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The Dos and Don'ts of DIY Exterior Painting

Painting the exterior of your house is a significant undertaking, but the rewards are also significant. With a minimal investment in tools and materials, you’ll save thousands of dollars, extend the lifespan of your siding and trim, and increase the value of your home. Best of all, you can achieve a renewed and refreshed appearance.

While you may spend a substantial amount on tools and paint, the same job done by a pro could cost significantly more. However, the savings of a DIY approach come at a price. A good paint job requires countless hours of careful exterior paint preparation. Be prepared to dedicate an entire summer to prepare and paint, even for a medium-sized house.

Painting the outside of your house can yield "wow" results like nothing else. It can make a faded house look fresh again, and transform a mousey one into a showstopper. A well-executed paint job can last anywhere from three to six years, making the effort well worthwhile. Here are some dos and don'ts to consider when getting started.

Plan the Work in Advance

This may seem extremely obvious to everyone but you would be surprised how many people fail to plan, and then of course plan to fail, so write down your course of action, it helps you stay focused!

You don’t have to sit down and write an award-winning essay, a few rough notes on an A4 paper will suffice.

Note any repairs or flaking paint that need attention. Make a list of materials you will need (don’t forget to buy the paint itself!) It’s also helpful to estimate how much you plan to spend on the project.

Prepare For It

For paint to adhere properly, it is crucial to apply it on a surface that is clean, dry, and not flaking or peeling. Depending on the condition of your existing siding and trim, this may require considerable scraping and sanding before you can paint.

Begin by washing the surfaces. You can use a hose and a scrub brush with water and detergent. Alternatively, you can use a pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer, be cautious not to force water deeply into the joints between siding or erode the surface of the wood with the high-pressure water spray.

To remove loose and flaking paint, you’ll need a scraper. For removing tougher paint and smoothing the surface, a 5-inch disc power sander or a random-orbit sander will work well. Start with 60-grit sandpaper and you can follow up with 100-grit sandpaper.

The idea isn’t to remove the paint entirely – just to remove loose paint and create a smooth surface. Use a putty knife and wood filler to fill cracks and holes. Let the filler dry, and then sand these areas again. Brush off all of the dust, apply caulk to the joints, and allow it to dry before applying primer.

Don’t Skip Any Steps

Every step in the painting process is crucial to achieving a high-quality result. To ensure a long-lasting and beautiful exterior look, start by removing mildew, dirt, and any existing flaking paint. Painting over dirt or contaminants can prevent proper adhesion of the paint and result in an unsatisfactory final look.

To remove previous paint layers, it is recommended to use a pressure washing technique. The high-pressure water stream effectively cleanses the walls and also hydrates them, preparing the surface for the new paint. Remember to leave the surface to completely dry first before applying the paint. Do not pressure wash and apply paint on the same day to ensure that the surface is thoroughly dry. Rushing this step can lead to complications and compromise the quality of the paint job.

Sometimes, undertaking a DIY exterior painting project can be a waste of both money and time, especially if you lack the necessary expertise and equipment used by professional painters. It is often wiser to hire professional painters who are skilled and experienced in delivering quality results. You are likely to find many of these professionals in Muskoka, but it is important to conduct thorough background research to ensure the quality of service provided by your chosen painter. With Pro Painters Muskoka, you can expect a high-quality exterior painting job that is worth your investment!

These are the dos and the don’ts you need to know if you are considering exterior painting in Muskoka.

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