Painting - Exterior

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Painting the exterior of your home

Level of difficulty: Moderate
Estimated time taken: 1-2 days
Tools required:

  • Power washer
  • Ladder
  • Sand paper
  • Scraper
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint
  • Tarps
  • Tape
  • Masking plastic and tape

Step 1: Power washing

  1. Inspect the house and determine how much cleaning you will need to do
  2. If you have mold or mildew on parts of your home, spray bleach diluted with water on the affected areas before you power wash. Be sure to power wash while the solution is still wet
  3. Make sure all windows and doors are closed
  4. Start at the highest point and work your way down the house
  5. You are looking to remove all dirt, dust, and debris from your house
  6. Let dry 24 hours before prep work

Step 2: Caulking

  1. Caulk the entire house where needed.
  2. Ensure all siding boards have any holes or cracks filled.
  3. Also make sure the gaps and edges are caulked.
  4. Caulk around all windows

Step 3: Masking

  1. Cover all windows with plastic and tape
  2. Cover any lights, door knobs, fixtures, etc with plastic or paper
  3. Mask all the way around your foundation to prevent the cement from getting over spray on it
  4. Remove or cover gutters
  5. Move your car or cover it with plastic if it is in the driveway. Over spray can travel further than you'd expect.
  6. Lay tarps down to cover any cement, grass, or any ground areas you do not want painted
  7. Lay down tarps on your roof as well as this is often overlooked

Step 4: Prep work

  1. Remove any old nails, screws, or hooks, and fill the holes
  2. Scrape any loose paint off the house. If this is not done, the paint will fall off sooner or later and you will have a big ugly bare spot on your house
  3. Sand any rough edges after scraping paint

Step 5: Priming bare wood

  1. If there are any bare spots on your house (wood without paint or primer), they will need to be primed
  2. Prime any spots with two light coats of primer
  3. You will also want to prime any especially dark spots or stains

Step 3: Painting

  1. Prepare your sprayer for painting according to the manufacturers instructions
  2. Start and the top of your house
  3. Work in small sections and spray evenly, making sure to never stop moving the sprayer
  4. Ensure no paint build up occurs which will cause drips
  5. After you paint a section, with it still wet, use a paint roller to "back-roll". Back-roll the entire area that you sprayed paint on. This will push the paint into the wood ensuring a long lasting paint job
  6. Continue throughout the entire house. Once your first coat is don't, perform a second coat without the back-rolling
  7. After all of the "body" paint has been applied, let dry and begin on the trim painting
  8. Trim painting is done by hand with a paint brush and small roller
  9. Use your brush to cut in the straight lines. Mask if you need to. Then use the roller to finish the rest of the trim piece.
  10. You will need two coats of trim paint


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