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Preparing to Paint the Exterior of Your House: An Interview with Bonnie McCaffrey of Phoenix Painting of Greater Hartford, LLC

By Bonnie McCaffrey

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Phoenix Painting of Greater Hartford is a full-service painting contractor. We offer interior and exterior painting for both the residential and commercial markets, including power washing and deck staining. Our specialties include ceiling repairs, as well as the painting of aluminum and vinyl siding.

What do homeowners in Connecticut need to do before they have the exterior of their house painted?

The first step is to decide how they want the house to look when it's finished. Do they want to paint the house, the soffit (the wide flat board running along below the roof) and gutters all one color, or would they prefer the soffit white? Do they want to include doors, windows, shutters and any other outside structures? If they call us, we can come out to assist them with color choices and any questions they may have.

What are the basic options that people have when it comes to the paint and materials?

The products used depend on the house itself. Generally, wooden and asbestos clapboards require paint, a house made of cedar shingles or boards needs to be stained. We always visually inspect a home to determine the correct process required. Today's paint and stain products are far superior to those in the past.

How does having a house with aluminum or vinyl siding affect the painting process?

Aluminum and vinyl sidings require a coating that includes a bonding agent - more for aluminum than for vinyl. otherwise, the painting process is similar to painting on wood.

Can you briefly describe the main steps involved in the process of painting the exterior of a home? How long does everything typically take?

The main steps include the removal of any items such as shutters, gutters and decorations, then moving everything away from the walls. Power washing is next. Then prep work, such as scraping, sanding, priming and caulking is completed. Bushes and other plants are covered as needed. Finally, the main body of the house, any trim and decorative work is done. Afterward, everything is returned to its proper place. And always - neatness, safety and care for the homeowners possessions is first priority.

A basic cape or colonial should take between three to five days, depending on the complexity. More time may be required to paint a much larger structure.

Do you have any tips for people in Connecticut when it comes to exterior house painting?

Extreme temperatures (high or low) as well as painting when conditions are wet is not recommended. Proper warm, dry weather conditions will go a long way toward an exterior paint job that stands the test of time.

Always check to be sure a contractor has a legitimate license! There are many people out there who make them up. The state has an online record of legitimate contractors for homeowners to search.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

There are three ways to get in touch with Phoenix Painting of Greater Hartford, LLC:
Give us a call at (860) 818-1260
Email us at

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