How to Properly Paint Your Exterior

Looking to update your exterior, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on upgrades? Painting your exterior is an easy and affordable touch-up that makes a huge difference. Whether you choose to go lighter, darker or more colorful, your exterior will get a fresh, updated look. While you can hire professionals to paint your home, if you want to save some extra money, why not paint it yourself? Check out our guide on how to properly paint your exterior.

Here’s a list of materials you’ll need:

-Exterior paint

-Pressure washer

-Paint sprayer

-Paint brush

-Painter’s tape

-Chlorine bleach solution


-Paint scraper

-Stain-blocking primer

-Epoxy filler

-Sanding block

-Exterior caulk

-Caulk gun

-Plastic sheeting

Step 1: Prep Your Exterior

Although it’s tempting to get straight to painting, it’s key to prep your exterior so the paint goes on smoothly and looks as pristine as possible. For best coverage, inspect exterior walls and trim for chipping, holes, peeling, mildew and other imperfections. Apply epoxy filler to cracks or holes; get rid of mildew with a chlorine bleach solution; and remove any loose or chipped paint using a paint scraper. Once that’s done, pressure wash your exterior to remove any dirt and dust buildup.

Step 2: Caulk

Next, it’s vital to seal any cracks, as well as joints where one type of material meets another. Walk around your exterior and fill in any gaps between your house and trim around doors and windows with exterior caulk using a caulk gun. If your house has mixed materials such as siding and stone, add caulk around the surfaces where the materials meet. 

Step 3: Prime

For best results, prime your exterior with a quality sealer. With a high resin content, sealer locks everything in place and creates a preferable surface for new paint to stick to. Acrylic and latex primers work well for vinyl and most wood sidings, while masonry sealers/primers are best for such surfaces as brick, stucco and concrete block. Check your primer or sealer instructions for the minimum time to wait before you start painting. 

Step 4: Cover Up and Paint Exterior

Before you begin painting, cover doors, windows and light fixtures using plastic sheeting and painter’s tape. Carefully load paint into a paint sprayer, then apply one or two coats to the entire exterior of your house. Work your way from top to bottom in a smooth, controlled manner. It’s ideal to use a buddy system: one sprays while the other runs a roller over the paint that has just been sprayed. This helps with speed and ensures more consistent coverage and smoothness! 

Step 5: The Finishing Touch

Remove plastic sheeting from doors, windows and light fixtures and paint all decorative details, including trim, fascia, moulding and shutters. Use a high-quality paint brush or a 6-inch roller, and take your time for a professional finish. To get the best finish on trim, you need maximum control. Hold the brush so that it balances on your hand at the point where the handle meets the brush. Place your fingertips on the metal ferrule and use your wrist to guide the brush for a smooth finish. The best way to paint shutters is to remove them and spray them away from the house. If you can’t remove them, use an angled sash brush.

And in five steps, you’re done! Enjoy your home’s fresh new look!