Exterior Painting Tips

How To Plan for Painting Exterior of House

Painting the outside of a house can be a large project, and by spending some time planning and preparing, you’ll get better quality results.

Choose Color and Paint Type

  • You’ll want to choose a color that complements your trim, the roof, gutters, awnings and surrounding landscape. Professional painters call these “fixed assets.”
  • It's important for your home color to blend with the other houses in your neighborhood.
  • If you’re unsure what paint type is appropriate for your siding, ask the paint retailer or a contractor for guidance.
  • Transparent stains tend to look more natural than exterior latex house paints, and masonry paint works best for stucco.
  • Location-specific conditions may call for one type of paint over another.

Calculate Paint Costs

  • When researching paint, you'll come across a variety prices for the same type of paint. Compare coverage among brands by carefully reading the labels – a less-expensive option may have poor coverage and cost more in the long run.
  • To calculate the amount of paint you need, measure the length and width of each wall you're going to paint. You’ll want to buy enough paint to cover those walls twice (you’ll likely need to apply two coats), plus a 10 percent overage. You can also ask your paint retailer to verify how much paint you’ll need.

Make Necessary Repairs

Exterior Painting Tips

  • It’s very important to take stock of all wood, concrete and metal damage that needs repair before you paint.
  • Replace or fill rotting wood, damaged siding, and trim boards and rusted and corroded metal – whether decorative or structural.
  • Get the repair materials and tools needed, and make the repairs prior to painting.
  • Clean the surface you’re painting. If there is mold or mildew, you may need to rent or buy a pressure washer.

Safety Tips

  • To reach high areas, you’ll need a ladder. Do you have the right ladder for the job? Follow these 15 ladders safety tips.

Check Weather Conditions

  • Depending on where you live, you may only be able to paint during certain times of the year – but even during those times, conditions aren't always ideal.
  • Keep in mind that conventional latex paints cure best in temperatures between 50°F and 80°F and that your fresh paint could be ruined if the temperature falls below 50°F on the first or second night after applying it.
  • Figure out the best season and time for the job and then watch the weather reports as your window approaches.
  • If the extended forecast calls for warm temperatures and clear skies and you have all your paint, supplies and tools, go ahead and set up your ladders and sprayer – and start painting!

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