House painting and exterior painting projects in general are great home improvements to make as weather turns nicer. Here are 6 considerations before you begin.
Painting your home may seem like a straightforward process, but there are a few things you should know before cracking open the paint bucket. Unlike interior rooms, painting a house’s exterior presents unique challenges that require careful planning and attention to detail.
1. Neighborhood restrictions
If you live in a homeowner association, your HOA has the right to dictate the quality and color of the paint you choose. Some communities even have a committee that requires you to submit a painting plan for approval.
The goal of these regulations is to maintain property values and sustain a uniform appearance throughout the community. For those not living in an HOA, state building codes generally do not require permits for changing your exterior paint.
Not all paint brands act the same at high or low temperatures, but more products are coming out that do well when applied in more extreme temps. Though you’ll want to check the paint brand’s recommendations, it’s best to avoid moisture across the board.
This means not painting when rain or humidity are in the forecast. Exterior paint needs plenty of time to dry, so be mindful of local weather patterns and choose a time of year that’s dry, but also not too hot or too cold.
3. The boxing paint technique
Paint manufacturers produce countless shades of varying colors, so even buckets of the same color may have slight variations to them. This is especially true if you purchased the cans at different dates or from different stores, which means they were mixed in different batches. To avoid any chance of color variation on your house, combine every can of paint you intend to use in one large 5-gallon bucket. This technique ensures a uniform color from start to finish.
4. Prep your landscaping
Painting is messy, so make sure any flowerbeds, bushes, and garden decor are covered with drop cloths or tarps before starting the project. You can keep these in place by adding weights to the corners, such as rocks or bricks. You’ll always want to remove any garden hoses, patio furniture, or outdoor grills and store them until you’re finished.
5. Hire a pro or DIY?
Painting your home’s exterior is a big job, and a lot can go wrong if you’re not anticipating challenges. Hiring a professional is more efficient, it’s safer, and you can feel confident that the quality will be exactly how you want it.
Professionals also estimate their costs per job, so you won’t pay for extra supply costs like you may end up doing if you overestimate your own DIY project. On the other hand, if you’re a skilled do-it-yourselfer, have plenty of free time, and already have painting supplies on hand, painting your own home can be a rewarding experience.
6. Choose quality over price
Low-quality paint isn’t designed to stand up to sunlight, moisture, and temperature, so don’t cut corners here. Choosing a lower quality paint can result in a finish that will quickly mildew or even crack, requiring touch-ups or even a full repaint within a few years – or even months, in the worst case scenario.
A little research and planning will go a long way in ensuring your home has the freshest, cleanest finish that will be the envy of the neighborhood.