A Touch Of Finesse - Painting The Exterior Of Your Home

The painting of exterior walls is very different from the interiors. Professionally painted exterior paint can not only extend the life of the paint but also the house. Be a part of the process rather than leaving everything to the paint crew.  

Here are some tips to help you stay informed and involved! 


This is the most important part of a paint job. Make sure that the paint crew is following this list of procedures before even beginning actual work. 


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Pressure washing for clean walls before you begin painting

It is important to start with cleaning the surface to remove dust, debris and any trace of mildew. The power washing method is used to remove all the loose dirt along with chalking paint.

Drop Cloths

Place drop cloths or large plastic sheets in the area being painted to protect the floor and prevent damage to paving stones, exterior railings, light fixtures etc. When the paint job is complete, simply remove for a clean finish.

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Dropcloths prevent paint stains and drips on exterior walkways 

Caulking and Putty

Caulking is used as a sealant in joints where the most expansion and contraction happens, like the windows and doors. Caulking is used to prevent moisture from entering cracks in wood. Always use paintable caulking made from latex. Putty on the other hand is used on old, worn surfaces to seal against moisture and air.

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Caulking around a window


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Putty is applied to fill and repair surface imperfections

Scraping and Sanding

Scraping removes the old paint coat to create a firm and even base for the top coat, followed by sanding, however, to make the scraped area smoother. Sanding and scraping make the finished job neater.

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Scraping a wall
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Sanding creates a flat surface

Choose your instruments

Paint with the brush

When using the brush, the paint crew should dip first third into the can and tap off excess paint without dragging the bristles on the lip of the can. Long and smooth strokes should be used, for an even surface oil based paint can be used several times. Another alternative is latex paints that need less time to dry.

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Painting with a Brush

Paint with a roller

Rollers cannot be used for corners and trims but are a quicker way to paint expanses of flat surfaces. To correctly use a roller it should be dipped in a paint tray and rolled back and forth to remove the excess paint. Roll on the wall in long, even strokes in all directions to cover the surface quickly but the final coat should be in one direction for a neat finish.

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Painting with a roller

Beginning The Process


Once initial prep work is done, it is time to clear the area and begin with a coat of purpose made primer for exterior paints. Primer is used to seal porous surfaces and hide any imperfections like stains. Primer is essentially a base coat that provides a flat finish and helps paint to adhere to the surface ensuring that the paint job lasts.

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A coat of exterior primer on a home

Finishing Touch

This is where you as a home owner will play the larger role! Tell the crew the color and finish for your home's exterior. Also tell them to prime the outer walls with a lighter shade of the final color. This will make your top coat more blended. The top coat will also protect your house from the UV rays that weathers your home.

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Beautifully painted exterior of a house

Paint Trims

Paint trims at the very end, beginning with the window sash and paneling around doorways and then move onto door trims.

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Painting the trims 

Clean that mess

Once the job is complete, all you need to do is discard the drop cloths. The paint crew should clean up and drips and splashes with chemical paint remover especially since reaching the second floor skylight glass is going to be impossible for you! 

With these steps your home will have a beautifully finished exterior that will last you through the sunshine and the rain, and still look like new for years to come! 


The Author

Home Concierge

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