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How To Prep The Exterior Of Your House For Painting

Most people have had the thought one time or another; my house could really use a new paint job! Of course, that sounds like more work than is worth it for many people. For others, though, it sounds like a fun weekend project to tackle. For those people, it’s good to be aware of what all goes into painting the outside of your house before you start. This article will give you all the information you need to prep the exterior of your home for painting.


Removing Old Paint Chips

The first step to a good paint job is removing old paint chips. If you have a lot of peeling or chipping, this will be quite the extra-large task. If you have just a few or even none at all, though, it will only take a little bit longer than ordinary house prepping. In almost every case, you want to use a scraper for this process. The softness of the blade means that it won’t damage your surface as you scrape off those old chunks of paint.

Wash Your House

The second step is washing your house. You want to remove any dirt, dust, and cobwebs before you start painting. If you can’t get them all off with just a garden hose and some soap, be sure to use a pressure washer on those particularly tough spots. A ladder is going to be necessary for this process as well. You’ll likely have difficulty reaching the high points of your house from ground level. Remember to take safety precautions when using a ladder, no matter how short the distance is to the ground.

Repairing Damage

The third step is repairing any damage to the exterior of your house. If it’s a small crack, you can use caulk or even some patching compound. For larger cracks, though, you’re going to need some wood filler and some sandpaper. Once again, a ladder is necessary for this process as well. Remember that safety comes first when using power tools as well as ladders! To repair cracks using wood filler, just mix the wood putty and apply it to the crack with a spatula, scrape off any excess and let it dry. After that, just sand off any parts that aren’t smooth, and you’ll be ready to paint over the top of it.

Taping Doors And Windows

The fourth step is taping off all the windows and doors. This serves two purposes; keeping your paint where it’s supposed to be and keeping it out of places you don’t want paint. If you’re painting any trim along with the siding, this will prevent the paint meant for siding from getting on any trim boards you have not painted yet. Just use painter’s tape for this process; anything stronger will peel paint off any surface you put it on. To cover doors and windows correctly, take a single strip of tape and press it down all along the top edge first. Then do each side, pulling it tightly as you go. Finally, do any bottom edges that are exposed to ensure nothing will be leaking under your tape. Just to be safe, it is good to cover the doors and windows with painter’s plastic.

Priming Your Home

Your final step before painting is priming if necessary. You should only do this if the existing paint on your house is a dark color. If you’re painting over a light color, then priming isn’t necessary for this process because you won’t be able to see any difference once it’s painted. For darker shades, though, it can help even out the texture of your siding and help your new paint cover better and more evenly. All you need to do is put a coat or two of primer on first, let it dry, and then put on as many coats as you want of your new exterior paint! You can also see if the paint you purchased has primer in it. If so, you may be able to skip this step depending on the previous color of your home!


The outside of a home can make all the difference in whether or not someone stops to look at it. Painting can change how a house looks from the front door to the back porch, and it can be a fun project to do with friends or family members. Remember, painting is not as simple as slapping on some new coats of color. You need to prepare the surface of your house before painting, or else your paint will chip and peel quickly, or you could end up with a lousy paint job and paint in places it’s not supposed to be. So, just follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to spruce up your home with a quality paint job in no time!