The exterior of your home should be re-painted every five to 10 years. The precise timing will depend on the material of your house’s exterior and the quality of paint used. Long term, it is best to purchase the highest quality paint you can afford. This will save you time and money spent on any future paint jobs. Think of paint as the first line of defense for a home, protecting it against dirt, grime, mildew, and other residual build-up year after year, so make it an investment worth having!
PLAN before Re-painting your Home
Planning is the essential first step to any home project. There are several materials required to complete a paint job, some you may not even consider:
- Exterior Paint
- Pressure washer (or high pressure hose)
- Paint sprayer
- Painter’s tape
- Plastic coverings
- Drop cloths
- Paint scraper and sander
- Exterior Caulk
- Caulk gun
Plan for weather too. Many people are convinced summer is an ideal time to give their home a facelift. However, even in the summer considerations must be made. Paint when temperatures are consistently over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, just in case the paint job takes more than one day. Fog coverage and, for obvious reasons, rain cause poor painting conditions because the weather interferes with how well paint dries. For best results, follow the sun while painting to avoid painting in direct sunlight, as this may cause cracking or peeling if temperatures in the sun are too hot.
PREPARE for your exterior for painting
The house and the grounds around it must be prepped before applying paint. Use drop cloths and other coverings to protect the ground from paint peelings and paint drippings. Plastic should not be used to cover plants, use cloth instead. Outline door and window trim with painter’s tape and cover any objects attached to the house, such as lights, with plastic coverings to protect from dripping paint.
Paint will adhere best if the house is pressure washed and stripped of any loose or peeling paint. Pressure washing the siding will help to remove years of dirt and dust build up, so you paint on a clean surface. Like painting, it is best to wash from the top down. Any rough, peeling, and otherwise worn areas should be scraped free of paint and sanded down. Again, the goal is to have a fresh surface to apply the new paint on.
Lastly, caulk small cracks between the house and the trim around doors and windows.
PAINTING the exterior of your home
You’re finally ready to paint, kind of. Before laying on the paint, coat the house with a layer of primer. Primer prepares the surface so it is in top condition before paint is applied. Primer creates a smooth finish, blocks stains, creates an adhesive surface for paint, and prevents peeling.
Now you’re ready to paint! A sprayer will result in a faster, more even paint job than a paintbrush. Working from the top to the bottom, paint with a smooth, controlled manner. You shouldn’t need more than two coats for a job well done. One gallon of paint will coat about 400 square feet of exterior on a wood surface and roughly 200 square feet for a rough surface, like stucco. As you paint, be aware of gutters, roofs, windows, gardens, porches, and decks. These areas are easy to accidently get paint on, so use a paint brush to diligently apply paint to these areas.
CLEAN-UP after painting your home
Any extra paint and left over paint cans need to be disposed of or stored properly. When you purchase your paint, simply ask how best to dispose it in your area.
Remember, older paint jobs may have used lead-based paint. This can be toxic to yourself and the environment while you scrape it off. Take proper precautions to have a sample of the paint tested for lead before removal.