How To Paint A House Exterior Yourself?
How to paint exterior house yourself? Listing important steps for an exterior paint job, you'd be proud calling your own.
Will lay out what you need to accomplish for this huge undertaking, painting your home's exterior. Thereby, having a paint job that will last many years to come.
First, would like to congratulate yourself taking on such a monumental task! Painting a home's exterior yourself can seem simple, until getting into the nuts & bolts of each step, questions needed to complete.
Also wondering how long it takes to paint a home's exterior by yourself can be quite different than professional painters doing this everyday. We will delve into this, guiding you every step of the way, for a superlative exterior paint finish, you'll be glad it's all finished.
One of the biggest questions when determining to paint your home's exterior yourself, building that sweat equity, is time you need to allow out of your schedule.
Questions To Ask Yourself, Painting Your Exterior Home
- Size of home?
- Gallons needed to paint a home?
- What type of exterior paint?
- Method how paint is applied?
- How much trim is on exterior?
- Which to paint first, then second?
- Exterior preparations needed?
- Cleaning exterior walls, siding
- Do I need to scrape old paint before painting?
- Should I sand walls before painting?
- Which areas need primer?
How Large Is Your Home?
Is your home a starter home, or one of great mass and grand scale? Is your home one story, or two? One with a walk-out basement? How large your home is first thought determining how much time you'll need to allocate painting your home. Of course smaller the home, less time is required, larger, taller homes takes much longer.
One biggest reason is time spent on a ladder. More ladder time equals more time required painting an exterior. Needing to go up & down, moving to next spot.
If painting your two-story yourself, the ladder will be your best friend, so take care of it like any tool in your shop.
Wondering How Many Gallons Of Paint Needed To Paint Your Home?
Number of gallons need to use painting your exterior is a good barometer to size of your home's exterior, also how much time spending, painting the outside of your home. However, spraying uses paint much quicker than brushing & rolling, taking less time to run through it.
We always estimate at least one extra gallon of each paint color, just for any final touch-ups, giving to our clients for anything they may encounter needing extra paint. Just last week, one of our clients said he was replacing light fixtures on either side of his garage. If new light bases are any smaller, no problem. He'll have some matching touch-up paint to use after old ones come down, and before new ones installed.
Generally, a gallon of paint will cover approximately 175-200 square feet of surface, one coat, applying 8-10 mils wet. Of course as paint dries, mil thickness shrinks, and you need to have anywhere from 8-12 mils dried. So therefore, needing two coats is what is recommended by most paint manufactures today.
This makes sense, because you are not able to put enough paint on once, before it would sag, run, or drip. Applying two complete coats is the trick.
What Type Of Best Exterior Paint To Use?
Today, marks the time most paint manufactures offers their best Lifetime paints, consisting of their very best primers added to it's formulation. With this added primer, several paint companies like Sherwin-Williams™, only require one good heavy coat.
Not needing to spot prime beforehand, only laying down one good thick coat can save you many hours as well.
Folks ask us, what's the difference in Lifetime paints, besides the price? Well, just as lifetime paints are available today with increased technology, and chemistry, scientists have developed paints more tolerable to fade.
Simply put, paint fade is the first thing to show, as paint ages. Having a paint highest resistant to fade adds to the cost you find at any local paint store. Knowing paint fade is not included with any paint warranty, knowing you have the best paint you can afford is ideal.
What Method Applying Paint Will You Use?
Different methods applying paint on your home is either spray, brush, or roll. Spraying uses paint much quicker, normally for larger areas, such as exterior walls, & siding. Brush or rolling uses same amount, but takes longer man-hours.
This is why most painters choose to spray walls, and brush, roll the trim. Just as most homeowners wish to pay for a spray method instead of complete brush & roll, costing much more. Knowing properly spraying will lay same amount of paint on just as even, just as thick as brush & roll methods.
Most homeowners do not have expensive Gracco™, or Titan™ professional airless paint sprayers, and choose to brush & roll entire exterior. Brush & rolling complete exterior would eat up the clock, than spraying using an airless sprayer.
Besides brush, roller, or paint sprayer, you'll need a host of other hand painting tools at your disposal, such as;
- canvas drops
- razor knives
- speed buckets, grids
- hand masker
- caulking gun
- 5 way scraper painter's tool
- extension poles
- several others
How Much Trim On Your Home?
How much trim you have on your home is a huge indicator how long it will take painting your home yourself, as these surfaces usually painted by brush and rolling. Depending if working on the ground, or high up on a ladder, painting is usually slower higher up on a ladder you go.
Reason for this is your time is eaten up, going up & down the ladder, moving it to next spot. You'll be getting back into the paint, brushing and/or rolling every time, moving the ladder.
Trim considered second contrasting color, typically on fascia, gutters, trim boards, around windows, etc. all require brushing & rolling.
Which Do I Paint First, Exterior Trim Or Walls?
This is a great question, more trim you have, the more you'll want to do that last. Painting trim last, allows you to over-spray trim, while painting field color. Then coming back, front facing trim, brush and/or rolling, you can perceivably apply three or four coats.
This technique works best here in Denver, painting countless exteriors for residents in our community. Does not matter if customer wants to reverse paint color scheme, making field color opposite, as well as trim. Even homes with more than normal trim, this technique, painting exterior wood siding walls first, then trim, works best.
How Much Preparation Is Required?
Amount of preparation is relative to how much your home needs painting. If many areas where paint is showing cracking, peeling, & chipping, you have more work ahead of you than otherwise.
You still have to prepare your home for painting, by pressure washing, caulking, scraping, spot priming, masking before picking up a spray gun or paint brush. Everyone of these areas mentioned is a vital part of your home's exterior paint preparation.
Again, knowing how much you have to scrape, and spot prime will take required time completing. Generally, you can sit aside a half day doing just these two things, but again, that's dependent how much preparation your willing to give.
Do I Need To Clean Gutters Before Painting?
Yes, best painting practices recommends starting from top, working down. And believe me, gutters probably have more debris, dirt, & sludge than you think. Painting exteriors is a great time to clean gutters before painting, because let's face it, they've got to get cleaned sometime.
Should You Pressure Wash Exterior Home Before Painting?
Pressure washing cleans exteriors before painting, is just like GOJO® cleans grease off of hands, or DAWN® cleans pots & pans.
You really should pressure wash exterior before painting your home. So many benefits cleaning outside of your home before getting started painting outside. Be sure allowing everything to dry back out, before scraping, caulking, priming, also painting.
"best painting practices for your exterior is yes, you should pressure wash before painting. Do so will clean dirt, dust, any debris from substrate, giving your prized paint coating a clean surface to adhere. Also, not trapping this foreign matter under paint, never to be seen again".
- gutters can be cleaned first
- pressure washing soffits
- cleaning exterior walls
- great time to clean concrete
- nothing trapped underneath
- better paint adhesion
Wonder How To Clean Exterior Walls Before Painting?
Working from top down, left to right, you'll be sure to properly clean walls, siding, and trim before painting. Having a plan, following that program will ensure you hit all areas with pressure washer. Knowing there is much dust, dirt, & grim attached to walls not visibly seen until you start spraying with high pressure water.
Let me ask you a question. If you stood outside your home for let's say, five years without moving a muscle, perfectly still, would you get dirty? Any bugs, spiders, wasps, birds, squirrels, or airborne dust landing on you?
Knowing all details how to clean exterior walls before painting will not only help final finish paint coatings, but helping the person actually conducting cleaning process.
How To Prepare Exterior Walls For Painting?
Preparing exterior walls for painting yourself? Several steps after pressure washing you need to do. Scraping, filling, sanding, priming, caulking is what you need to do for your walls before painting. Each one of these preparations highly important for outer sheathing protecting you inside, not to mention exterior walls, siding is very expensive.
Having up-to-date knowledge how to prepare exterior walls before painting is your key for a successful painting project.
Planning your time, as everyone's time is valuable. Determining if you want to undertake this monumental task, painting exterior of your home, or hire a qualified contractor. Learning initial preparation steps for outside wall surfaces for your home, will guide you through a monumental portion of painting your exterior.
Do I Need To Sand Walls Before Painting Exterior?
Sanding any fillers you've used repairing cracks, holes, or unevenness. Normally you do not need to sand complete walls, unless any old paint is requiring you to.
For the outside, you do not need to sand any primer before painting, as you should sand any fillers before priming. So depending on how many areas you've repaired by filling, sanding walls before painting exterior really does not take that much time out of your schedule.
Exterior Areas Requiring Sanding
Fillers, putty, patching compounds
Bubbles, blisters, chips, peels
All loose paint coming up, or will come up in 6 months
Windows, frames, sills, & window sashes
Baseboards, trim, outside cornices, handrails
Basically anywhere hands or feet touch
Getting Preparations Ready Painting Exterior Windows?
Having exterior windows that require painting, get ready to spend some valuable man-hours on this area alone. After washing, allowing to dry, you'll need to inspect for any loose paint, scraping, filling, sanding, masking before painting.
Most of the time wood windows are done by hand, brushing. Making sure you move bottom sash as you paint, so windows are not painted shut.
As you can see, prepping exterior wood windows for painting can eat up the clock too, especially on second or third stories.
Prepare painting exterior windows, count on spending at least an hour or more, per window doing this correctly. If time is a factor, you might want to wait until you have ample time to give all your windows, say over course of a weekend. Because let's face it, starting, stopping, setting up multiple times takes much longer, than working straight through this task.
Now you've set a painting schedule having all of your exterior window frames, sills, & sashes painted, you'll need a list of tools. Proper tools makes this go as easy as it can. Prepare gathering all these up from your garage, pulling out of your tool box. Listing complete range of tools later in article.
Do You Need To Scrape All Paint Before Painting?
You only need to scrape paint which has failed, before painting a new exterior coat of paint. Anywhere paint has lifted, cracked, bubbled, blistered, or peeling, you need to scrape. Reason for this is new paint will follow the path of paint underneath.
Using best ways to scrape paint off old paint on wood siding, making this preparation step as easy as possible. Paint scraping is a very manual labored task, but well worth your efforts, many years to come.
However, paint scraping adds countless years to quality paints, which if not done, can even cause best exterior lifetime paints to fail. As I've mentioned in previous articles, "Paint is Not Smart". A good quality exterior paint is only as good as the substrate it is covering.
Do I Need To Prime Exterior Wood House Before Painting?
A good rule of thumb; If not using Paint & Primer in one paint, you really need to apply primer on any bare wood, before painting. Cannot stress this enough, primer bonds to wood much stronger than typical exterior paint.
When using Lifetime paint, you don't have to worry about it, because your paint has primer built right into it. That's why Lifetime paints costs more.
Asking why you need to prime before painting wood siding is an excellent question. In a nutshell, high bonding exterior primers grab & hold to bare wood siding much stronger than typical high quality exterior paints. Knowing this, same high quality exterior paints bonds to primers much better than bare wood siding.
Weather Conditions A Factor
Besides pouring down rain, as there is no paint available today to paint in the rain, humidity, moisture, also extreme temperatures can have adverse effects on brand new paint.
Most exterior paints have a temperature range from 35 degrees to 90 degrees. If temperature rises too far above 90, getting too hot before fresh paint has cured, that same paint will probably blister, similar what your skin can do. Generally we follow shade around the home during summer months.
Humidity can be quite different in different parts of the country. Seattle can have higher humidity than say Salt Lake City, or San Fransisco much different than Denver. Knowing humidity has moisture, ideally less is better. Best checking recommended weather conditions where you live, looking for lowest humidity before painting.
Moisture content for surfaces is best applied lower than 15%. Several moisture meters available to you many under $20.00.
During winter months, we follow the sun. Surface temps can be 10 degrees colder than ambient temps outside. Just like being too cold painting outside, if fresh paint is applied to too cold of a surface, it can bubble once thawed back out.
So it's ideal picking best days weather for your painting project outside. Once paint has dried, cured to touch several hours, a light rain should not harm fresh new latex paint having a satin paint sheen.
Getting too hot, cold, or starts to rain, this will delay timing to complete painting your home's exterior.
Mechanical Problems Could Arise
If all these steps, preparations, and conditions were not enough, cannot forget any mechanical problems. Without knowing how to fix airless spray rigs, to working hand tools properly, this could certainly eat up the clock, taking much more time.
Professional painters who's been painting several years typically know exactly what to do. Similar to a mechanic working on a transmission or replacing brakes. Yes, you might be able to do same job, but taking 2 or 3 times as long.
Convenient places obtaining most paints, tools, equipment & supplies painting your exterior the quickest time possible.
All strive providing very best paints, improving each paint choice better every year. Today, there is no inferior paint product sold by major paint manufactures.
Most interior, as well as exterior paints becoming greener, having even less volatile odor content (VOC's) Green Earth Friendly, Eco Paint, than yesterday.
Knowing how to paint exterior home yourself can certainly save you hundreds of dollars doing it on your own. Following all these steps mentioned above, will diffidently have long term positive results with your exterior paint.
However, just like anything, professionals do this much quicker, typically with much better results. Painting an exterior is very comprehensive process, which most rely on a qualified painting company handling everything, without any headaches on your part.
Your time is valuable, and if you feel your time is better spent doing something else, you're not alone. Most choose finding a qualified painting contractor, managing this for you. Know your time is valuable, so if you feel like letting the pros handle this, you'll enjoy doing something else, having a brand new look for your exterior, keeping your sanity.
Gaining this info, helps saving you time, knowing how to paint your home's exterior yourself, which I hope it does, please like, share, ping, and/or comment below.