Exterior painting is harder than it looks. However, with some basic preparation, you can paint the exterior of your home like a pro.
Keep reading to discover the best tips and tricks for painting the exterior of your home, including choosing the right paint, doing prep work, and adding finishing touches.
Choose a Dry Day: There’s a reason exterior painting companies are busy in the summer. Dry days are ideal for painting. Check the weather report to make sure there’s little rain and low humidity in your forecast. If you paint during a wet or humid day, then paint will not dry properly.
Invest in Higher Quality Paint: This tip is true for interior and exterior painting. By investing in higher-quality paint today, you get better coverage and spend less effort painting. Spending a few extra dollars today can save you hours of headache in the future. Higher-quality paint also lasts longer, which means you won’t need to repaint your home anytime soon.
Sand and Scrape your Siding: Paint won’t stick to chipped, broken, or cracked areas of your exterior. Sand and scrape your siding to remove imperfections. You can’t simply paint over peeled paint. You need a solid, flat, porous surface to ensure the next coat sticks.
Wash or Pressure Wash the Exterior: After sanding the exterior of your home, spend some time washing it. If your exterior is greasy, covered in contaminants, or dirty, then paint struggles to stick to it. A clean exterior works best for painting. Mix detergent and warm water to target trouble spots. The best way to clean the exterior of your home is to pressure wash the walls. Pressure washing removes dirt and dust buildup from the walls, making it easier to paint.
Repair Damage: There’s never a better time to repair damaged surfaces than before you paint. Check all areas of your exterior to look for cracks, rotten wood, holes in stucco, and other issues. Apply epoxy filler to cracks or holes. Or, replace rotten wood with clean boards. Check for gaps between your house and the trim. Over time, gaps can appear underneath windows and around other gaps. Fill gaps using exterior caulk and caulk gum.
Invest in Primer: Just like with interior painting, exterior painting works best when you use primer. Many exterior painting experts recommend applying a coat of primer, sanding that primer to make it even, and then adding your exterior paint. Modern exterior paints combine primer and paint together, reducing the number of coats you need to apply. It’s more expensive, but it can save you hours of work and hassle. Check reviews to make sure your paint works as both a primer and exterior paint.
Use Painter’s Tape and Plastic Sheets to Protect Doors, Windows, and Lights: Exterior painting can get messy, and you can easily hit your doors, windows, and lighting fixtures. Wrap anything you’re not painting in plastic sheets and painter’s tape.
Cover Landscaping: Use drop cloths and other materials to cover the ground, bushes, and other vegetation around your home. Paint will drip onto your landscaping.
Move Furniture Away from the Home: Instead of covering your grill and patio furniture, move the furniture away from your home. If it’s too heavy or awkward to move, then cover it like you cover all the other items around your home.
Mix Multiple Cans of Paint Together: Different paint cans produce different colors – even if it’s the same type of paint. The pros combine multiple cans of paint into a large container (like a five gallon bucket) to ensure a uniform color.
Paint from Top to Bottom: Like interior painting, exterior painting works best when painting from the top to the bottom. Start at the top and work your way down. It helps to control streaks. Drips are inevitable when painting, and painting from top to bottom lets you cover drips as you go. You work with gravity instead of against it.
By practicing the tips above, you can make the most of your next exterior painting project.