If you want to paint your house, there are multiple questions you may have when it comes to how to start the process. Although undertaking an exterior house paint may seem like a daunting task without the help of professionals, it is also a highly rewarding experience. This blog aims to give you a handy guide on exterior painting, from what colours to use, what brand of paint to use, and everything in between. The most important first step is to gather all tools and materials necessary to complete the job and to consider a few key considerations as discussed below.
List of Tools and Materials
- Exterior-latex paint
- Wood filler
- Paint sprayer
- Paint roller set
- Tape measure
- Metal paint sprayer
- Drop cloths - to protect floors against paint splashes!
- Painter’s masking tape
Although the list of materials may seem extensive and perhaps intimidating, do not worry - we will provide you with plenty of tips for both reducing and estimating costs later in the blog
Considerations before you paint
- When to paint the house
- Tools and materials
- Brush or Spray?
Before you undertake the task of painting your house, there are many decisions to be made. The key considerations you must keep in mind before you paint will be addressed throughout this blog to help simplify the process.
Brush or Spray?
With commercial paint sprayers becoming more available than ever before, the question arises of whether you should spray or hand paint your house’s exterior. Hand painting is a time-consuming activity which may be easier when confined to smaller areas. However, if weather conditions permit, there is nothing wrong with deciding to hand paint. Here is a brief comparison of the two methods of painting for your convenience.
Quick to start
Extensive prep work required
Easier to pay close attention to details
Faster once the painting begins
More paint is wasted
Overall, painting via hand brush requires significantly less prep time, allowing you to get started on the paintwork faster. Spraying also requires a wide area of dropcloth space whereas brushing needs only a drop cloth directly under the painting area. Brushing makes it easier to pay close attention to detail and identify areas that may need further work - which is more difficult when spraying. Brushing also allows for paint conservation as it uses less paint than a sprayer.
Meanwhile, spraying is less physically demanding and allows for faster area coverage. High or out of the way areas are more easily reached than if hand brushing.
Choosing a colour is arguably the most exciting part of the process as it gives you a chance to get creative. It is important to consider your future goals when you are making this decision - are you painting the house for yourself, or perhaps a potential buyer? Neutral colours such as beiges, whites and browns, and colours that fit in with the scheme of the neighbourhood are safe choices when it comes to attracting buyers. If you are choosing a colour based on your family’s preferences, you may have more freedom.
To test colours, it is a good idea to buy paint samples and apply this paint on different sides of the house, to see how the colour looks in different lights.
There are hundreds of brands of paint available on the market but we have gathered a couple of the most trustworthy, best quality names for your convenience. Below is a brief overview of our recommended paints, please see our full range of exterior paints here. Both brands have a wide range of quality paint with many different options regarding colour, sheen and gloss.
Estimating exterior painting costs is a key part of the process, particularly if you are under the constraints of a budget. Luckily, it is straightforward to estimate such costs. The vast majority of costs will be dedicated to paint and primer, which can easily be determined with a paint calculator.
Conserving paint when spraying
Conserving paint is an effective way to minimize costs. There are multiple ways this can be achieved, allowing you to conserve money and time.
- Avoid the wind
Extreme wind can increase your paint consumption by up to 50%. It is best to wait until weather conditions are calmer before attempting to spray.
- Stand closer to the surface
Standing closer to the surface means that less paint is lost when spraying. However, spraying closer may also increase the risk of drips so ensure you are properly protected with a paint sock, coveralls, respirator and secure goggles.
13 Steps to DIY House Paint
Step 1: Clean the house’s exterior thoroughly
To ensure that paint and primer are evenly distributed, any dirt, mould or mildew must be removed.
- Power washer or hose
- Scrub brush
Step 2: Remove paint that is flaky or chipped
If there are any areas in your house where the paint is chipped, lifted or peeling, you will have to scrape these areas loose with a wide paint scraper, until you are left with a smooth surface.
- Paint scraper
- Wire brush
Step 3: Repair any damage
Underlying issues such as rotting wood or warped trim should be addressed before you apply a fresh coat of paint to your home. Wood putty is always a good option for removing small blemishes.
- Wood putty
- Assorted wood putty knives
- Orbital sander
Step 4: Check and repair seals
To ensure that moisture doesn’t get into your home’s exterior, you should ensure all doors and windows are properly sealed.
- All-weather exterior sealant
- Caulking gun
Step 5: Select paint colour and sheen
Colour options are seemingly endless, however, there are a few things to consider which may help you decide. The decision of whether you want your home to blend with other houses in the neighbourhood or go for something more unique may be a good place to start.
- Paint swatches
- Paint samples
Step 6: Purchase primer and paints
Earlier in the blog, we mentioned a few specific brands of paint which we recommend for exterior house painting, Dulux and Taubman. However, there are also other considerations to take into account, such as how much paint you will be requiring. Use the handy paint calculator above to assist you in your preparations.
- Exterior paint
Step 7: Gather paint supplies
As listed at the beginning of this blog, there is a myriad of supplies you’ll need to gather before you begin painting. However, the good news is that a good proportion of the supplies are also available to rent. Go through and ensure you have all the necessary supplies for the task.
- Paint rollers and frames
- Paint sprayer
- Drop cloths
- Step ladder
- Painter’s tape
- Paint trays
Step 8: Protect surrounding areas with drop cloths
Painting is an inherently messy task and consequently, it’s important to protect the areas of your home directly surrounding where you’ll be painting.
- Drop cloths
- Plastic sheeting
Step 9: Apply primer
This step can be skipped if you have chosen a paint and primer combination. Additionally, this step should be carefully planned so that you are painting in clear weather as the paint and primer need a completely dry surface to adhere properly.
- Exterior primer
- Paint bucket
- Paint sprayer
Step 10: Apply the first coat of paint
When applying your first coat of paint it is best to begin at the highest point of your house (a step ladder comes in handy here!) and paint using straight, even strokes. You should ensure you are following the layout of your siding. Vertical strokes should be applied on vertical siding and horizontal strokes on the horizontal siding. If spraying, it is advisable to dilute the paint with water to ensure a smooth, even coat.
- Exterior house paint
Step 11: Apply the second coat of paint
Before applying the second coat of paint, the first coat must have dried completely. This process may take approximately two hours. You should also use new brushes for this step to ensure a smooth finish.
- New rollers
- Cleaned paint sprayer
Step 12: Tape and paint trim
With the exterior all done, the final step is to paint door frames, pillars, windows and window wells with a mould and mildew resistant exterior trim paint.
- Painter’s tape
- Trim paint
Step 13: Clean up
Now that your exterior is looking great, it’s time to clean up. Remove painter’s tape, scrape any paint off windows and clean tools and brushes. Ensure all paint cans are sealed to avoid spillages and store them safely by avoiding extreme high or low temperatures.
- Trash bags
- Utility knife
- Paint clean up knives
Maintaining an Exterior House Paint
To keep the exterior of your home looking fresh, some additional maintenance work may be required. Giving the exterior a yearly powerwash as well as avoiding overflow of water from clogged drains can protect your home from damage and ensure that it is always looking its best.