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How to Pressure Wash Your Home Before Painting

If you are a homeowner preparing to paint your house, you will need to pressure wash your home’s exterior first. This is an essential step in the painting process, and if it is not done correctly, the paint will not adhere properly to the surface of your home.

This blog post will provide you with tips and advice on how to pressure wash your home before painting.

Should I Pressure Wash My House Before Painting?

Before painting the exterior of your home, you need to make sure that the surface is clean and free of dirt, grime, and other build-ups. One way to do this is to pressure wash your whole house before repainting.

This will remove any dirt, pollen, and other build-ups that could prevent the paint from adhering correctly. You want to power wash all areas of your home like the siding, gutters, and trim work as needed before starting a paint job.

Using a pressure washer during prep work before you paint your home will help cut your prep work in half to save you hours before the DIY painting project begins. This is because you can use water pressure to remove dirt instead of hand washing your home’s exterior.

Along with knocking off grime and dirt, pressure cleaning can also help remove old peeling or flaking paint. Since the pressure washer nozzle removes dirt and debris from the surface of your home, the fresh coat of paint will adhere to your home to provide a professional finish and last for years to come.

Remember that you will need to wait at least 24 hours before painting after you pressure wash your home. You should increase the amount of time depending on the weather and humidity.

For example, if it is very humid out, then you will need to wait longer before painting, and if it is raining out you will need to push your DIY painting project back a few days to allow your home’s surface to dry out.

If you decide to pressure wash your home before painting, be sure to use a gentle detergent and rinse the surface thoroughly before beginning to paint.

Once the cleaning solution is applied, you will need to rinse the siding with a garden hose or your power washer to ensure all detergent is removed from the siding. This is an essential part of the cleaning process because you need to wash your house and remove these chemicals since they can prevent the paint from adhering to the surface.

Pro Tips To Properly Pressure Wash A House

Most homeowners know that pressure washing is a great way to keep their homes looking clean and new. However, pressure washing is not a do-it-yourself project.
House washing with a pressure washer is not the most challenging part of a DIY paint job, but you need to know some essential tips to ensure you don’t cause any damage to your property during the home improvement project.

Let’s look at some things to think about while washing siding before a painting project with a pressure washer today!

1. Remove All Decorations From Around Your Home

Before pressure washing your home, you need to remove all decorations from around your home. This includes any furniture, planters, hoses, and more.

Anything that is not securely fastened down should be removed to avoid being damaged by the high-pressure stream of water. Pressure washers spray water a high speeds through the pressure washer nozzle.

This high-pressure water stream can easily damage rugs and cause decorations around your home to fall and break.

To pressure wash your home correctly, you need to have a clear area around your home. This means removing any obstacles that could get in the way, such as cars, grills, and lawn chairs.

Once you have a clear area, you can begin pressure washing your home.

2. Start At A Low PSI

When pressure washing your home, the first step is to choose a suitable pressure washer. If you have a large home, you’ll need a machine with at least 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch). For smaller homes, 2,000 psi should be sufficient.

Second, you’ll need to choose the proper nozzle attachment. A 40-degree nozzle is ideal for most homes; however, you may want to use a lower-pressure nozzle attachment if you have sensitive siding.

3. Don’t Use Pressure Washing To Remove Paint

If you are pressure washing your home in preparation for painting, it’s essential to know that you should not use the pressure washer to remove paint. Pressure washing is a great way to clean the surface of your home; however, it should not be used to strip paint from your home’s siding.

Stripping paint from your home’s siding can damage the wood and make it more difficult for the new paint to adhere correctly. I recommend manually scraping and sanding loose paint before pressure washing so you can efficiently clean the surfaces.

4. Be Wary Of Etching

Pressure washing can etch concrete, stucco, wood siding, and even stone surfaces if you’re not careful. This happens when the high-pressure stream of water removes the top layer of the material, leaving a pitted or etched surface.

Start with a low PSI and hold the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface you’re cleaning. If you’re still concerned about etching, you can always test the pressure washer on an inconspicuous area before moving to more visible areas.

It’s always best to start with a low-pressure nozzle and then work your way to higher PSI or a more focused spray pattern to avoid damage to your home.

5. Keep Nozzle At A 45-Degree Angle

When pressure washing your home, keeping the nozzle at a high angle is essential, this will prevent the stream of water from etching into the surface of your home.

Some homeowners make the mistake of pressure washing their homes at a low angle. This can cause the high-pressure water into the siding boards. This can result in moisture getting into your insulation and cause water damage to interior walls.

6. Be Careful Around Doors & Windows

When pressure washing your home, be careful around doors and windows. These are two of the most vulnerable areas of your home since you have openings where the high-pressure water can enter your home.

The high-pressure stream of water can force its way through cracks and crevices, causing water damage to the interior of your home. To prevent this, hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and move it back and forth across the surface.

I recommend not running your pressure washer over the doorways or windows and only spraying the nozzle to the trim work to avoid getting water into your home.

7. Work In Sections

When pressure washing your home, it’s essential to work in sections. This will help prevent you from missing any areas and ensure that you don’t over-wash any areas.

To pressure wash your home correctly, start at the top of your home and work your way down. Be sure to move the nozzle back and forth, so you don’t miss any spots.

Once you’ve finished pressure washing one section, move on to the next section until you’ve covered the entire exterior of your home.

I recommend starting from the top of your home and moving down to avoid spraying dirt around the clean areas that you just washed. Also, be careful not to spray the soffits and facia too much since these home areas can get damaged easily from high-pressure water.

How To Pressure Wash A 2-Story House

If you have a two-story home, pressure washing can be more challenging. I recommend renting or borrowing a pressure washer with an extension wand to reach the second story.

It’s essential to be extra careful when pressure washing the second story of your home. Hold the nozzle at a 45-degree angle and move it back and forth across the surface.

I also recommend keeping the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface to avoid etching or damage.

If you don’t have an extension wand, another option is to use a ladder to get close enough to wash the upper level of your home. Just be sure that someone is holding the ladder steady while you’re washing.

Wrapping Up How To Pressure Wash Your Home Before Painting

Now that you know the importance of pressure washing before painting, it’s time to get started on your own project. As always, we are here to help so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Happy washing!


Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a professional painter with over 10 years of experience. I want to show homeowners tips, guides, and advice to save them time and money when painting their own home. I know it can be daunting to take on a painting project yourself, but it doesn't have to be. With the right information and some guidance, you can easily paint your home and save money in the process.


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