Ways to Paint Your House’s Exterior

 Paint peeling and flaking off.
Paint peeling and flaking

A fresh paint task has the power to totally transform the look of your house in less time and for less money than any other remodeling task. That thin skin of resin and pigment also secures your investment, shielding it from rain, sun, and wind– until the paint starts to break and peel, that is. It’s time to button up with a couple of new coats.   Properly  applied, brand-new paint must last for a good  approximately 5 or more years, provided you make use of top-quality materials, apply them with care (and with an eye on the weather), and, most crucial, clean and sand every surface. Below’s what you should understand to get a first-rate finish on your house’s exterior.

A complete scrubbing is a have to previously painting any outside surface. It gets rid of the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all however the most dry climates.

Lay more drop cloths along the base of the walls to gather any falling paint debris. Walls need to be wet down prior to getting scrubbed, then washed with a gallon of water blended with 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of either a focused, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) alternative, or Jomax House Cleaner. Wood siding and trim should be prepared to paint after a day or two of dry weather condition.


Paint that has peeled, bubbled, or blistered has got to go. If lead is present– a strong possibility in residences constructed prior to 1978– you need to proceed with extra care. To lay any questions to rest, you can send out paint chip samples to a laboratory, such as Macs Lab’s Home Free; for about $38, they’ll offer you a conclusive answer.

If your paint does consist of lead, you’ll have to take unique precautions during the scraping and sanding phases to secure yourself, your household, and the environment from harmful dust. You need only put on a dust mask and lay down tarpaulins to catch debris prior to tackling the most important part of the job if the paint is lead-free.

New Orleans specialist Joseph Wallis did use a PaintShaver on this job to catch lead dust. This carbide-tipped angle grinder, which has a dust-collecting shroud that links to a HEPA-filter vac, can be leased by mail from the manufacturer for about $50 a day.

Scraping paint by hand is an intense job due to the fact that you’ve got to attack it from every instructions. But compared with power grinders and sanders, it’s the least destructive way to eliminate the old layers. You can speed up the process using a heating weapon to soften the paint (as shown).

Security First: Use a respirator when scraping paint by hand. Also, make certain you secure the surrounding workplace– consisting of any bushes and plants– with a tarp covering.


With loose paint removed, it’s time to step back and examine what remains. If most of the paint still adheres well and it’s not too bumpy, the boundary between the paint and the bare wood can be smoothed with 50- or 80-grit sandpaper.

As shown, you desire to make sure that there is a feathery, smooth shift from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that may get close examination, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to remove any scratches.

If less than half the old paint is left, nonetheless, it might be worth stripping all of it off. Guertin removes persistent remainders utilizing shrouded grinders (like the PaintShaver), infrared paint strippers (such as the Speedheater), or chemical strippers (like Multi-Strip), then smooths the wood with a course or more of sanding. When siding (or bank accounts) can’t take the shock of an overall strip job, Rich O’Neil, of Masterwork Painting in Bedford, Massachusetts, has actually efficiently hidden rough, well-adhered paint under Peel Bond, a thick primer.

Safety First: When making use of a random-orbit sander, make sure to protect yourself from refuse with a respirator. For sanding by hand, a dust mask will do.

Patch and Fill.

After the sanding is done, it’s time to fill small fractures and damages, fix any rot, and change any pieces that are too far gone. (Wholesale replacement of wood siding or trim will likely require a carpenter.).

O’Neil patches shallow holes and divots with Ready Patch due to the fact that it dries out fast, sands smooth, and stays flexible. Deep cracks and rotten areas are best fixed with two-step epoxies, such as those made by Advanced Repair Technology. (For a step-by-step guidelines, see Repairing Rot with Epoxy.) The days of using polyester auto-body fillers on wood are over. “They cure too hard,” states Portland, Oregon– based painting specialist Kathleen George. “They look proficient at first, however then they peel away.”.

Hold off on caulking the splits until everything has been primed. “Primer safeguards the wood when– not if– the caulk fails,” says O’Neil.


Primers are formulated to penetrate, seal, and offer an excellent surface for the top coats to stay with. Use them over bare wood, Spackle, and epoxy, or over paint with a milky, shabby surface. (If the paint surface is clean and sound, you can skip the priming step.).

Acrylic primers can be made use of on most surfaces, but on cedar or redwood, oil-based finishes are a should because they lock in these woods’ reddish-brown “extractives,” which will leach out and leave rusty spots if the wood is topped with a water-based item.

“If I can see the color coming with, I understand I need to use even more paint,” he states. On the cottage revealed in this story, he chose a gray-blue guide to go under a peach leading coat.

If primer is sprayed on, “back-brushing” it immediately by hand will work the finish into every fracture and crevice.

Pointer: Spray exposed nailheads with a metal guide to prevent rust from bleeding with the paint.


When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than 1/4-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. The majority of pros utilize siliconized acrylics– paint won’t stick to straight silicones– but Guertin and O’Neil like the brand-new, more costly urethane acrylics for their higher versatility and long life. Guertin utilizes the lifetime rating as his quality guide.


Deciding which paint to utilize has gotten a lot easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints nearly to extinction. The acrylics provide superior efficiency (they don’t solidified with age, the method oils do, so they breathe and move without blistering), they do not mildew as conveniently, and they emit less VOCs, so they adhere to new air-quality policies. They likewise work over both oil- and water-based guides.

Oil paint still has a place in high-traffic areas such as wood steps and porch floors because of its superior wear resistance, and on steel and cast-iron railings, which take advantage of oil’s water repellency.

The last big choice is how you can apply the paint. The majority of pros utilize paint sprayers because they’re quickly, but in unskilled hands a high-powered sprayer can leave drips, thin coats, and a mist that may land on many things other than your siding. If you do employ a painter who makes use of a sprayer, ensure he is careful about removing, covering, or masking off everything in the area that may get hit with overspray: rain gutters, roofs, windows, bushes, pathways, vehicles– you call it.

Once you select a paint brand, the pros advise against additives, such as mildewcides. However they will add conditioners such as Floetrol (for latex) or Penetrol (for oils) to slow drying times in heat so brush and lap marks don’t reveal, and to make paint more sprayable.

Every painting job establishes an one-of-a-kind choreography as ladders go up and come down and tarps are unrolled and folded up. 2 standard principles remain: 1) Start at the top and work down. Rain can clean freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature level dip below 50 degrees F 2 days after application can interfere with adhesion and healing and dull the sheen of glossy paints.

Do-it-yourselfers are best off utilizing a brush for optimum control. You might end up with a better quality task, to boot. States Kathleen George, “With a brush, I know that I’ve inspected every square inch of a home.” Mini rollers rate application on clapboards and trim however ought to be followed right away with a brush.

Whichever application technique you wind up utilizing, the pros are universal in their insistence that 2 top coats are always much better than one. States O’Neil, “It’s one of the real tricks of a lasting paint task.”.

It gets rid of the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that expands on paint in all however the most dry climates. Guertin gets rid of stubborn remainders making use of shrouded mills (like the PaintShaver), infrared paint strippers (such as the Speedheater), or chemical strippers (like Multi-Strip), then smooths the wood with a course or two of sanding. Use them over bare wood, Spackle, and epoxy, or over paint with a milky, scrubby surface. Deciding which paint to use has gotten much easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints practically to termination. Many pros use paint sprayers because they’re quickly, but in inexperienced hands a high-powered sprayer can leave drips, thin coats, and a mist that could land on many things various other than your siding.


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