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Exterior House Painting: Everything to Know and Do

Is your house starting to look dull on the outside? Is your exterior house paint beginning to lose its luster and appeal? Then perhaps it is time to give it some fresh round of painting. 

Interestingly, the national average cost for exterior paint in the United States stands at $2,810. Prices can certainly go up depending on the size of your house. 

With all the serious money that come with repainting, you need to make sure you are doing things right.

Continue reading further as we give you the fundamentals and essentials in exterior house painting.

The Essentials in Exterior House Painting

Understanding the costs of exterior house painting is a small portion of a bigger picture. You need to know how to paint the exterior of a house. If you are planning to take on the task, check out these essentials we prepared for you below:

Ready Your Surface

Before applying any paint, you must first prepare your surface. Paint experts note that 95% of a good exterior paint job depends on having a prepped surface. 

If you have a stucco exterior, make sure to cure if first for at least 28 days. This is because the paint will not stick properly to uncured stucco. Moreover, the final output will likely look dusty or chalky without the curing.

The general rule is to wash your home’s exterior from top to bottom. You need to cover all the surfaces that you are planning to apply paint on. 

If you have a pressure washer, use it. If not, you can opt to rent one out. A pressure washer will help you complete the cleaning process way faster. 

The only time you can use cleaning additives is when molds and severe staining are present. Otherwise, stick to water. After washing, let your home dry for at least a full day. 

Scrape the Flakes

Once your home’s exterior is all dry, you can start scraping the flaking paint. To pull this off, you need a standard paint scraper and some elbow grease.

Another option is to use a hot-air gun or an infrared paint stripper. Don’t go for an open-flame torch. It will only put your home at risk of catching fire.

Before proceeding with the scraping, make sure you are wearing the proper gear. Put on a safety mask and a Tyvek suit. 

To make your scraping faster, spray some water on the surface you are scraping. 

Sand and Repair

After scraping off the paint, you can proceed with the sanding of the surface. Use a pad sander and some 80-grit sandpaper. Smoothen out all the rough surfaces that you encounter. 

Be gentle when sanding. Putting on too much pressure on the wood may leave sander marks on the surface.

Thereafter, you can proceed with the filling and repairs. Scan the exterior in its entirety and look for chips and holes. Fill up those small holes and dings with a patching putty or caulk. 

When applying caulk or putty, make sure not to apply on spaces that serve as ventilation. An example is the space between the gutter and the edge of a soffit. 

After patching the holes and chips, wipe off the residue with a soft clean cloth.

But if you notice a major problem, don’t hesitate to contact a carpenter. If you notice some rotting on the wood, you may need to replace them with new ones. Let the carpenter handle the wood replacement. 

Identify the Palette

Before buying any paint, you must first consider your home’s palette. Check your home’s materials. What makes your roofing and structure? 

If your home features stone materials, earthy tones will complement them best. For wooden finishes, cooler shades will match perfectly. 

If your house is somewhere in the middle, using bold colors will work fine. 

Apply Some Primer

Before applying the actual paint over the exterior, make sure you prime the surface first. If you are working on wood, use a latex primer. The same thing goes for surfaces that have existing latex paint.

If you’re working on areas that have several coats of oil-based paint, use an oil-based primer.

Never apply paint without priming the surface. Primers create an even base for your paint to attach to. They will also expose the small gaps in areas surrounding your windows and doors.

Pick the Right Paint

When choosing the right paint to use, you need to perform a test patch. Do this by priming and painting a small spot. Check if there are any problems regarding compatibility and adhesion. 

If you want to enjoy a fairly easier time painting, use a water-based acrylic latex paint. Compared to oil-based options, this applies easily.

It also dries up faster. You can also clean up the residue with soap and water. Oil-based latex, on the other hand, is more durable.

When it comes to the finishes, the higher the sheen, the better the paint can handle the suns’ UV rays.

Mind the Nature

Another important reminder before applying the paint is to check the plants and trees nearby. Trim them down a bit to create more space while painting. This will also ensure that no twigs and branches will fall over the wet paint.

Apply the Top Coating

When applying top coats, the more layers you apply, the higher the chances of flaking in the future. Using less allows the paint to bond better on the surface. 

Transitioning from a white exterior to something with a lighter shade like yellow can only take one coat. But if you are moving to a much darker shade, it may require you around two coats.

Improve Your Home the Right Way!

Exterior house painting is something that you can accomplish. All you need are the right tools and ample preparation. As for the other types of home improvements, you should always start by reading and educating yourself.

We invite you to check our other articles on home improvement. We provide useful tips and guides that will help you complete your projects the right way.