April 26, 2022

DIY Guide: Prepping Gutters, Fascias, Soffits and Eaves

Gutters - Feature Image

Prepping gutters, fascias, soffits and eaves

Like any surface, gutters, fascias, soffits and eaves, preparation is done before painting. Preparing will ensure an even finish, and provide a long lasting stick. Not making the right preparations before painting causes unsatisfactory results.

The process of preparing these surfaces is quite simple, mostly being cleaning. Getting rid of any debris and residue on the surfaces will ensure that the primer will stick. Furthermore you should look out for any damage on the surfaces. Damages typically appear as rust damage, chips and rotted wood. Addressing these problems should take place before starting any paint job.

Upon finishing repairs you will have a solid foundation for a painting project. Furthermore this prepping will help extend the longevity of the home and its value.

Materials needed for the project

The tools required for prepping depend on the extent of the damage as well as the surfaces you are working with. But there are several staple tools that every painter will work with. These tools are as listed:

  1. Ladder: A sturdy ladder is necessary to reach the high areas.
  2. Pressure washer or scrub brush and cleaning solution: To clean the surfaces.
  3. Paint scraper: To remove any loose or peeling paint.
  4. Sandpaper or sanding block: To smooth out rough surfaces and edges.
  5. Wood filler: To repair any damaged areas, such as rotted wood.
  6. Primer: To create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to.
  7. Paint: To provide the final finish.
  8. Paintbrushes and rollers: To apply the primer and paint.
  9. Drop cloths: To protect the ground and surrounding areas from paint drips and splatters.

Having these tools prepared makes it much easier to work consistently rather than having to be interrupted.

Cleaning surfaces

Cleaning surfaces is not always satisfying, but it is a non negotiable. An unclean surface will ruin your chances of having an even and smooth paint finish. 

Before cleaning any of these surfaces it is important to make safety precautions. Some of these precautions include:

  • Using protective eyewear
  • Secured ladders
  • Appropriate footwear

The most effective way to clean most surfaces is by using a cleaning   and a pressure washer. This dynamic duo loosens tough dirt and grime and blasts it away. And for those who don’t have a pressure washer, you will have to make do with a scrubbing brush and garden hose.

The steps for washing with the following steps.

Using a pressure washer:

  1. To protect yourself, put on work gloves and eye protection.
  2. Turn on the pressure washer after connecting it to a water supply.
  3. Starting at the top and working your way down, wash each area.
  4. Hold the nozzle at an angle to prevent driving water under the fascia or soffit, and keep the nozzle moving to avoid scratching the surface.
  5. Rinse well with fresh water.

Using a garden hose:

  1. To protect yourself, put on work gloves and eye protection.
  2. Assemble a bucket of warm, soapy water, and connect the garden hose’s spray nozzle to it.
  3. Use the outdoor hose to wet the surfaces.
  4. Scrub the surfaces after dipping a scrub brush into the soapy water.
  5. Starting at the highest point and working your way down, then rinse the surfaces.
  6. Rinse well with clean water.

Following these steps will ensure your gutters, fascias, soffits and eaves are squeaky clean.

Repairing damage

Now that the surfaces are clean, they are also ready to have any damages repaired. These repairs include filling in any cracks, holes and repairing rotted wood.

Applying putty:

  1. To protect yourself, put on work gloves and eye protection.
  2. Remove any loose or flaking paint with a scraper or sandpaper to reveal the damaged area
  3. Using the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the putty.
  4. Apply the putty to the affected area using a putty knife.
  5. Utilising a putty knife, smooth the putty and allow it to completely dry.
  6. To create a smooth surface, sand the repaired area.

Applying caulk:

  1. To protect yourself, put on work gloves and eye protection.
  2. Remove any loose or flaking paint with a scraper or sandpaper to reveal the damaged area.
  3. Use a nail or wire to pierce the inner seal by cutting the caulk tube’s tip at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Caulk should be applied in a bead to the damaged region, covering the entire area.
  5. To smooth the caulk, use a finger or a caulk smoothing tool.
  6. As directed by the manufacturer, allow the caulk to dry completely.

It is important to allow time for drying in order for good seals to form. A proper seal will ensure a better finish as well as preserving the longevity of the surfaces.

Sanding surfaces

In order for paint to stick to a surface that is smooth, sanding is required. Sanding a smooth surface creates grit and texture for primers to form a bond while allowing paint to stick better. 

  1. Depending on the surface you’re sanding, choose the right grit of sandpaper. For instance, sand wood surfaces with a coarser grit and metal surfaces with a finer grit.
  2. To generate a flat and even sanding surface, use a sanding block or sandpaper wrapped around a sanding sponge.
  3. To create a smooth surface, sand the area either along the surface’s length or in the direction of the grain.
  4. To avoid harming the surface, sand with gentle pressure.
  5. To make a smooth and equal transition, sand any uneven or rough edges or corners with finer grit sandpaper.
  6. After sanding, wipe away any dust or debris from the surface with a moist cloth.
  7. Before proceeding to the following stage, allow the surface to dry.

Sanding should always be even, consistent and gentle. This is to not allow certain parts of the surface to be more or less worn down than other parts. As mentioned earlier, using the right grit of sandpaper is vital to keeping the surface in good condition. A grit that is too coarse may result in severe damage to metal gutters increasing the likelihood of rusting.

Priming surfaces

Priming a surface is a must inorder to create the bond required for paint to stick. Primer also creates a smooth canvas for paint ensuring less bumps and defects. Furthermore, it is important to note that there are several types of primer to account for when painting a surface. Using the wrong primer can result in flaking paint, discolouration and more.

  1. Zinc-rich primers – These primers are applied to steel surfaces to prevent corrosion and serve as a sacrificial barrier.
  2. Epoxy primers – Are used to increase adhesion, offer corrosion protection, and withstand chemical and water damage on a variety of surfaces, including concrete, metal, and wood.
  3. Acrylic primers – These primers are used to increase adhesion and offer protection against UV rays and weathering on wood, stone, and metal surfaces.
  4. Alkyd primers – Are used to give superior adhesion, durability, and corrosion resistance on wood and metal surfaces.
  5. Polyurethane primers: Used to offer great adhesion, chemical resistance, and durability on a variety of surfaces, including metal, wood, and plastic.
  6. Silicone primers – Used to increase adhesion and offer protection against UV rays and weathering on a variety of surfaces, including glass and metal.

Conclusion

By following these steps you will have finally created a foundation for painting your gutters, fascias, soffits and eaves. The results will include smoother paint, long lasting colours and more resistant surfaces. By cleaning your surfaces, sanding them and priming correctly you too can achieve these results on your own.

If you would like a professional to do this instead, we recommend our own team of professional painters. Our painters are skilled in residential, commercial and industrial painting. Call us today at 0477000715 or email us at hello@ucrampainting.com.au.

In this article:
Gutters, fascias, soffits and eaves are integral to exterior paint yet many do not know how to prep properly. So here is a simple guide!
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