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Exterior Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Spotting and correcting problems with your home’s exterior can not only boost curb appeal, but it can also prevent bigger issues from forming. Even a small touch-up exterior paint job can improve your house's appearance without breaking the bank.

Want to paint the exterior of your home? Are you 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.

Your exterior painting job begins before you grab a paintbrush and caulk gun. Kick-off phase one of your exterior painting mission by grabbing a notepad and inspecting the outside of your home. Jot down what needs to be done, and use your notes to set a plan for tackling the project.

Pressure Washing

A clean surface is essential for a good paint job. A pressure washer with the proper detergent is the most efficient way to thoroughly clean exterior siding.

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

Use caution when selecting the nozzle; a concentrated stream can damage wood, seep underneath lapped siding and break windows. On surfaces that aren’t suffering from excessive peeling or flaking, a regular garden hose and scrub brush will work.

Repair Damages

Damages include holes, cracks, flaking paint, and splinters.

Before painting, remove and replace any rotting or decaying timber. And if your paintwork is already in good condition, a light but thorough sand should be sufficient.

After sanding, the surface should be a flat sheen. Any areas of peeling must be entirely removed by sanding. Cracking areas should be filled with exterior grade filler and sanded before painting. As for metal surfaces, remove any rust by wire brushing or sanding the surface. Plastic downpipes and spouts need clean and light sanding before applying paint. Before painting, wipe or brush down any areas to remove any dust.

Cover It Up

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

  • Remove or cover chairs, patio furniture, grills, and other objects

  • Protect your landscaping

Get to Painting

Load flat or eggshell exterior paint color into the paint sprayer. Depending on the 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. When changing 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 to be applied.

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