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Painting Your Home Exterior? Tips to Prep For Painting Success

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a few exterior painting projects in mind. Painting your home’s exterior can be a great way to improve its curb appeal and add value – but it’s important to do it right!

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with tips and advice on how to prep your home to ensure your house painting project looks great and lasts for years to come. Follow these steps and your paint job will look amazing!

Why Is Prep Work Important Before Exterior Painting?

Prep work is important for any painting project – but it’s especially critical when you’re painting the exterior of your home.

That’s because surfaces of your house exterior are exposed to the elements, which can make them more difficult to paint as previous layers of paint and the siding of your home start to chip and show its age.

By taking the time to prep your home before you start painting, you’ll ensure that the job is done right and that your new paint job looks amazing!

Beware If Your Home Was Built Before 1978

If your home was built before 1978, there is a chance that it contains lead-based paint. Lead-based paint can be harmful if it’s ingested or if it creates dust that you breathe in.

Before beginning any work on your home, it’s important to test for the presence of lead-based paint. If your home was built before 1978 then you will don’t want to scrape or sand any paint from your home. Instead, you should consider hiring a professional to test your home for lead paint.

If you have lead paint on your home then you will need to hire a professional painter to complete your paint job prep work since painting contractors have special equipment to prevent lead paint dust from entering your home.

What Steps Should I Take to Prep My Home For Painting?

You will need a few pieces of equipment to prep and clean your home before painting the exterior of your home. Some of the items that I like to use include:

  • A Power Washer:  A power washer is a great way to remove dirt, grime, and other debris from your home’s exterior surfaces. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using a power washer, as they can be powerful tools!
  • A Garden Hose: A garden hose is also a great way to clean your home’s exterior surfaces. I like to use a hose with an attachment that allows me to spray in different directions – this makes it easier to reach all of the nooks and crannies on my home’s exterior if I have to apply some chemicals to the home to kill mold or mildew.
  • A Scrub Brush: A scrub brush is perfect for getting into those tight spaces and removing any stubborn dirt or grime.
  • A Ladder: You’ll need a ladder when you’re painting the second story of your home or any high areas. Be sure to set the ladder on level ground and have someone hold it steady while you’re climbing up!
  • A Paint Scraper:  A paint scraper is a great way to remove old, flaking paint from your home’s exterior surfaces. This will help you create a clean surface for the new paint to adhere to. Be sure to scrape old peeling paint in all directions to ensure you remove as much as possible with each stroke.
  • An Electric Sander:  An electric sander can be a great time-saver when you’re preparing your home’s exterior for painting. It will quickly remove any loose paint or debris from the surface, leaving you with a smooth area to work with. I like to use an electric sander on areas that I scraped to help feather out the rough edges so the new coat of paint will look smooth and have a professional finish.

Once you have the equipment you need to prep the exterior of your home you are ready to get to work preparing the exterior walls of your entire house!

This process will take about a day depending on the size of your home and how much you need to scrape or sand. Be sure to take your time, because the prep work that you do before you paint your home’s exterior will have a big impact on how the final project looks and how long the paint will adhere to the home.

5 Steps To Prep Your Home For A Great DIY Painting Job

Before painting the exterior of your home, it is important to take some time to prepare the surface. If you don’t pay attention to paint preparation then the paint will not adhere correctly and will not last as long.

Now that we have looked at why prep work is important before any exterior painting project and the tools that you will need, let’s take a look at the 5 steps for paint prep that you will need to follow to fully prepare your home’s exterior before your DIY project!

1. Clean The Exterior Of Your Home

The first step in prepping your home for painting is to give the exterior a good cleaning. This will help remove any dirt, pollen, or other debris that could potentially interfere with the paint’s ability to adhere to the surface of your home.

You can use a power washer, garden hose, and scrub brush to clean your home’s siding – just be sure to let it dry completely before you start painting!

2. Remove Contaminants That Won’t Wash Away

Once you’ve given your home’s exterior a good cleaning, it’s time to remove any contaminants that can’t be removed with a simple wash. These might include mold, mildew, or moss.

You can use a chemical solution to kill mold and mildew – just be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully! I recommend using a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach and spraying your home’s exterior with a hose addon or with your pressure washer. If you use a mixture of bleach and water you will want to tie back bushes and other plants around your home because the bleach will kill your plants if you get overspray on them.

Once you’ve removed all of the contaminants from the surface of your home, give it another rinse with clean water to remove any residual chemicals. You can also use a stiff-bristle brush to scrub away contaminants that won’t wash off to ensure your home’s exterior is as clean as possible before you paint.

3. Scrape Old Paint Off Your Home’s Surface

The next step in prepping your home for painting is to scrape off any old paint that’s peeling or flaking.

Use a putty knife or other scraper to remove any old paint that’s not adhering well to the surface of your home. You might need to use a wire brush on areas with heavy build-up – just be sure to wear gloves and a dust mask to avoid inhaling any harmful particles.

Once the surface of your home is clean, you’ll need to remove any old paint that is peeling or flaking off. This will help create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to and will also help you avoid any issues with the new paint not bonding properly.

Use a paint scraper to remove as much of the old paint as possible – be sure to scrape in all directions so you don’t leave any areas untouched. If there are areas that are particularly difficult to scrape, you can use an electric sander to quickly remove the loose paint.

4. Repair Cracks & Holes In Your Home’s Exterior Before Painting

The next step in prepping your home for painting is to repair any cracks or holes in the exterior surface. This will help create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to and will also help prevent water damage in the future.

To repair cracks, you can use caulk or wood filler – just be sure to follow the instructions on the product label carefully.

For larger holes, you might need to use expanding foam or another type of filler – again, just be sure to follow the instructions on the product label.

This part of prep work will help protect your home for years to come and filling in the gaps before you apply a fresh coat of paint will ensure the entire project looks amazing.

Once you’ve repaired all of the cracks and holes in your home’s exterior, give it a final once-over with a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris that could potentially interfere with the paint’s ability to adhere to the siding and trim work around your home.

5. Add Primer To Bare Wood & Metal Surfaces

The final step in prepping your home for painting is to add primer to any bare wood or metal surfaces. This will help the paint adhere better and will also provide a more even appearance once the project is complete.

You will want to apply primer to any areas that you scraped old paint from to ensure the new coat of paint adheres to your home.

Just keep in mind that you won’t have to apply primer if your exterior paint has paint and primer mixed together. This type of paint will let you skip the priming step since the primer in the paint will adhere to the bare wood.

Once you’ve added primer to any bare wood or metal surfaces, give the area a light sanding to help roughen up the surface and create a better bond for the paint.

Now that you’ve prepped your home’s exterior, it’s time to start painting! Be sure to choose the right type of paint for your project – either latex or oil-based – and follow all instructions on the product label. With these tips, your exterior painting project will be a success!

Perfect Paint Preparation For Your Exterior Painting Project

Did this blog post help you prep your home for exterior painting? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to share this post with anyone who might need some help getting their home ready for a fresh coat


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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