April 24, 2021

Step-by-Step Guide to Exterior Painting for Beginners

Want to paint the exterior of your home? Looking for the best exterior painting tips and tricks? Here’s a step-by-step guide to painting the exterior of your home for the first time.

After a Paint and Sip LIVE virtual painting class, you might feel confident about your painting skills. Is it time to finally paint the exterior of your home?

Exterior painting is both easier and harder than it looks.

Exterior painting is harder than it looks because it requires preparation and planning. It’s not like interior painting, and it’s easy to do it wrong.

Exterior painting is also easier than it looks because, with some planning and preparation, you can beautify the exterior of your home without the cost of hiring professional painters.

Want to paint the exterior of your home? Looking for the best exterior painting tips and tricks? Here’s a step-by-step guide to painting the exterior of your home for the first time:

Invest in Prep Work

Like interior painting, exterior painting requires prep work to be successful. Spending a few hours on prep work today can save you days of extra effort in the future.

Some of the prep work you need to do before you start your exterior painting project include:

Check the Weather: Don’t paint on a wet or humid day. Paint on a dry and clear day. Paint will stick and dry better. There’s a reason exterior painting companies are busy all summer.

Pressure Wash your Home: Pressure wash the exterior of your home to remove any dirt, mildew, and other contaminants that build up along the side. Just like interior paint, exterior paint will not stick to your home properly if it’s dirty or grimy. Wash or pressure wash the exterior to ensure a good connection.

Sand and Scrape Trouble Spots: You might notice chipped or damaged areas during the cleaning phase. Be sure to sand and scrape these areas to make it easier to paint the exterior of your home. Paint won’t stick to chipped, broken, or cracked areas as effectively.

Remove and Replace Rotten Areas: Now’s a great time to fix rotten areas of your siding. If you notice rotten wood around your windows or in other trouble spots, then you may want to replace those sections before you start painting.

Repair Other Damage: Stucco can develop holes and cracks over time. Siding can chip away. Repair all other damage to your home before you paint the exterior. Look for gaps between your siding and your windows. Fill cracks and holes with epoxy filler. Fill gaps using exterior caulk and caulk gum.

Once you’ve done basic prep work, you’re ready to move onto the next step. Remember: spending a few hours (or even a full day) on prep work can save you endless headaches in the future.

Protect your Property

Now that you’re ready to begin painting, it’s time to protect your property from inevitable drips and splatters. Some of the tips for protecting your property include:

Use Painter’s Tape and Plastic Sheets to Cover Outdoor Features: Lights, doors, windows, and other objects can easily become covered in splatters. These splatters are difficult to remove. Wrap a plastic sheet around any outdoor features, then seal it with painter’s tape.

Remove or Cover Chairs, Patio Furniture, Grills, and Other Objects: If you have objects around your home, then you should remove or cover those objects wherever possible. Drag a grill into the middle of your backyard. Haul your patio set into your garage. If you can’t move items, or if they’re too heavy, then cover them with a drop cloth.

Protect your Landscaping: Professional painters may cover your landscaping and lawn using drop cloths. If you don’t have enough drop cloths to cover your entire lawn, then cover your ground, bushes, and other vegetation around your home. Paint will drip onto your landscaping, including your bushes, garden, and other features.

Choose the Right Paint

Choosing the right paint is about personal preference. Pick the best color for the exterior of your home. Consider testing different colors on different sections of your home. Make sure you test the colors at different times of day and light. Some colors look great in direct sunlight, while others do not.

Other tips for choosing the right paint include:

Buy Higher-Quality Paint Today: Investing in higher-quality paint today can save you days of headaches in the future. Low-quality paint has less pigment. It won’t last as long. It won’t stick as easily. It’s worth spending a little more for paint today.

Consider Exterior Paint with Primer: Some people buy primer and exterior paint separately. They add a coat of primer to the home, then paint over top. Modern paints have both primer and exterior paint mixed together, allowing you to apply one coat to the entire home. They’re more expensive, but they can make your life significantly easier during the exterior painting process.

Paint Your Home

Once you’re ready to start painting, things get easier. You’ve done all the preparatory work. You’ve picked the right paint. Now, it’s time to paint your home.

Remember to mix multiple cans of paint together in one bucket. Paints can have slightly different colors – even when they’re technically the same color. By mixing all your exterior paints into one five gallon bucket, you ensure a steady color across your home.

Like interior painting, exterior painting works best when going from top to bottom. Instead of working against gravity, you work with gravity. Drips are inevitable. When you paint from top to bottom, you can cover drips and other splatters as you go.

You may only need 1 or 2 coats for your home. If you’re moving from a light color to a light color, then 1 coat should work. If you’re switching from a dark color to a light color or vice versa, then you may need multiple coats. Adding too many coats can increase flaking. Try to apply 1 or 2 good coats, including a solid top coat.

Other Tips for Maintaining Your Exterior Paint Job

Your job isn’t done! Practice good maintenance on your home to extend the life of your paint job.

Some tips for avoiding wear and tear include:

• Wash stains regularly to prevent them from becoming permanent

• Touch up, repair, or remove any blisters, peels, and cracks before they spread

• Remove mold and mildew

• Replace any caulking that is cracked or missing

If you invested in a high-quality paint, then these maintenance jobs should be enough to keep your paint in top condition for years.