Painting The Exterior Of Your House

Painting The Exterior Of Your House

“Painting an average home between 500 and 1,500 square feet can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. However, factors such as number of stories and ease of access can also affect the overall price. Homeowners report the average cost to paint a house nationally is $2,581 and most pay between $1,714 and $3,682.”  Source:  2018 Cost to Paint a House l Average Home Exterior Painting Prices

As you can see, painting the exterior of your home can be an expensive proposition. If you are ready, willing and able – painting it yourself could save you a lot of green!

First of all let me say – painting the exterior of your house is not for the faint of heart. You must consider the size of your house including the height because after all you will be up there in the stratosphere painting the peaks. If you’re afraid of heights or skittish about ladders you might want to reconsider, but using good equipment and adhering to good safety guides lines can help immensely. That said, let’s get on to the tips and tricks!

Before You Start

If your home was built before 1978 you must consider you may have lead based paint in the mix somewhere.  While you may not be obligated to follow the same EPA rules a professional contractor is you should still protect yourself, your family and your neighbors for airborne lead particles. Check with your local municipality for requirements.  But the first thing you should do is test – you can get a lead paint test kit at most home improvement, hardware or paint stores. If your test is positive you should take some precautions.  1 - Lay drop cloths and collect any scrapings. 2 - Clean the area with a HEPA vacuum. 3 - Wear masks & Tyvek suits. 4- Dispose of all materials at an approved hazardous materials site.

Please Peter Painter Pick the Proper Paint

Painting with latex paint is much easier than using oil-based. They apply easily, dry quickly and clean up with soap and water. If your house already has oil-based paint (oil based is more durable) you should stick with oil. 

You also need to choose a finish. As a rule, the higher the sheen or gloss, the better the sun-blocking. Think of it as SPF for your house. Blocking the sun will make your paint last longer and helps keep the siding & wood in good shape. Satin is good for shingle or clapboard siding but you might want a gloss or semi-gloss for areas like window, door casings and porches – these are the “touchable” parts of the house and higher sheen will make them easier to keep clean.

Clean Up Before You Begin

Your paint won’t stick to a dirty house; so wash it before you start painting. You should use a phosphate-free cleaner and a mildew killer. You can do this with a bucket and sponge, but you can also use a power washer just be careful not to force water under the siding or boards.

Scrape, Scrape, Scrape

It can be tempting to skip this step, but painting over loose, peeling paint will leave you with loose, peeling new paint. Wait until the siding is dry and then use a handheld scraper to remove as much of the loose paint as possible.  If your siding tested positive for lead then use the removal process mentioned above and work safe.

Don’t Forget to Sand

Smooth out the rough spots with and pad sander or random orbital sander using an 80-grit sandpaper. Take care to not push too hard and leave sander marks. Again, if you’ve found lead based paint – work safe; use a sander fitted with the appropriate HEPA filters.

Fill and Repair Damage

Now that you’ve cleaned up the surface, scraped and sanded you’ve got one more step before you pick up a brush or roller. While you were doing these early steps you may have noticed some spots that need a little extra love. Fill minor holes and dings with patching putty or compound, you can find it at most home improvement, hardware or paint stores. (Heard that before didn’t you?) If you happen to find anything major like rotting wood you will probably need to find a carpenter to replace the bad areas. You should also try to determine why this rot occurred and correct the underlying issue to prevent a reoccurrence.

Ready, Set, Prime!

Apply primer immediately after prepping the siding. It provides an even base for your topcoat, remember since you’ve properly prepped not all your surface are equal. There will be paint, bare siding and possibly some patchwork or new wood. Even everything out with the primer for the best topcoat possible. The type of primer will depend on what type of paint is already there. Consult with your paint supplier for the best advice.

Caulk Right There

When you prepped you probably found some spots where there were obvious gaps but there will be some you won’t see until the primer makes them jump out at you. Now is the time to fill these gaps with a good Silicone or polyurethane acrylic caulk and make sure it is paintable caulk. This will give you a smooth, nice looking house but it’s not all just cosmetic. Caulk in all the right places with help prevent air and water penetration.  Buy enough to get the job done at one time (average house will take about 7 tubes) and return what you don’t need when you’re finished.  There’s nothing worse than having to stop mid job to run back to the store!

Now (drum-role please) Let the Painting Begin!

When applying top coats (yup, it might take more than one) less is more; meaning a thin layer will bond better and last longer than a heavy coat. Thick, heavy coats on the other hand will flake and peel more in the future.  If you’ve sprung for a good paint and you’re using the same color or going over a light color you might be able to do it with one coat. Going for dark to light will most likely require an additional coat.

Maintenance is Key for Longevity

Now that your finished – stand back and admire you’re handy work. You did it!! However, you probably don’t want to do it again any sooner than necessary. You can make your hard work last longer with a little yearly maintenance. 1- Inspect the caulk and replace any that is cracked or missing. 2 – Remove mold and mildew. 3 – Wash stains from things like birds & pollen. 4 – Touch up blisters and peels BEFORE they spread.

Tips from houselogic

Kelly Pangburn Headshot
Phone: 231-519-1872
Dated: June 22nd 2018
Views: 295
About Kelly: ...

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Pangburn Properties, Inc.
28 South Maple Street, P.O. Box 8
Grant, MI