June 28

How to Prep a House for Exterior Painting (10 Steps)


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Are you looking to give your house a fresh coat of paint? Before you bust out the brushes and rollers, pump the brakes. Take a moment to consider how to prep your house for exterior painting. After all, a little extra effort now will save you a lot of headaches later. Your finish will last longer and look better too. 

Below, we’ll run through 10 steps to prep your house for exterior painting.

1. Inspect the Current Paint Condition

First things first, let’s talk about the game plan. Take a good, hard look at your home’s current paint situation. Are there areas that are peeling, chipping, or fading? Make a list of all the surfaces that need attention.

Don’t forget to note any repairs that might be necessary. This includes cracks and/or damaged siding. By making a list ahead of time, you’ll have a clear roadmap for your project without surprises along the way.

2. Choose the Right Time of Year

Now, let’s talk about timing. You don’t want to be painting in the middle of a heatwave or on a cold, snowy day…right? The sweet spot for exterior painting is usually spring or fall when the humidity is relatively low and temperatures are mild. 

However, professional painters can apply exterior paint year-round, so keep that under consideration. Otherwise, keep an eye on the forecast and aim for a stretch of dry days to give your paint plenty of time to cure.

3. Gather Materials and Tools

Before you get started, make sure you have all the right tools and materials on hand. You’ll need paint (obviously), primer, brushes, rollers, drop cloths, painter’s tape, and a sturdy ladder.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to skimp on quality with these materials and tools. Investing in high-grade supplies can make your life easier and your exterior paint results much better.

4. Use a Pressure Washer If Necessary

Now, let’s get into the details of prepping your home’s exterior. The first step is to give everything a good wash. 

If you have a pressure washer, use it or consider renting one from your local hardware store. The pressure washer will blast away all the dirt, grime, and loose paint.

This gives you a smoother surface to start painting on, making it easier for the finish to stick over time. If you come across any mold or mildew, clean the area with a mixture of bleach and water.

5. Repair Any Damages

Next, it’s time to make any necessary repairs. Here, you will fill in small cracks and holes, replace rotting wood, or repair damaged siding.

Caulking and sealing also play a role in this step. Make sure to identify seams around windows, doors, and where different materials meet. Look for old or failing caulk and reapply where necessary. Scrape away the old caulk, clean the area thoroughly, and apply the new caulk as needed.

Once everything is patched up, sand down rough spots to create a smooth canvas for your new paint.

6. Protect Surfaces From Paint

Before you start painting, there is one more step: protect everything you don’t want to be painted. This includes covering windows and doors with plastic sheeting or masking paper.

You should also use drop cloths to shield your landscaping, driveway, sidewalks, and outdoor features. Remember to secure the edges of your protective materials so they don’t blow away in the wind.

7. Apply Tape Around Surfaces & Edges

You’ll want to use painter’s tape on other areas, which can also help create sharp, professional-looking edges. This best protects areas like trim or other materials from being painted.

8. Select and Apply The Right Primer

Now that your house is prepped and ready, it’s time to prime it. This step is crucial for ensuring even coverage and long-lasting results.

Choose a primer suitable for your surface material and paint type. Remember to pay extra attention to problem areas like bare wood or rust spots.

9. Start Painting!

After priming, it’s time to get to business with the paint itself. Opt for a high-quality exterior paint that can stand up to the elements. Use a combination of brushes, rollers, and sprayers to get the job done, and make sure to work with each surface’s unique needs.

Remember to take your time and pay attention to the details as you paint. Use painter’s tape to create clean edges, and keep a steady hand when cutting in around windows and doors. Touch up any missed spots or uneven areas as you go, and give each coat plenty of time to dry before adding another.

10. Proper Cleanup

Finally, when the paint is dry and you’re ready to admire your handiwork, don’t forget about cleanup. Remove all your protective materials, dispose of any waste properly, and give yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done!

Hiring Professionals for Exterior Painting

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to consider when applying exterior paint to your house. There’s a ton of prep work involved and you’ll need to invest both time and money to make sure you come away with the best finish possible.

Because of this, it makes sense to hire professional painters to ensure the job is done properly and efficiently. 

If you are located in Indianapolis, IN, or the surrounding area, contact Walla Painting — the best exterior painting contractor in the region!

Walla Painting has been awarded as a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite while holding an “Excellent” 4.9-star rating on 160+ Google reviews.

For more information, check out some of the accolades Walla Painting has received and the service areas covered.

Call Walla Painting at (317) 656-7045 or get a free quote by completing the online form. 



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