anything getting in the way.
For more information, you will want to check out a website such as http://www.jmaintenanceco.com.