Many homeowners ask, “Is pressure washing necessary before painting?” The short answer is “yes.” While it may be tempting to skip this step, power washing ensures the surface is clean and ready to take on paint. This post will discuss why you should power wash your home before painting.

One of the most important reasons to power wash your home before painting is that it removes dirt and debris. These can build up over time and cause wood and masonry to break down. A power washer will remove all of this build-up, leaving you with a clean surface to paint, helping the paint to adhere better and making the finished product look better. While loose and peeling paint may break loose, power washing old paint off a house, is not recommended as it may damage the surface. Power washing is ideal for removing:

  • Dirt
  • Mold/Mildew
  • Pollen
  • Stains
  • Mud
  • Cobwebs
  • Insects
  • Bird Nests
  • Chalky Paint Residue from years of sunlight exposure

Should a house be pressure washed before painting exterior walls? 

When painting your house, you must have a clean, dry surface. Because water and cleaners are involved, power washing means your surface will be wet, and you will need to count on some time lapsing between pressure washing and applying your paint. But you don’t want to wait so long that it becomes dirty again. The length of wait time depends on the material’s surface, the outdoor humidity, and the temperature. Ideally, you will paint in spring or summer, and the surface will already have some protection from a previous paint job.

  • How long after pressure washing can you paint stucco? A day or two should suffice if you live in a sunny, dry area. However, it will take longer to dry if you live in a more humid area. If it’s spring, it may take a week, whereas in the summer, it may only be one or two days.
  • How long after pressure washing can you paint concrete? Again, it varies depending on the factors mentioned above. If the concrete has not previously been painted, it will take longer. To check for moisture, you can tape a piece of plastic to the concrete using duct tape. And if there is no condensation after 24 hours, the concrete is dry. If the concrete has been previously painted, it should only be a day or two.
  • How long to let wood dry after pressure washing? Assuming the wood has already been painted and the weather cooperates, you can paint one or two days after power washing. 

Should I power wash my house myself or hire it out?

We may be biased, but we’ve seen the difference professional power washing makes hundreds of times a year. This is why we recommend using a professional service to pressure wash your house before painting:

  • Professional pressure washing is powerful. While your house may not seem all that dirty, high-pressure, high-quality equipment that professional services use will reveal another reality.
  • Professional painters are experts at all types of house siding. They also know how much pressure to apply and what to use to wash exterior walls before painting. They have the right attachments and cleaning agents to ensure your siding isn’t damaged. 
  • They know drying time. A frequent cause of the paint failing is when the paint is applied before the siding is completely dry. Because so many factors go into how long it takes the surface to dry after power washing, it’s hard for inexperienced homeowners to know when their siding is completely dry. And there is no guarantee that the weather will hold out or that the siding will dry in the timeframe the homeowner needs to be able to complete the process.

The power washing and pre-painting process

Professional painters will take measures to protect your home and be very thorough. Here are the steps in the power washing process:

  1. Protect the surroundings. Professional painters will cover shrubbery, plants, and all exterior electrical outlets on the sides of the house to prevent water damage.
  2. Move items out of the way. Your painters will relocate items that may become damaged or cause injury to people, such as garden decor, hose reels, bikes, toys, or other items.
  3. Set up scaffolding, ladders, and other equipment.
  4. Power wash and let dry.
  5. Hand scrape loose and peeling paint. Bare Areas will be spot primed to ensure adhesion of the finish coats.

Professional power washing and painting services

When you are painting your home, you want it to look good, and you want it to last, but you also want it to be easy. ONiT Painting’s team has a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate, with over 4,000 projects completed. We are committed to the customer’s experience with responsive service, accurate estimates, and predictable outcomes. Contact us to get an estimate today.