Pro Advice on Painting the Outside of Your House

Your home is your biggest investment. A fresh coat of paint every few years will keep it looking good and protect your siding, windows and trim. It’s not that hard to do it yourself if you know all the essential steps.

By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

It's All in the Prep

The secret to a successful paint job is in the prep. If you take your time to do all the essential steps, the results will be a spectacular paint job that will last for years. Here's what you'll need for a quality paint job: exterior flat or eggshell paint; exterior semigloss paint; a pressure washer; a paint sprayer; a paintbrush; painter’s tape; drop cloths; a ladder; a paint scraper; stain-blocking primer; epoxy filler; a medium-grit sanding block; a putty knife; exterior caulk and a caulk gun; and plastic sheeting.

Power-Wash

To ensure best coverage, use a pressure washer to remove dirt and dust buildup from the house. Work your way from the top to bottom of the house in a smooth, controlled manner, overlapping each stroke by 8 inches.

Repair Damaged Surfaces

Walk around the perimeter of the house and look for damaged surfaces on wood, masonry, metal, siding or stucco. Use a putty knife to apply epoxy filler to cracks or holes. Once dry, lightly sand the repaired areas using a medium-grit sanding block.

Remove Loose Paint

Walk around the perimeter of the house taking note of any loose or chipped paint. Place drop cloths along the ground, then use a paint scraper or sanding block to remove chipped and loose paint.

Fill In Cracks

Use exterior caulk to fill any gaps between the house and trim, and around doors and windows. If the house has mixed materials such as siding and brick, add caulk along the surfaces where the different materials meet.

Prime Stains

If you find any wood stains or visible wood knots, apply a coat of stain-blocking primer to the area.

Cover What's Not Being Painted

Use plastic sheeting and painter’s tape to seal off doors, windows and light fixtures.

Load the Sprayer

If you are changing the exterior color from light to dark or dark to light, start with a coat of primer to ensure proper coverage. Primer is not necessary when a fresh coat of existing color is being applied. Fill the paint sprayer with flat or eggshell exterior paint. Depending on intensity of the hue, apply one or two coats of flat or eggshell exterior paint to the entire house. Be sure to work your way from top to bottom in a smooth, controlled manner, overlapping each stroke by 8 inches.

Paint Trim

Remove the plastic sheeting from the doors, windows and light fixtures. Use a paintbrush to apply two coats of exterior semi-gloss paint color to woodwork and doors.

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