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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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Common Mistakes People Make When Painting a Room

” I received a free product in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% mine.”

I wasn’t compensated for this post, but I received a free product in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% mine).

After I bought our current home, the kids and I had one week to make the house livable before my lease on our rental expired. To get rid of the awful smells the previous owners had left behind (cigarette and cat smell), we removed all carpeting, refinished the hardwood floors and painted every interior wall, trim, closet, and door. Needless to say, it was a lot of hard work, sometimes lasting into early morning hours. Since I was on a tight budget, paint and paint supplies were purchased in the sale’s sections at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Basically, we got what was there. We ended up with colors we didn’t like much – most were the kind of beige you see in apartments. Not horrible, but not my favorite, and better than what the previous owners had.The wood floor and the white trim didn’t pop against this color. The thing is, I was over this beige in no time.

For  months, I searched for the perfect color for my walls, and then I found it. Benjamin Moore “Moonshine”.

I fell in love with this color and couldn’t wait to get it on my walls. It was the perfect combination of grey and a hint of ice blue. Clean, crisp with a punch. So you can imagine how excited I was when I received an opportunity to try my favorite color. With this paint color I really wanted to do an extra great paint job, so I visited a Benjamin Moore retailer in Nashville to get some expert advice.

While painting isn’t terribly difficult and doesn’t need specialized training, many homeowners underestimate the job’s complexity, I was told. “How so?” I asked. Here are the most common mistakes the knowledgeable sales person has seen people make.

1. Underestimating the amount of time for the job. Painting a wall isn’t just about painting. The job requires prep work which involves cleaning walls, patching, sanding, and sometimes priming. An average 13’x13′ room will take a day just to prep and dry.

2. Choosing the Wrong Color. Here’s something I didn’t know. Painting color selections on the wall is apparently the worst way to select a color. Instead, move the samples to every wall during different times of the day to get an idea of how natural light affects the color.

3. Choosing the Wrong Finish. I’m guilty of that. I chose a flat paint finish for my son’s room. Within two days, he left finger prints on the walls which were hard to remove. Now, I always use eggshell or semi-gloss.

4. Using the Wrong Tools. I’m guilty of that as well. I’ve used the dinkiest of brushes which only prolonged the job and created a mess. Not investing in correct tools and drop cloths only makes the project more difficult and time-consuming. It’s important to invest in the proper tools to make paint application cleaner and more efficient.


And don’t forget to look for low or zero VOC paint like Benjamin Moore ben to keep your home safe and chemical free. Benjamin Moore ben is also very durable and covers well.I love my new color. The house feels fresh and airy. I prefer gray tones over beige – they just give this clean look. Even though painting takes time, I don’t regret repainting most of my walls again. I have to look at them every day, might as well LOVE the color.

Remember, any able-bodied homeowner can paint rooms—all you need is a little practice, patience, and some helpful advice.

I linked up to Remodelaholic.