Now that you have settled on your paint colour it’s time to look at the practicalities for painting the exterior of your home. It’s a big job simply because it’s a large area to cover with speed bumps along the way in terms of window trims, door frames and gutters.
The best way to determine if you should paint your home yourself or hire a professional is to get a quote from a third party, making sure it includes all the equipment and paint and compare that to how many hours it will take you to do it yourself. If you have time and would like to save the money then a DIY paint job can be beneficial. Also take into account any health issues you may have that can prevent you from working outside for extended hours in hot or humid conditions, or if there are any concerns about working on ladders.
See about calling in a favour from a friend. Two, three or four sets of hands are better than one, and you can pass around the cold drinks at the end of the day.
No matter if you paint yourself or hire a professional you need to make sure your exterior paint is high quality. The best paint is 100 per cent acrylic latex. If you choose high quality paint it will last a good ten years, compared to low quality which will fade and peel much faster.
• High quality paint
• Pressure washer
• Paint sprayer
• Painter's tape
• Drop cloths
• Paint scraper
• Epoxy filler
• Medium-grit sanding block
• Spackle knife
• Plastic sheeting
Steps to painting your home exterior
1: Clean your house
It might seem like a good idea to get straight into painting, however, if you paint over your existing paint without any prep work it’s a waste of time and new materials. Any peeling paint will continue to peel, and new paint won’t stick to dust and dirt.
Start by identifying trouble spots. Go over your walls carefully and locate any patches where mildew, peeling, mould or chipping is evident. Spray mildew with bleach (chlorine bleach is best), and take notes on where there are cracks or gaps to fill to come back to later.
Use a high-pressure water hose to clean your home exterior from top to bottom (literally, start at the top and work your way down with a good overlap between sprayed sections). The pressure spray should take care of those treated mildew patches as well as strip off any loose or peeling paint. Pay particular attention to these areas and go back and scrap off any paint that is still peeling after a wash.
2: Fill gaps
Use an epoxy filler on any gaps, cracks or holes with a spackle knife. Remember you are looking to fix damaged areas, that includes window frames, door frames, fascia boards, and moulding and the spaces where these areas are not flush against the wall.
If you spot rotten or damaged wood this will need to be removed and replaced. When the epoxy filler is dry sand it back lightly with a medium grain sanding block and wash off any dust.
3: Cover up
Place drop cloths on any decking or floor areas you don’t want to get paint on. Cover frames, doors, windows and lighting fixtures using plastic sheeting and painter’s tape so you can work quickly without worrying about splashes and wind spray.
4: Use a paint sealer
The undercoat is such an important step especially if the original colour and new colour differ.
Talk to the service person where you plan to buy your paint about which is the best for your house material. If you have chalky walls you can get a primer to help reduce problems and provide extra stick. Also check how long you need to wait between applying the base coat and the final paint, they differ quite a bit.
5: Spraying is faster
The most efficient way to paint you home’s exterior walls is a process called spraying and back-rolling. You will need another set of hands to help get this done.
One person applies the paint quickly and evenly spread across the surface with the sprayer while the second person follows behind with a roller, running it over the freshly sprayed paint to get an even surface. It’s both quick and smooth, even on textured surfaces.
6: Second coat
Because you have used a primer a second coat is not always necessary. If you have the budget for it, a second coat is best, especially for a good finish and long wear. If you have bright or particularly vibrant paint you might find a second coat is required to bring the full colour out.
7: Uncover and touch up
Now it’s time to uncover those features and apply the essential highlight coats to doors, moulding, shutters, gutters and roller doors. All you need is a steady hand and a quality brush, or for a faster application, use a 6-inch roller. Wait the recommended time between coats.