How to Prepare Your Home for Painting

home exterior painting

If your home in Alexandria needs to be updated, a new coat of exterior paint is a fast, inexpensive way to improve its curb appeal. So if your house is starting to look worn down or if you’re just ready for something different, consider painting the outside of your home yourself or pay a local painter to do it for you.

Painting a home is a big job, but it isn’t an impossible job for most homeowners. You have to do your research to understand how to prepare the exterior surface by scheduling residential pressure washing, as well as what brushes and paints you need to use.

You can also compromise with a painter by doing all the prep work yourself, but then having their team come over and do the painting with their best tools, safety equipment and selected paint.

Whichever direction is best for you, you will still need to know how to prepare your home for painting. Here are the most important things to remember.

6 House Painting Preparation Tips

  1. Choose which parts to paint, gather the ladders and all other necessary safety equipment. If you’re preparing to do the painting yourself, you’ll be glad you did. Having a plan will help to make the painting go a lot faster as soon as you begin. Collecting your equipment ahead of time guarantees that when you start painting, you shouldn’t have to stop and look for needed supplies, meaning that you’ll have to maintain a wet brush edge the whole time you are painting.
  2. Choose paint and brushes. The fun part of painting your home is deciding the color or color combo. You’ll also need to choose the right paint finishes for all parts of the home. Latex is better than oil-based paint for home exteriors. It is less messy and easier to clean up. The flat surfaces need more of a flat, or matte, finish, versus semi-gloss for the trim. You’ll need to us synthetic fiber brushes for latex paint. Rollers and sprayers are time-saving options.
  3. Pressure wash. Finally, it is time to start prepping the surface of the home for its brand new paint! Put time into power washing your home (or hiring a local pressure washing service) to wash off any cracked or peeling paint. The high pressure water is the recommended way to remove old paint, and it cleans the outside of your home. Some of the sections of paint may peel off as soon as you spray them. That’s a sure sign that the paint was aging and had to be replaced!
  4. Remove peeling paint. Now that the old paint has been loosened, scrape it off the house with a plastic or metal straight edge, being diligent not to dig into the wood surface. Then sand bumpy surfaces for a smooth finish. It isn’t necessary to sand every surface down to the bare wood. Any sections where the paint is still adhered need to be cleaned and have the edges sanded so the new paint goes on the home smoothly.
  5. Prime. Don’t skip priming! Primer is an important part of preparation because it covers up any previous paint (especially important with dark paint colors), results in even color for your new coat, and a smoother surface with minimal imperfections throughout. Let the primer dry based on the directions so that the original layer of paint doesn’t blend into it or result in a rough patch on the surface.
  6. Plan to paint on the best day. A professional painter is able to look at the forecast and tell you the most opportune day for applying exterior paint. That’s why they’re experts! If you plan to do the painting yourself, wait for a day that is between 75 and 85 degrees, with little humidity. This will lead to the best adhesion.

Why Painting Your Home is a Good Idea

Not only will a brand new paint job make your home look several years newer, it also provides a layer of protection to the overall exterior of your home.

Paint can help prevent pests from eating or boring into your home’s exterior. It also prevents wear and tear from the elements. Good quality paint prevents wood from rotting and dirt doesn’t adhere to paint the way it does to bare wood.

Peeling paint is an obvious indication that it needs to be replaced. If paint is peeling, you really need to go ahead and have it repainted in order to protect the wood beneath.

Deteriorating paint really takes a toll on your home’s appearance. If you’re concerned about curb appeal, painting your home is one of the simplest things you can do.

Painting is a good idea if your home doesn’t seem to “fit in” in the neighborhood (but you want it to). If your home’s exterior color makes it stand out, or if it is the opposite and you really want it to stand out, a different paint color can completely update its vibe.

Hiring a Local Professional Painter in Alexandria

After the prepping is finished, you have the option to hand the work off to a professional painter in Alexandria (if you hadn’t already decided that from the start!). Hiring a painter is cost effective. It also guarantees that the results will exceed expectations with little effort from you.

Hiring a local painter to paint your home has several obvious benefits:

  • A professional painter knows the most efficient way to do the job, which means the paint will look a lot better and the project will move a lot faster.
  • Pros don’t make a mess. Their results will be neater, with no excess paint splattered or spilled on your home.
  • Due to their skill and experience, your new exterior paint will likely last longer than if you painted yourself.
  • A professional painter will already have the safety equipment needed to paint anything higher than ground level.

Depending on your DIY skills and interests, you can trust your painter to do all the pre-painting preparation, too. Most companies are fully prepared to take care of every part of the job, from removing old paint and pressure washing the exterior to actually applying the new paint.