Exterior House Painting: Should I Try It Myself?

 Exterior House Painting: Should I Try It Myself?

Home improvement shows help us gain a vision for how a home can be transformed, and often, the work can be done by the homeowners. This is a great way to save money and have more personal satisfaction in the project... if you can do it safely and properly. Is exterior painting that type of job? Is it a good idea to try painting your home exterior yourself?

Let's take a look at each of the steps of exterior house painting so you can decide for yourself if you are ready to tackle the project!

Preparing for Exterior House Painting

Getting the surfaces ready is actually one of the most important steps in exterior house painting. You need to begin by washing the exterior to remove all mildew, pollen, dirt, and loose paint. This can be done with a long-handled scrub brush and a garden hose, or using a pressure washer. Be sure to use a mildew-killing detergent if your home has any growth on the surfaces.

If there are any areas where the wood has deteriorated, this will need to be repaired. Any bare wood or metal needs to be primed before the paint goes on. Once this is all completed, the preparation is done!

Do you prefer using a pressure washer? Just remember that it can cause injury or property damage if not handled correctly. Also, you may need to get up on ladders for this stage. Always use extreme caution on ladders! Make sure the feet of the ladder are firmly planted on level, solid ground before you climb.

Protecting Nearby Surfaces Prior to Exterior Painting

Before you even open a paint can, it is important to cover anything you don't want paint on. Most importantly, this would be any parts of the house, like railings, light fixtures, shutters, gutters, doors, windows, and so on. It would also include walkways, plants, and nearby vehicles. This requires plastic sheeting and/or tarps and lots of painter's tape!

Applying the Exterior Paint

This is the trickiest step, and it requires being methodical and careful. You will need to move your ladder often, so you don't have to lean at any dangerous angles. Use a brush at all the edges, then use a roller to fill in the main sections, moving systematically from an upper corner, down and across the wall. Watch for drips, splatters, bare spots and so on, brushing them out immediately so they don't dry in place.

Equipment Required for Exterior Painting

If you have all the tools and materials, it makes a big difference. Otherwise, you might end up buying, borrowing and/or renting more items than you expected:

  • Wide, flat-ended paint brush
  • Narrow, angled paint brush
  • Paint roller and roller covers
  • Roller tray and plastic liners
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Tarps
  • Ladder
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Caulk
  • Wood filler putty
  • House wash spray
  • Pressure washer or garden sprayer
  • Sandpaper
  • Wire brush for cleaning paint brushes

Of course, unique situations might call for other tools or materials not needed on a typical exterior paint job.

Williams Professional Painting

Does this sound like a project you want to tackle? If so, we salute you! On the other hand, if you decide you would like to let a pro do it for you, that has advantages as well. You save a lot of time and effort, and the exquisite results you long for are guaranteed!

Williams Professional Painting has been serving clients in northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region for over 40 years, providing superior painting to generations of homeowners. Besides exterior painting, we also offer interior painting, carpentry, molding installation, kitchen cabinet painting, and a whole lot more!

Any Size/Type Project

Flexible Scheduling

Expert Project Management

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