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How to Paint Your House: Exterior Painting Tips

Boosting your home’s curb appeal can increase its resale value as well as its visual appeal. Adding a flower bed, a few shrubs, and perhaps a stone walkway will help you enhance your curb appeal, but nothing makes a stronger statement than paint. Whether your home features peeling siding or an unattractive color, use these tips to give your house a colorful makeover.

Color and Quality

Image via Flickr by Allan Ferguson

Image via Flickr by Allan Ferguson

You don’t want to have to paint your house a second time, so carefully consider both the color and quality of the paint you choose. Skimping on quality could lead to premature peeling, bubbling, and blistering, while the wrong color might clash with your neighbors’ homes or with the surrounding terrain, or even violate the homeowners’ association rules.

Make sure you select paint that pairs well with your home’s exterior cladding. For example, oil-based exterior paints often work best with stucco, while a latex paint might prove better suited to wood or vinyl siding. Decide whether you’ll paint gutters, porch floors, columns, and other parts of your home at the same time.

Wash and Prep

Since the outside of your house endures exposure to the elements, it requires more preparation than interior rooms before you begin to paint. Thoroughly wash all the areas you intend to paint with a stiff-bristled brush and a garden hose. After it dries, scrape away any blistered paint or rough surfaces so you can apply an even paint job.

Cover all the plants near your home with old sheets or canvas drop cloths. Protect anything else you don’t want to get contaminated with paint, such as stone pathways or borders.

Sand and Patch

You can sand your home’s siding with an orbit sander or by hand (if your home is clad with stucco, skip this step). Remove as much of the paint as possible while you created a textured surface for priming. Always wear safety gear, including gloves and a respirator or face mask.

If you notice any pitted, gouged, or denting siding, fill the craters with epoxy. It’s best to do this before you prime so the paint adheres evenly. Afterward, sand down the patched areas with 120-grit sandpaper.

Prime and Paint

Spray guns and brushes work equally well for applying primer and paint. If you choose the former, practice with a drop cloth spread over the grass in your yard first so you get used to the controls. Ask a friend or family member to help, since you need someone to back-brush your work.

The back-brusher goes over sprayed paint with a brush to ensure an even application and to work the paint into any grooves or crevices. You can use brushes for the entire job if you prefer. It’ll give you more control, but it takes a little longer. Apply at least two coats of paint after one coat of primer for the best results.

Painting the outside of your house can give it immediate curb appeal. Bribe a friend or two to give you a hand, then go for pizza afterward to celebrate.

What do you think? Did we miss any tips? Do you have any trade secrets on how to paint your home exterior like a pro? Let us know in the comment section.

(2) Comments

  1. Excellent tips thank you!

    I find that the prep work is the most underrated and foundational step of many paint jobs and its good to see it mentioned here.

    Thanks again!

  2. Washing the exterior of the house is a good idea before you start painting, otherwise you might have stuff caught underneath as a result. Thanks for sharing these tips!

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