Exterior House Painting Tips - More Facing Off

I am going back to this subject because it is exterior painting season and this is an important tip for when you are getting your house painted.

There are two ways to paint the trim of your house. One is called facing off, which is essentially only painting the front of the trim board and leaving the edges the same colour as the main body of the house. The other is called wrapping around, which is taking the trim colour all the way around the trim board to cover the exposed edges of the trim board. Take a look at the photos below to see what I mean.

So why is this important? Because facing off is quick and easy to do and is often called a “painter’s cheat” because it can strip hours off of the time it takes to do an exterior paint job. It is especially easy when the main field of the house (your walls) are being sprayed. Wrapping the paint around requires cutting in along all the trim and it takes more time and more skill to do.

Before you start getting estimates for the exterior painting of your house, look at the trim and see how it has been painted. When you meet with your paint contractor to discuss the job make sure you are clear how you want the trim painted. It might not be a big deal for you, which means facing off could potentially save you a chunk of money on the exterior painting. It might also be something that the painter was hoping you wouldn’t notice so he could then come in with a lowball price.

Don’t let a painter tell you that it looks better faced off because you can’t get a straight line when you cut in, because of siding, shingles or stucco. That isn’t true. It just requires a better painter.

And if you are part of a committee or strata council that is getting estimates for the exterior painting of your complex, make sure the bid tender outlines whether the trim is to be faced off or wrapped around. This can make a big difference on price in a large multi-unit housing complex. It is not uncommon in large complexes to see a mix of both wrapping around and facing off in painting, either as a result of multiple paint contractors working on different buildings or painters just simply looking to cut corners. The key is to have consistency.



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