Painting the Trim on My Home

Answered by Jeffrey ~ November 29, 2010 ~ Comments

My one-story 1600 square foot red brick home has white trim. Painting involves eaves, eight windows with wood shutters, three doors and a single car garage door. I'm afraid of ruining the brick if I do the painting. If it's not too expensive I'll hire a painting contractor. The trim just needs some wire brushing. I need either rough cost ideas or painting tips.

Terri O. ~ Brick Danville, Virginia

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Terri, Exterior painting can be a tough job, but with having a fairly small one story home it shouldn't be too bad. Most of the prep work and painting can probably be done with a 6 foot step ladder and a small extension ladder.

A wire brush will be handy and you might want to invest in a paint scraper. They are pretty inexpensive and can be had at just about any home improvement or paint store. You would also need a few sanding blocks so the trim can be sanded after you're done scraping and wire brushing.

You are correct in being concerned with getting paint on your red brick. Once paint gets on brick it can be very difficult getting it out of all the nooks and crannies and in some cases it just has to weather off. Fortunately there are a few painting tips for painting around brick. I would get a few rolls of wide painter's tape which is also available at most hardware and paint stores. It's available in several widths and made so that it can easily be removed when the job is done without leaving any residue.

Apply tape over all of your brick next to the trim and shutters you'll be painting so that if your brush slips, the paint will hit the tape and not the brick. I would also use a small angled brush for those areas right next to the brick; perhaps a 2 inch or 2 1/2 inch and you'll find that makes it pretty easy to control the bristles when painting in a delicate area.

I recommend a latex paint for easy clean up and some manufacturers have products for exterior painting now that don't require a prime coat. It's a little more expensive than regular paint, but it can save you the labor and material for a coat of paint.

This time of year you want to start a little later in the morning to allow any frost or moisture to disappear and stop early enough that the paint has a chance to dry before the temperature drops in the evening.

The cost for a painting contractor to do the work is difficult to arrive at without seeing the project, but I'm familiar with the Danville, Virginia area and you should be able to get a very competitive price there. My ball park price for the work would be somewhere around $1,400-$1,800 and I figured soffits in there as I'm assuming that if your eaves need painted, the soffits probably do as well. That price range could vary quite a lot depending on the job site and how much prep work does or doesn't need to be done; I figured on the high side.

The best way to get an accurate idea of costs is to have a few local painting contractors come out to look at the job and give you estimates. Getting cost estimates does not obligate you in any way and it can give you a very accurate budget for the job. I recommend you choose the paint you want them to use so everyone prices the job with the same paint and make sure you have experienced painting contractors look at the project or you may have to worry about them getting paint on your brick.

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