Give your house a facelift with exterior home paint
If your home is made of wood or siding, you'll have to give your house a coat of exterior paint at some point. While you can hire a painter to do this for you, exterior home painting is one of the simplest and most straightforward home improvement projects you can take on. The money you'll save makes tackling the job yourself worthwhile. Before you begin, though, you should review the aesthetic and technical basics you'll need to select and apply the best exterior paint for your home.
Tips for Choosing Home Exterior Colors
As a general rule of thumb, the color scheme you use should include at least three different colors of exterior home paint: one for the siding, one for the trim and one to bring accents to life. It is common to use contrasting exterior paint colors to create a dramatic, eye-catching separation between the siding and the trim, but if you want to do something more subtle and understated, you can use closely matching colors or even shade variations of a single color.
Color charts can help you ensure your paint choices will go together and create a striking, unified and unique appearance. The style of your house will also have a lot to do with the exterior paint colors you choose, as some colors work better than others with certain styles. For example, traditional homes often look best in cool colors, while modern homes tend to carry warm colors better.
How to Prep and Paint Your House
While there are some similarities between prepping and painting your home's interior and exterior, you'll have to keep a few extra considerations in mind when working on the outside of your home. Typically, applying home paint to indoor walls is a three-step process: preparation, primer and finishing. While all these steps also apply to painting a house's exterior, you have to use specialized methods when you're working with different surfaces. Prepping stucco for a coat of paint is a different process than prepping vinyl siding. Broadly speaking, though, you should follow these steps:
- Repair any damage to your home's exterior.
- Use a high-pressure washer to clean all surfaces.
- Remove paint cracks or blisters using a length of sandpaper.
- Seal corners, seams and edges with caulk.
- Apply a stain-blocking primer to areas with dark, difficult stains.
- Remove all exterior home fixtures, including house numbers, lighting fixtures and mailboxes.
- Cover gardens and grass with drop cloths.
- Apply one coat of primer and two coats of exterior paint. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next.