10 Things you need to know before painting the exterior of your home

Exterior house painting tips

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Painting the exterior of your home is one of the largest home renovations you are likely to take on. Whether you have some areas to touch up or need a full exterior paint job, there's several things you need to consider before getting started. Although choosing the right painter is one of the most important decisions to make, it isn't the only one. From choosing the proper color and type of paint to finding the ideal house painter, we've got all the best tips and tricks to ensure that painting the exterior of your home is quick and painless.

  1. Exterior of a house in the rain

    Photo Source: HGTV

    1. Consider the weather
    Always plan ahead when painting. You probably noticed all the work that needs to be done once winter fades and spring kicks into high gear. It's not unusual to be motivated to start right away, but you must make sure you choose a dry time of year with little rain and humidity. Paint won't adhere to wet surfaces and needs enough time to dry.
  2. A variety of paint swatches like these will help choose the right color.

    Photo Source: Facebook

    2. Choosing the right color of exterior paint
    There's a few important things to think of when choosing the exterior paint color for your home. First, do you have a home owner's association or by-laws? If so, be sure to follow up because you may be required to stay within a certain color scheme. If you are free to choose the colors you want, great! It's generally good to choose three (or more) shades of paint. Why? Well, there's three parts to the exterior design of the house. The main, dominant color of the house; the accents, which will make areas like shutters have depth; and the trim, for window and door frames, railings and trim. Stick with neutral colors or three colors within the same palette to make sure everything will balance and blend well. If you're really not sure about your color, ask your house painter for suggestions.
  3. A house painter carrying cans of paint

    Photo Source: Pinterest

    3. Finding the right house painter
    Professional house painters can mean the difference between a beautiful home and a load of frustration and repairs. Always remember, you get what you pay for. If one painter bids much lower than the rest, ask yourself why. Be sure you're hiring a reputable and insured painter. Don't be afraid to ask if they are insured and if they have their own employees or if they hire sub-contractors. It's important to know exactly who is working on your house, and what training and qualifications they have. Ask for references and get a full quote up front. Make sure you meet in person so they can view the full project and see any problem areas before they begin, so you aren't blindsided with extra costs at the end. And don't forget to ask what their guarantee policy is, and get it in writing.
  4. Choosing good quality paint will help eliminate this peeling paint

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    4. Always choose quality over cost
    It may be tempting to go with a cheaper exterior paint to save costs. Whether you're on a budget or your painter is trying to make a few extra bucks by cutting the cost on paint, resist the urge to settle for a lower quality paint. Remember: you get what you pay for. Sure, you may think saving $10 or $20 on a gallon of paint will save you lots in the long run but think about the difference in quality from a $10 can of paint to a $50 one. Cheaper paints are far more likely to peel, chip or crack long before higher quality paints will. You may save a few bucks now, but in a few years, you could be doing a lot of touch-ups or worse, another full paint job. Spend the money now to save yourself the frustration later.
  5. Look at different paint finishes like flat glossy and satin

    Photo Source: Inlightapp

    5. Know what type of exterior paint is best
    Your painter will probably suggest paint types for you, but it's good to know the difference up front and decide what type of paint you want where. Using a flat/matte finish: If you want a paint that hides imperfections, this is a good choice. It won't clean as well as a glossy finish though, so it's usually used for siding. Using a glossy finish: Glossy paint is easy to clean and gives you a nice, durable finish. Because it brings out details, it can show the imperfections that a flat finish hides. This is best for doors and trims. Using a satin finish: This is the best of both worlds. It's easier to clean than a flat finish, but the slight gloss of the satin helps hide imperfections.
  6. Painter sanding the exterior of a house before painting

    Photo Source: NothingButLove

    6. Sand, sand, sand!
    Sanding is one of the most important parts of the prep work for exterior painting. Paint won't adhere to dirty or rough surfaces, and if any of the old paint is chipping or peeling, the new paint will do the same. Make sure your painter does his due diligence and fully sands and washes the exterior before beginning. Sand at least twice and wash thoroughly to ensure the exterior paint will adhere.
  7. A house with rotten siding that should be repaired before painting

    Photo Source: Pinterest

    7. Watch out for rotten siding
    Don't waste your time painting rotten wood or siding. Paint won't stick to the rotten wood, and it's only going to get worse. That leaves you with a couple of options. If it's just a small area, you can use a wood hardener and filler to repair the area. If a large area is rotting, your best bet is to replace it completely. Just make sure you prep and sand the new areas as you would the rest.
  8. Covering fixtures and furniture before painting the exterior of your home

    Photo Source: HGTV

    8. Making the proper preparations
    Painting can be a messy job, even for professionals. You don't want to end up with painted bushes, patio furniture or grills, so make sure everything is moved out of the way and/or covered and secured with drop cloths.
  9. Always use primer like this before painting

    Photo Source: Pinterest

    9. The importance of primer before exterior painting
    The general rule is to apply a coat or two of primer before your main color. It's still good to do this, but many paints now combine primer and paint in one. This can be good because it can cut down on the number of coats needed, but it can come with an extra cost. Talk to your painter about primer and make sure your house is getting the proper coats of primer and paint. That way you know you'll have long-lasting color to reduce fading and bleed through.
  10. Sand added to paint helps grip slippery steps

    Photo Source: Pinterest

    10. Get gritty with porches and stairs
    Have you ever slipped on your stairs or porch in the rain? This happens when the surface is too slick, and it's the reason you need grit for your exterior paint. If you're painting the surface of a porch or stairs, you want to make sure you have a bit of traction to avoid the slips and falls. Some manufacturers will make exterior paint with additives to add texture. If your paint doesn't do this, try adding a little fine sand to give it the texture and traction your surface needs.

While it may seem like a daunting task, painting the exterior of your home doesn't have to be a frustrating and painful project. Just make sure to keep in mind these 10 tips before you start, and painting the exterior of your home should go smoothly.