Last week, we covered all the painting tips and tricks to help you perfect your interior paint jobs. In this blog post, we’ll provide the exterior painting tips you need to make sure your home’s outside is just as beautifully painted as its inside.

Make Prep Work a Priority

Make Prep Work a Priority

Repair imperfections. Replace any rotted wood, and fill in any dents or holes. The final exterior should be sanded to create as smooth and uniform a surface as possible.

Kill mildew. If your exterior suffers from any mildew growth, be sure to get rid of it prior to painting. Paint applied over mildew will not adhere properly and will crack or peel when the mildew continues to grow. You can use a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water to eradicate the mildew.

Rinse everything away. Before you can begin painting, all the dust and residue that has built up over time and through your prep work must be washed away. If you have a particularly tough cleaning job ahead of you, you may opt to power wash, but if your home’s exterior is in relatively clean condition, you can get away with using a garden hose. However, keep in mind that you must allow at least 24 hours of drying time before painting if your home has been exposed to moisture.

Choose Good Paint

Choose Good Paint

Prioritize quality over cost. As was mentioned in our interior painting tips post, you should not skimp when it comes to paint cost. Higher-quality paints cost more up front, but they will save you money over time when they last much longer than their cheaper, lower-quality counterparts would have.

Read the can. Paint cans provide much of the information you need to make the right choice. Be sure to choose paint that is suited to your needs. For instance, most paint cannot be used in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you must paint in cooler weather, select a paint whose can indicates that it is formulated to withstand cooler temperatures.

Don’t forget primer. Primer isn’t just for brand-new surfaces. Unless your exterior’s old paint is in very good condition, it is wise to prime. Priming smooths imperfections and improves paint adhesion.

Test your choice. Before committing to the full paint job, it can’t hurt to try the paint out on a small, out-of-sight area of the house. Testing the paint first allows you to check how well it adheres and what the color looks like when actually applied.

Do the Work the Right Way

Protect plants and outdoor furniture. Cover anything nearby with a drop cloth to prevent paint droplets from splattering them.

Start in the shade. Not only is painting in the heat of the sun uncomfortable for the painter, but direct sunlight will also force the paint to dry too quickly. 

Paint from top to bottom. Because paint drips and splatters will inevitably occur, you can correct them as you move down. Working from bottom to top won’t give you the opportunity to catch anything that’s dripped down onto the area you’ve already covered.

Remember that two coats are better than one. Painting experts usually agree that two thin coats are more durable and vibrant than one thick coat. Take the time to coat twice if you are intent on achieving a long-lasting paint job.

Armed with the knowledge to successfully complete both interior and exterior painting work, your home can undergo a total makeover that will be sure to impress neighbors or prospective buyers.

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Sources: Benjamin Moore; DIY Network; HGTV; Popular Mechanics; Sherwin-Williams; This Old House.