Painting your house can change the entire look of the exterior. Whether you’re painting to sell or you plan to stay in your home for a while, new paint can refresh tired brick or siding, dated colors, and worn and faded paint. It can also cost a pretty penny. On average, it will cost anywhere from $2500 for a one-story, 1000 square foot home to potentially over $10,000 for a 2-story 2500 square foot home. If your home is bigger than this, the price will be more of course.
If this sounds out of your budget, you might consider painting your home on your own. Before you get started, take a look through these paint tips to make sure you are doing everything properly. The last thing you want is to spend time and money to paint your home and do a bad job.
Wait for Dry Weather
Paint will not stick to a surface that isn’t dry, so make sure you pick a time of year where you will have several days of dry weather (this means no rain and low humidity) to paint. If you live in the north, for example, early summer might be a good time to paint. If you’re in Florida though, fall or January or February is a better option for you. Take a look at your local weather patterns and get an idea of when you can safely expect a stretch of dry weather.
Prep Your Home and Landscaping
You might be tempted to dive right in, but to really do the job right, you need to prep and then prep some more. You’ll want to remove any old or chipped paint that might be on your home. You should also clean your home, using either pressure washing, power washing, or soft washing. The main differences between these methods are how much pressure is used. What you choose depends on what you’re washing (soft washing is for roofs, for example) and what your home is made of and what condition it is in.
You should also replace and rotting wood, repair any broken siding pieces, caulk, and fix any cracks. Once everything is clean and repaired, you’ll want to tape off anything you don’t want to be painted, like your windows and doors, hardware, exterior lights, etc. Don’t forget your landscaping either. You’re painting your house, not your shrubs and bushes, so use plastic drop cloths to cover all of your landscaping and flower beds before you start painting.
Buy High-Quality Paint and Supplies
When doing a job as big as painting your home, you might be looking to cut costs as much as possible. Resist the urge to cut costs by purchasing cheap paint and tools. The better the paint you use, the less often you’ll have to paint. A bigger investment now means less money spent on repainting or touch-ups later on.
Higher quality paint also offers better coverage, meaning you’ll use less paint, get better overall coverage, and will save yourself time by limiting the number of coats you have to do. Don’t skimp on your other supplies either. High-quality brushes, rollers, and paint sprayers are worth their price. Along with quality paint, they’ll make the job go much quicker and easier and last longer.
Mix Cans of Paint
You’ll probably be buying multiple 5-gallon buckets of paint to cover the entire exterior. You should mix these together to eliminate any minor color variations. This is called “boxing the paint” and is a trick straight from the pros. It’s especially important if you buy your paint at different times. You don’t want to have a slight deviation in color from one can or bucket to another.
Traditionally, painters would apply a coat of primer, sand, and then apply the paint. New paint technology has combined primer right with the paint, meaning you can skip a step. The paint and primer in one is generally more expensive, but remember that you’re not buying the primer separately and you’re saving yourself a step. Read the reviews for the different types of paints and primers, talk to the workers at your local home store, and do your research. Make sure you pick something good for your area.
Paint from Top to Bottom
Drips are going to happen, but if you start from the top and work down to the bottom, you’ll minimize drips, be able to see them so you can feather them out, and it will help control any streaks.
Seal Off Your Paint
When you’re done for the day, be sure to properly seal your paint cans or buckets and protect your brushes, rollers, and other supplies. Use a rubber mallet to fully close the paint cans and buckets (you might even consider putting a layer of plastic wrap under the lid to ensure it doesn’t dry out. You don’t need to clean your brushes and rollers if you’re going to use them again the next day. Simply wrap them in a plastic bag and they’ll stay wet for you to re-use.
Paint Tips from the Pros
Tackling the exterior painting of your home is a big job, but with these paint tips that come straight from the pros, it’s definitely doable. Do your research, give yourself plenty of time to prep and paint, and take your time. Once you paint your home, you’ll feel like a DIY warrior who can do anything. You’re in luck, then, because we have tons more tips for every DIY project you can think of! Explore our other posts and impress your friends and family with your DIY skills.