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Along with using high-quality paint, proper preparation is the most important part of the whole process. Improper preparation will result in the paint cracking and peeling not very long after the job is finished.

The first thing you need to do is to perform a thorough examination around the entire exterior of the house to determine what areas need the most attention. Look particularly for areas that are peeling and chipping. Look also for discolored or rotting areas, which is indicative of damage from water leaks. These areas are also especially prone to contain mildew. It's important to completely repair any water leaks or other sources of moisture, and also remove all mildew, before you begin priming.

After your examination, a good place to start is to pressure wash the entire exterior. Spend the most time on the areas that are chipping but also go over the rest of the house to remove dirt, cobwebs, and anything else that might be mucking up the surface. A clean surface is absolutely necessary to have before priming or painting.

Next, look for any areas that need to be recaulked. Look for cracks in the corners of the trim and where the trim meets the walls, and around doors and windows. Also look for small holes or cracks on the surfaces of the exterior and use spackle to fill them.

The next thing to do is to scrape any remaining loose paint that didn't come off with the pressure washing, and then sand down the areas that were scraped in order to get a more even surface. You also need to sand down any areas that you spackled. You must be careful with this part. If your house was built before 1980 there is a chance that the finish contains lead paint. If this is so, you must take extra precautions.

After the sanding, you need to clean the surface of any dust left over from the sanding. No need to pressure wash again, just run a hose over the sanded area or use a duster to clean the surface off. If it is a wood surface you are cleaning, make sure to wait a few days for it to completely dry before priming.

With a clean and caulked exterior, you are now ready for priming. Choose a top quality exterior primer to ensure that the paint finish will last and look beautiful for several years.

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