A Mom’s Guide to Painting a Home’s Exterior

Exterior PaintI am not going to lie, painting the exterior of your house is a HUGE job. When I painted my house there were  days when I thought the entire process simply sucked. It takes strength just to move and set up a ladder, not to mention the confidence to stand on one for hours. The job requires  hours of prep work, most of which is dirty. But, the rewards of painting your house are great too.  With a minimum investment in tools and materials, you’ll save thousands of dollars, increase your home’s curb appeal and the value of your home.  Best of all, you’ll make it look like new again.

Here’s how I prepared and completed the job.  

 

Step #1: Pressure-WashHow to Clean House Exterior without Pressure WasherRemove dirt and dust buildup from the house using a pressure washer. Or do what I did – use the Krud Kutter Housewash. With this product, all you need is a hose.

 

Step #2: Remove Chipped PaintExterior PaintPaint won’t adhere to rough surfaces. Be sure to remove any chipped and peeling paint using a paint scraper, followed by a medium-grit sand paper. I spent hours doing this. At some point, paint removal became therapeutic. So it’s not all bad.

 

Step #3: Repair Damaged SurfacesWood Epoxy RepairRotten wood is worthless to paint, as it will continue to deteriorate. If you can, apply epoxy filler to cracks or holes. Once dry, lightly sand the area. Abatron Wood Epoxy worked great. If the damage is too large, you may have to replace the trim with new components.

 

Step #4: CaulkExterior PaintFill any gaps between house and trim around doors and windows using exterior caulk. It’s vital to seal any cracks, as well as the joints where one type of exterior material meets another.

 

Step #5: Cover & ProtecthomerightnewcroppedBe sure to cover doors, windows, lighting fixtures, outdoor furniture, grills and bushes using drop cloths or plastic sheeting and painter’s tape. I also have several cheap shirts and shorts I only wear for painting. The last thing you need to worry about when you stand on a 16 ft ladder are paint stains on your clothes.

 

Step #6: PrimeBenMoore26Almost any exterior paint job will benefit from a coat of primer, but it’s especially important to prime wood  that has no paint — either because it has peeled or flaked off, or because of rigorous scraping and sanding during surface preparation. Apply a coat of stain-blocking primer to area using a paintbrush.

 

Step #7: Choose Quality PaintBen Moore RegalA good exterior paint is crucial. I used Benjamin Moore Regal Exterior Soft Gloss paint in Simply White. This paint dries evenly, with a smooth non-sticky finish. It’s mildew and fade resistant and offers superior adhesion. My suggestion, if your budget allows, apply a second coat. Two coats are always going to give you a better result. I painted the interior of the house with Benjamin Moore ben, and I am still impressed with how durable the paint is.

 

Step #8: Paint the ExteriorHomeRight SprayerThe last step is to paint. I used this  HomeRight sprayer for the siding. I was able to paint the sides of the house so much faster. I highly recommend it for large surfaces. Be sure to wear a mask, sun glasses, a hat or shower cap.Werner LadderThe best tools for the trim, doors and shutters, however, are a steady hand and high quality paint brush.

 

Step #9: Enjoy Your Hard WorkExterior PaintBen Moore Regal

 

Step #10:  Look at the ‘Before’ Pictures and SmileExterior PaintExterior Paint

 

Bottom line:

When it comes to exterior painting, there are no short cuts to a professional finish — you really have to put in the time to get the best results. It’s no wonder companies charge up to $20,000 to paint a house. Depending on your climate, an excellent paint job with top-of-the-line materials can hold up for as long as 10 years.

 

*** Benjamin Moore graciously provided free paint. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.***

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