Painting your home’s exterior is a big job, but it doesn’t have to be a big headache. We’ve got some hacks that will make the process way easier.
Remove hardware and doorknobs first
For the love of all that is good in this world, remove hardware and doorknobs first. It’s good practice to do so anyway, but it’s especially helpful when painting with latex paint because latex tends to get gummy around screws and nails.
To remove your doors’ hardware, use a screwdriver to turn each doorknob counterclockwise until it unscrews from the door. Then slide off any locks on your doors from their respective hinges before removing them. If you have glass panels in any exterior doors, detach those as well by sliding them out of their tracks if possible or removing them from where they’ve been attached using the same method described above for removing the lock on your exterior door. For most other types of hardware like wall anchors for shelves or shelving units, use a hammer and chisel to chip away at them until they loosen up enough so that you can pull them free with pliers or vice grips. Once every piece of metal has been removed from your house, place all pieces together in one area so they don’t get lost while painting begins!
Take your time cutting in around the edges of windows and doors
This is the most important part of painting your home’s exterior. The edges around windows and doors are the first thing people notice when they look at your house, so you want them to be neat, clean and crisp.
A high-quality brush is essential for this step. You can’t use a cheap paintbrush or one that has been used for something else (like cleaning). You will spend more time cleaning it later than it would take to use a new one in the first place!
Don’t be afraid to go over your edges again if necessary — once dry, you won’t see any marks from where the brush touched when wet. Once finished with all trim work, clean up any drips before they dry or touch any other part of the house by using a damp cloth dipped in water or mineral spirits (the same stuff used to thin paints).
Consider the weather before you start your project
When you’re ready to start painting, it’s important to consider the weather. Don’t paint in direct sunlight. It will cause the paint to dry too quickly and lead to uneven coverage, which can be very noticeable when you’re done.
When it’s hot outside, wait until evening or early morning when it gets cooler. This way, you won’t have to worry about drying time being affected by high temperatures. You also shouldn’t paint during the rainy season or when there are strong winds that could blow away your newly painted walls!
To ensure proper coverage and a beautiful finish, make sure that your exterior is at least 5 degrees higher than your dew point—the temperature at which water vapour begins condensing into tiny droplets on surfaces such as grass blades and windowpane glass—when applying two coats of exterior acrylic latex paint inside an uninsulated house in humid climates where relative humidity exceeds 60%. In other words: don’t skip this step unless you want drips while trying not-so-hardly to get rid of them later!
Use plastic to cover other surfaces
Paint splatter can be a pain to remove, but you can use plastic to keep it off of other things. Plastic is cheap and easy to use—just make sure you get the right kind of plastic for the surface you want to protect. For example, if your roof is painted (or even if it isn’t), make sure you get some plastic sheeting that’s thin enough not to interfere with drainage or weatherproofing.
For everything else, though: just go with cheap sheets of polyethylene plastic and use duct tape or similar materials to hold them in place while painting. They’re great for covering windowsills and exterior doors as well as plants—if you’re going to be using paint that might harm plants’ roots anyway, why not go ahead and protect them?
Check for chipping paint and wood rot
Before you start sanding, scrape off any loose or flaking paint with a putty knife. If you see any signs of wood rot, make repairs before painting (it’s easier to do this now than after your siding is covered with latex!). Also check for damaged caulking around windows and doors—if it’s cracked or missing entirely, replace it now so that your finish coat won’t pull away from the surface when wetted down later on in the process.
Use a scissor lift
If your house is two stories or taller, using a scissor lift rental service is the best way to reach the top of the house without having to climb up and down ladders all day. A scissor lift will allow you to get up high without having to worry about falling from an unstable ladder. Also, it helps keep you safe from injury by keeping you off the ground and away from potentially harmful falls.
Prime masonry before painting
You may have heard that you can just paint over unpainted masonry, but don’t be fooled. Masonry is a porous surface, and it will suck up any old paint you dump on it. If you’re painting masonry that has never been painted before, always prime it with an oil-based primer first to ensure even coverage and a longer-lasting finish.
If you want to get the best finish possible and save yourself some work later on down the line, make sure your masonry is primed before painting.
Use a paint sprayer for your siding
If you want to paint the exterior of your home, but don’t want to spend hours rolling or brushing on the paint, consider using a sprayer. Sprayers can speed up the process significantly, and they allow you to use less paint per coat than brushing or rolling does. However, keep in mind that spraying can get messy—you’ll probably want some sort of coveralls and/or goggles so nothing ends up on your clothes!
Have fun with this project, and enjoy the finished look!