How to Prime a Home for Exterior Painting

How to Prime a Home for Exterior Painting

Knowing how to prime your home before painting exterior is vitally important. Having the exterior of a home painted, a number of things every home owner and/or reliable contractor should do before getting started. This will help the paint last longer and better protect the home’s exterior. A quality painting company will take care to make as little mess as possible, and will not leave any materials or equipment behind after they finish.

Power Washing Prime Exterior Home

Before starting the project, the home should be power washed. All dirt, grime, cobwebs and residue should be removed. Any stains or fused on debris should be scraped off or sanded down, depending on the home’s surface. A clean surface will help the paint adhere better and last longer. This also prevents lumps and bumps of years gone by from marring the fresh new look. The exterior should be completely dry before painting begins.


Everything below the project area should be covered with a tarpaulin or drop cloth. Even the most careful painters will have drips and splashes from time to time. Rather than trying to clean it up later and possibly damaging plant material or staining brick, it is best to put up a reliable barrier beforehand. All outside lighting fixtures, windows, doors and any other protruding surface that will not be painted should be covered or removed. When necessary, painter’s mask should be used to hold a covering against a surface instead of masking tape. This will prevent gumming up the surface and creating one more thing to clean.

Scrape Loose Paint

All cracked and peeling paint should be scraped away. Trying to paint over it will cause a ridged look that is noticeable up close. Loose chips will also eventually come off, creating an even bigger blemish on the surface. Depending on the type of surface, the remaining paint may need to be sanded on the edges to create a smooth transition that blends well into the rest of the area.

Prime All Bare Wood

Bare wood should be primed if it is to be painted. If pieces are missing, they should be replaced with a similar base shade and type of wood. Any wood damaged by moisture, insects or weather should be replaced rather than painted over. Small dings can be filled in with caulk made especially for that type of surface. Any gaps between wood trim or joints should be filled with caulk to prevent pests and moisture from penetrating the home’s exterior. Doing it before painting the rest of the house will allow it to blend in better or be completely unnoticeable.

Recapping How to Prime Before Painting Exterior

  • Power washing exterior, allowing to properly dry
  • Cover all areas not to receive outside paint
  • Scrape all loose paint, sanding mil thickness differences
  • Fill gaps with caulk, exterior Spackle
  • Prime all bare wood, Spackle areas

If you are interested in house painters Marietta or Atlanta painting contractors, be sure to visit Sharper Impressions Painting. Author: Christine Harrell


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