The average American home has nine DIY projects that badly need attention.

A fresh coat of paint can renew your home’s value by giving it immediate curb appeal.

What is involved in exterior painting? Is it a simple weekend DIY project, or is more preparation required?

Let’s take a look.

Other services - Pressure washing

1. Prepare the Surface

Unlike fixing a leak or repairing a crack, an exterior paint job is not a simple DIY project that can get completed with a little effort and education.

Professional painters have the materials, experience, and safety knowledge that will make sure the job gets done beautifully and without disasters.

You will likely need a power sprayer, ladders, and even a power sander to get the job done right. There are also a lot of hidden costs that homeowners can overlook when budgeting their project.

If, however, you have a little knowledge and are eager to get to work, you will need to prepare your home for painting first.

A pressure washer with detergent can help you clean the siding. It is important to avoid damaging the wood and having water seep underneath windows and doors.

A detergent with mildewcide or a mixture of bleach and water can help you to remove and prevent mildew.

You will need to scrape away any loose paint using a wire brush or other method. Scraping wood is unnecessary if your paint is intact.

exterior house painting - caulking

2. Sanding and Caulking

Shop around for a surface compound appropriate for exterior surface use. Use it to repair any surface flaws, and sand the surface when the paint is dry.

The amount of prep and repairs will depend on the age and condition of your house. Be sure to remove any old peeling caulk. You may also need to remove old putty and apply a new glaze.

You will want to re-caulk around your door trim and windowsills. This will seal your home and also keep paint from seeping onto glass surfaces.


3. Prime Surfaces

It is important to prime the wood in any place where repairs have been made and there is raw, exposed wood.

Before you set to priming, you should lay drop cloths over areas like shrubs, flowerbeds, walks, and sidewalks.

While a professional painter will know which type of primer to use, a novice will have to do a little shopping. Look for something that can stand up to sunlight, water, and moisture. You will also want something that can withstand a change in temperature.

Certain circumstances may require special primers. You can apply the primer over new wood, bare wood, or over existing or dark colors.


4. Choose the Right Paint for Exterior Surfaces

The right type of paint will depend upon the surface you are painting.

If you are painting brick, for example, you will need top-quality latex paint that is formulated for use on masonry. Fresh stucco requires elastomeric paint that can expand with temperature. You will need two coats in most cases.

Exterior acrylic latex paint works best on aluminum siding. Choose a paint that is recommended for metal. A flat or satin finish will work best, as a finish with gloss will draw more attention to dents and other blemishes.

A wood surface is adaptable enough to receive either wood or oil-based paint. The best type of paint, however, will depend upon the type of wood you are painting. Talk to an expert at your home-improvement or painting specialty store on good choices for your home.

Stucco repair and painting - house

5. Applying the Paint

A lot of your prep will depend on your application method. We prefer to spray for a more professional finish, but it also requires more prep and masking. In some cases, special paints or reducers may be required.

If your house has siding, you will want to paint the siding first. Start at the top and paint horizontally as you work your way down. Remember that drips are inevitable, but this method will allow you to feather them out.

Overreaching on a ladder is dangerous, so you will need to move it regularly if you don’t have a scaffold.

Next, paint your windows and trim. Remember to leave your windows open to prevent sticking. Paint your foundation last.


dirty paint roller cleanup sm

6. Clean Up

Paint disposal methods will vary depending upon where you live. Check with your local environmental, health, and safety laws to make sure you know how to properly dispose of it. Most modern paints are water-based latexes. These can be washed with soap and warm water and in many cases are safe for the environment. Oil-based paints will require solvents for cleaning.

Always check the labels on the paint you are using for cleaning and disposal instructions.


exterior stucco painting on ladders

7. Professional Painters

Those without experience may find it worth a little extra expense to hire a professional painter.

Professional painters are acquainted with the physical strain that comes with painting an entire house. They will have all of the equipment necessary for prep and cleanup work.

The right professional painter will be able to recommend a brand and type of paint so you will not have to research and shop around before you start.

Professional painters have experience getting work done professionally and efficiently. They have the experience that can only get learned on the job.

You may get met with obstacles during your painting job. You may, for example, have a tree that needs trimming or a gutter in need of repair. Professional painters will have dealt with these situations before and know exactly how to handle them.

The right professional painter will be insured… Always ask for proof before you hire them. This will allow you to rest easy in case there is an accident or injury. If they are not covered, then YOU will be liable if someone gets hurt.

Ask your family and friends for recommendations and look up online reviews before hiring. If a lot of former customers are saying the same thing, you can have a good idea of what your experience will be like.


Steps for Exterior Painting

Exterior painting is more than a simple DIY project. Prepping, priming and the right techniques and equipment are all required.

For more information on professional painting services, contact us today.