DIY Exterior House Painting Tips
Painting the exterior of your home is a job that requires the right materials, a bit of skill, and plenty of patience. With the right preparation, tools, and techniques, you can easily update the look and feel of your home with a fresh coat of paint.
In this article, we will provide all the necessary information for exterior house painting. We will explain how to prepare for the job, such as choosing the right paint and gathering essential materials. We will also cover prepping the surface and cleaning and priming it before starting.
Additionally, caulking and sealing gaps is a crucial step. Once that is done, applying a primer coat completes the preparation process. Then, we will discuss painting in direct sunlight or windy days and present options regarding quality vs price of paint as well as spraying versus rolling paint onto the surface.
Lastly, tips on completing finishing touches and maintenance advice are included to make your home look great!
Table of Contents
Preparation for a Fresh Paint Job
Preparing for an exterior house painting job can be intimidating. It is important to understand the process and have the necessary tools and materials on hand.
We will cover everything from what paint to use, prepping the surface, cleaning and priming it, caulking and sealing gaps, applying a primer coat, painting in direct sunlight or windy days, quality vs price of paint, spraying versus rolling paint onto the surface and more.
With these guidelines you’ll be able to confidently finish a professional looking project!
Choosing the Right Exterior Paint
Higher quality paints provide more coverage and can last longer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth the extra cost.
Factors like the surface you’re painting, its porosity, the climate where it’s located, and the amount of sunlight it receives will determine how often you have to paint.
It’s important to do your research and consider these variables before making a decision about which type of paint to use for your exterior house painting project.
When selecting paint and how much paint per color, it is important to consider the surface you are painting on climate, and how much sunlight will be exposed. Exterior paints can range from latex or vinyl acrylics, which are water-based, to oil-based paints.
Latex paint is suitable for wood or synthetic surfaces and provides good coverage. Oil-based paint is more resistant to weather elements and wear, making them ideal for metal surfaces.
If you need extra protection against moisture on any type of painted surface, an alkyd enamel paint provides excellent coverage as well.
Check your local paint store or online stores for good quality paint to use on your home’s all vinyl siding and exterior.
Tools and Materials Needed for Exterior Painting
Exterior house painting can be a daunting task, but the right tools and materials will make the job much easier.
From choosing the right paint to preparing the surface before painting, having the right tools is essential. Caulking and sealing are important steps in exterior painting in order to ensure a professional finish.
Here is a list of essential painting tools used for any exterior house painting project:
- Paint brushes
- Paint rollers
- Paint trays
- Paint tray liners
- Drop cloths or tarps
- Scrapers and putty knives
- Caulking gun/caulk tube/sealant
- Putty/spackling paste
- Exterior paint
Prepping the Surface
Preparing the surface before painting with new and fresh paint is important in order to get a professional finish with two coats of fresh paint.
Here are some tips for prepping the surface of your house to get a good paint job:
- Wash the surface with a pressure washer or scrub brush and detergent to remove dirt, cobwebs, and other debris.
- If necessary, use a putty knife to scrape off any old loose paint that’s peeling or bubbling.
- Use sandpaper or an electric sander to smooth out any rough spots on the surface.
- Fill in any cracks or holes with putty/spackling paste and allow it to dry completely.
- Apply primer over bare wood and spot prime areas where patching has been done.
- Caulk around windows, doors, and anywhere else where there’s a gap between surfaces.
- Allow primer and caulk to dry completely before you begin painting.
Cleaning and Priming the Surface
Cleaning and priming the surface is an important step in exterior house painting projects. Here are the steps involved in cleaning and priming:
- Use a pressure washer or scrub brush and detergent to clean the surface of any dirt, debris, cobwebs, etc.
- Allow the surface to fully dry before beginning other preparation tasks.
- Scrape off any paint that is peeling or bubbling using a putty knife.
- Sand down any rough areas on the surface until you have a smooth finish.
- Fill any cracks or holes with putty/spackling paste and allow it to dry completely.
- Apply primer over bare wood as well as spot prime areas where patching has been done.
- Caulk around windows, doors, and other gaps between surfaces.
- Allow the primer and caulk to dry completely before applying paint.
Caulking and Sealing Gaps
Caulking and sealing gaps is an important part of all paint jobs and prepping the surface for the painting technique.
Here are the steps involved in caulking and sealing gaps before any paint job:
- Measure the length and width of each gap you need to caulk/seal.
- Cut a piece of tape slightly longer than your measured gap, so that it engulfs the entire area.
- Apply the painter’s caulk to the gap, making sure to run a bead slightly above and below the taped area so that it seals the interior.
- Allow the caulk to cure according to manufacturer instructions.
- Peel off the tape carefully after curing time has passed.
- Use a wet cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess caulk or sealant that may have spilled over onto other surfaces (before it dries).
- Use painter’s tape for additional protection on any nearby surfaces if necessary.
Applying a Primer Coat
Applying a primer coat is an important step in any painting project. Here are the steps involved in applying a primer coat:
- Carefully read the instructions on the primer can and make sure to follow them.
- Choose a brush or roller that is appropriate for the size of your painting area.
- Apply a thin, even coat of primer using long, smooth strokes.
- Move quickly but deliberately while covering each section with one pass.
- Allow the first coat of primer to dry completely before applying an additional coat if needed.
- Check for any drips or imperfections after drying time has passed and correct them as necessary.
- Clean up any spilled primer immediately with paint thinner and cloths/rags for best results.
Painting in Direct Sunlight
Yes, when you start painting something in direct sunlight there are a few things to be aware of.
- Make sure the area is properly shaded to avoid direct exposure to the sun.
- When possible, paint on a cool day during the early morning or late evening hours.
- Wood surfaces can bleach out quickly in direct sunlight so primer may need to be applied twice for best results.
- Choose a durable and high-quality exterior paint that can withstand extreme elements like intense heat and UV rays.
- If necessary, use painter’s tape to protect nearby areas from accidental splattering while painting.
Painting on Windy Days
Painting on windy days can be difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- If possible, postpone painting until the wind subsides or choose an area that is protected from direct exposure.
- Consider using large drop cloths or weighted tarps to anchor the surface you are painting.
- Be mindful of where the wind is blowing and make sure not to paint within its direction.
- Choose thicker paints and primers for better coverage and resistance against strong winds.
- Make sure to use enough paint so that it does not dry up too quickly due to evaporation from winds.
Spraying vs. Rolling Paint onto the Surface
When it comes to painting surfaces, there are two main techniques that can be used to apply paint on – spraying or rolling. each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before beginning a project.
Spraying paint onto the surface is generally quicker and provides more even coverage than rolling. However, it can be difficult to control the amount of paint that is applied, which can lead to excess paint go to waste. In addition, overspray can be an issue if not careful.
Rolling paint onto the surface is a slower process but provides more control over the amount of paint being applied. This decreases the chances of wasted paint and overspray. It can also be easier to achieve a consistent finish with this method.
Finishing Touches to Make Your Home Look Great
Keeping old paint on the exterior of your home in tip-top shape requires regular maintenance. Here’s how to ensure that your paintwork stays looking good for years to come:
- Inspect the walls regularly and perform repairs as needed.
- Clean the walls using a pressure washer on a regular basis.
- Touch up any areas that have chipped or are starting to fade in color.
- Consider repainting the entire house every 4 to 5 years or when you want to change the color or finish.
Maintaining Exterior Paintwork
To complete the look, here are more tips on some finishing touches and trim that you can add to your home exterior:
- Install updated fixtures such as lights and door handles to give it a modern look.
- Incorporate landscaping elements like plants, trees, and flowers for added appeal.
- Use materials like wood, stone, or brick to create additional texture and depth.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Exteriors
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when painting the exterior siding of your home:
- Not preparing the surface properly before painting. This includes not repairing any damage, not cleaning the surface, and not using a primer.
- Not using the right type of paint. Make sure you use exterior paint that is designed for the specific surface you’re painting.
- Painting in direct sunlight. Choose a shady spot instead to avoid the paint drying too quickly.
- Using old or dried-out paint. This can cause the paint to crack or peel shortly after application.
- Painting over mold or mildew. These need to be treated before painting so that they don’t continue to grow under the new paint.
Professional Tips for Painting Exteriors
Here are 5 professional tips and best techniques for painting the exterior of your home:
- Prepare the surface by repairing any damage and cleaning it thoroughly.
- Use an appropriate primer for better adhesion and a longer lasting paint job.
- Choose a quality paint that is suitable for the exterior of your home and climate.
- Purchase enough paint to complete the job without having to blend colors or make other adjustments.
- Paint in optimal weather conditions such as when temperatures are between 50°F and 90°F with low humidity levels to ensure proper drying time and even coverage.