A handy how to for painting a house exterior

Painting the outside of a house is a huge task. But, do a good job and it'll be years before you have to paint your house's exterior again. Here's a handy how to to help you on your way.

A handy how to for painting a house exterior

What you will need

  • Canvas drop sheets
  • Ladder or scaffolding
  • Paintbrush
  • Sheets of plastic (if required)
  • Garbage bags (if required)
  • Paint pad (optional)

Before you begin

  • Wash your exterior walls thoroughly to Be sure that you've properly prepared your exterior walls.
  • If your home's exterior is in good condition, you could use a garden hose.
  • But, if it's dirty and the paint is peeling, use a high-pressure washer.
  • If there's any mildew on your walls, remove it with a solution of dishwashing detergent and bleach.

1. Cover up

  • Work on a dry, windless day.
  • Cover all surfaces below your work area with canvas drop sheets.
  • Protect your air conditioner and/or mailbox with sheets of plastic.
  • Tie back or trim overgrown shrubs.
  • Cover shrubs loosely with large plastic garbage bags, if necessary.

2. Paint in stages

  • Remove as many exterior fittings as possible and paint them at your leisure.
  • Paint wood siding first, then trim and windows, doors and railings, and finally entryways and steps.
  • Always paint from the top of the house to the bottom, working in sections to avoid unsightly seams.

3. Brush it on

  • First paint the underside of your siding.
  • Apply the paint in short strokes, then spread it out using smooth, even strokes.
  • Press brush bristles against cracks and rough surfaces to force paint in, checking periodically for drips.
  • Once the undersides are coated, paint the faces of the boards.

Tips for using a paint pad

  • If you're using a paint pad, load the pad and, as with the brush in step 3, paint the bottom edges first.
  • Then pull the pad slowly but firmly along the length of each board.
  • If the pad is narrower than the cladding, overlap your strokes so you don't create a seam down the middle.

Follow this handy how to for painting a house exterior, and you'll likely not need to repaint the outside of your house for years.

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