A Fresh Coat: Expert Tips for Painting Your Home’s Exterior

 extrior-paintsSummer is here, and the weather is perfect for getting outside to do some much-needed work on your home’s exterior. In particular, you might be thinking about retouching the paint, or even changing the color of your house. Don’t be intimidated by how big the job might be – follow these tips, and you’ll have a beautiful new paint job that’ll have your house looking like new.

Pick Your Paint

There are two kinds of paint for exterior use, and both have different qualities, pros and cons. Water-based latex paints dry quicker, don’t have strong odors, and can be cleaned up with soap and water. Oil-based alkyd paints on the other hand dry slower, have strong smells, and require paint thinner for cleanup, but usually dry with fewer brushstrokes and tend to be more durable overall. It’s up to you what you use, but if you choose to use water-based paint on top of an older coat of oil-based paint, you’ll need to prime the surface first in order for the paint to adhere correctly. Additionally, whatever you pick, don’t take the cheapest option just because it’s the least expensive. With paint, you usually get what you pay for. Don’t go over your budget, but be willing to spend on the higher end to get the look you really want.

Finally, make sure you read any labels that come with the paint before you start applying it. Sometimes there is valuable information about how to prep exterior surfaces and what temperatures to avoid in order to get the best application. It’s important to follow instructions from the manufacturer as closely as possible in order to get the finish you desire.

Painter’s Tape

Painter’s tape is another must-have to complete your project. The best way to apply the tape is by creating even lines along all trim, door handles, or railings. A Palo Alto house painting specialist from Armstrong Installation Service says homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to over-tape as necessary. By over-taping, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by keeping new paint off of other surfaces. After you finish putting down a strip of tape, go over it with a straight-edged object such as a credit card to smooth the tape and keep it down. Last, make sure all paint is dry before you remove the remaining tape.

Rollers and Brushes

Which should you use to paint your house? Both, actually! A roller is best for covering long, large surfaces while a brush is useful for small, narrower surfaces or for touching up trim. To use a roller, you’ll have to purchase a paint tray as well. Dip the roller into the base of the paint tray, roll on the upper ridges of the tray to remove excess paint, and apply with long, even strokes to get the best result. For a brush, dip the bristles halfway into the paint can and tap to remove extra paint. A good technique involves pushing down lightly on the surface with the brush so as to bend the bristles, but not to the point where bristles are being bent permanently.


Finally, it’s important to know what techniques to use to get a gorgeous finish. First of all, you should start painting at the top of your house and work downwards. This keeps paint drops from ruining the finish on the bottom of the house. Next, make sure you use enough paint, and get in the habit of keeping your brush wet in order to ensure you’re putting it on as thick as it needs to be to look great. For your application technique, always apply paint from one wet surface to another wet surface, as this helps to prevent marks from overlapping. Finally, paint in the shade if you can and try to avoid direct sunlight. This will help to keep paint from drying too quickly, or even worse, blistering or flaking.

Hopefully you have a better idea now for how to paint your house from top to bottom (pun intended). Go out and start looking at different colors and paint types, do your research on what your project will entail, and come up with a budget for the materials you need to complete the job. Painting can be fun, but make sure you do it the right way so you don’t have to do it over!



Erin Emanuel