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Exterior Painting 101

Hiring a professional painter to paint the exterior of your home is not always a budget-friendly option. At some point, however, it will need to be repainted. Undertaking this task can be time-consuming and difficult without the proper information. You do not need to have exterior painting experience. Keep the following tips in mind.

Tools and Supplies

The proper tools and supplies are important. They affect how the paint is applied and how the final result looks. Generally, you will need brushes, rollers, roller covers, a scraper, and sandpaper. Painter’s tape and plastic drop cloths may be needed.

With the brushes and roller covers, the ones you choose should fit the type of paint you will be working with. Latex paints will be applied much easier with a synthetic brush, while oil-based paints do better with natural bristles. It is also a good idea to utilize a clean five-gallon bucket and roller screen. Choose a larger nine-inch roller size for larger areas and a smaller seven-inch for narrow areas.

Proper Preparation

One of the biggest mistakes people make when painting the outside of their home starts at the very beginning before the paint is even applied. Preparing the surface properly ensures that the paint adheres completely.


Chalking, mold, and mildew spots should be removed and the outside of the home should be washed completely and allowed to dry. Any areas that have bubbled chipped, or peeling paint should be scraped.

The spots should be sanded and a primer needs to be applied. If the existing paint is semi-gloss or gloss, it should be lightly sanded as well. Paint has trouble adhering to slick or glossy surfaces.

Weather Conditions and Sunlight

The climate will have a crucial role in the application of the paint, as well as the drying time. Choose a day with temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. Cloudy days can work to your advantage, but if it rains the whole project can be ruined and you will likely have to start all over.

When painting, start in an area that is shaded, and follow the shade as the sunlight moves. Direct sunlight can cause the paint to dry too fast and lead to bubbling or cracking. Humidity levels should be lower as well. High humidity can cause peeling.

Limit the Work Area

When you begin painting, work from the top to the bottom. Limit the sizes of your sections to about four or five feet at a time. You will need to maintain a wet edge so that you can overlap and avoid lines or streaks. Paint all the large areas first and then do all the cutwork. Instead of trying to apply thicker coats, apply multiple thin coats for the best results. Be sure to allow time for each coat to dry completely before you add another.

Many people put off painting the exterior of their home until it looks awful and it cannot be ignored anymore. There is often less work involved if you get the task done earlier, when the existing paint begins to show signs of damage. Although you may find that you need a substantial amount of paint and supplies, it is often less costly to do it yourself than to hire someone to do it.

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