How to Prepare Your Home for Painting

home exterior painting

If your house in Arlington needs to be refreshed, a fresh coat of exterior paint is a quick, inexpensive way to improve its curb appeal. So if your home exterior is looking worn down or if you’re just ready for a change, consider painting the outside of your home yourself or enlist a local painter to do it for you.

Painting a house is a huge job, but it isn’t an unreasonable job for most homeowners. You just need to do your research to understand how to prepare the exterior surface by scheduling residential pressure washing, as well as which brushes and paints to use.

You can even meet in the middle with a painter by completing all of the prep work on your own, but then having their crew come to your home and do the actual painting with their best tools, safety equipment and selected paint.

Whichever direction is right for you, you’ll still want to know how to prepare your home for painting. Here are the most important things to remember.

6 House Painting Preparation Tips

  1. Decide which parts of the home to paint, collect the ladders and other necessary safety equipment. If you are planning to complete the painting yourself, you’ll be glad you did. Having a clear plan will make the actual painting go a lot faster once you get started. Gathering your tools beforehand ensures that once you begin painting, you shouldn’t have to stop and search for needed supplies, meaning you’ll be able to maintain a wet edge the entire time you are painting.
  2. Choose good paint and brushes. The fun part of painting your home’s exterior is deciding the color or color combination. You’ll also want to choose the right paint finishes for all parts of the home. Latex is better than oil-based paint for home exteriors. It’s less messy and easier to clean. The flat surfaces require more of a flat, or matte, finish, versus semi-gloss. You’ll want to us synthetic fiber brushes for latex paint. Rollers and sprayers are also efficient options.
  3. Pressure wash. Finally, it’s time to begin prepping the exterior of your home for its brand new paint! Put time into power washing your home (or hiring a local pressure washing service) to remove any cracked or peeling paint. The high pressure is the most effective way to eliminate peeling paint, and it simultaneously cleans the outside of your home. Some of the areas of paint should peel off as soon as you spray over them. That’s a sure sign that the paint was deteriorating and needed 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. Then sand bumpy surfaces for a smooth finish. It isn’t necessary to sand every surface all the way down to the bare wood. Any areas where the paint is still adhered just need to be tended to and have the edges sanded so the new paint goes on the home smooth.
  5. Prime. Don’t skip priming! Primer is an important step because it conceals any previous paint (especially with dark colors), results in even color for your new coat, and a smooth exterior with minimal imperfections. Let the primer dry according to the directions so that the first layer of paint doesn’t mix with it or produce a rough patch on the surface.
  6. Plan to paint on the best day. A professional painter can look at the weather forecast and find the most opportune day for painting a home. That’s why they’re experts! If you want to do the painting on your own, wait for a day that is somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees, with very little humidity. This will lead to the best adhesion.

Why Painting Your Home is a Good Idea

Not only does a new paint job make your house look years newer, it also adds a layer of protection for the overall exterior of your home.

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

Peeling paint is an obvious signal that it is time to be replaced. If paint is peeling on your home, you need to have it repainted in order to protect the wood surface.

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

Painting is also 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 the opposite is true and you want it to stand out, a different color can totally change its look.

Hiring a Local Professional Painter in Arlington

After prepping is over, you might want to turn the work off to a professional painter in Arlington (if you hadn’t already chosen that from the start!). Hiring a painter is affordable. It also ensures that the results will exceed expectations with minimal effort on your part.

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

  • A professional painter knows the most efficient way to complete the job, meaning the paint will look much better and the project will move a lot faster.
  • Companies don’t typically make a big mess. Their results will be neater, with no extra 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 have the safety equipment needed to paint anything above ground level.

Depending on your DIY skills and interests, you can trust your painter to complete all the pre-painting preparation, too. Most pros are fully prepared to handle every part of the job, from eliminating old paint and cleaning the exterior to applying the new paint.