I 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-WashRemove 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 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 SurfacesRotten 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: CaulkFill 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 & ProtectBe 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: PrimeAlmost 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 PaintA 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 ExteriorThe 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.The best tools for the trim, doors and shutters, however, are a steady hand and high quality paint brush.
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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