How to Prepare Your Home for Painting

home exterior painting

If your house in St. Louis has to be updated, a fresh coat of paint is a fast, inexpensive way to improve its appearance. So if your home exterior is starting to look worn down or if you’re simply ready for something different, consider painting the outside of your home yourself or enlist a local painter to do the job for you.

Painting a house is a big project, but it isn’t an unreasonable job for most homeowners. You just need to do your research to know how to prepare the surface by scheduling residential pressure washing, as well as what type of brushes and paints you need to use.

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

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

6 House Painting Preparation Tips

  1. Choose which parts to paint, collect the ladders and all other safety equipment. If you are preparing to complete the painting by yourself, you’ll thank yourself later. Having a clear plan will make the painting project go a lot faster once you get started. Collecting your equipment beforehand guarantees that once you start painting, you won’t have to stop and search for needed supplies, meaning you’ll have to maintain a wet edge the whole time you are painting.
  2. Choose paint and brushes. The fun part of painting your home’s exterior is choosing the color or color combo. You will also need to choose the right paint finishes for all parts of the home. Latex is a lot better than oil-based paint for home exteriors. It is a lot less messy and much easier to clean up. The flat surfaces need more of a flat, or matte, finish, versus semi-gloss for the trim. You’ll need synthetic fiber brushes for latex paint. Rollers and sprayers are efficient options if possible.
  3. Pressure wash. Finally, it is time to start prepping the surface of your home for its beautiful new paint! Invest time into pressure washing your home (or hiring a local pressure washing service) to wash off any cracked or peeling paint. The extreme pressure is the recommended way to eliminate peeling paint, and it simultaneously cleans the outside of your home. Some of the areas of paint should peel off as you spray over them. That’s a sure sign that the paint was deteriorating and had to be replaced!
  4. Remove peeling paint. Now that the old paint has been loosened, get more of it off with a metal or plastic straight edge, being diligent not to dig deep into the wood surface. Then sand surfaces for a smooth finish. It isn’t important to sand each surface all the way down to the bare wood. Any sections 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. Do not skip the primer! Primer is a very important step because it covers up any previous paint (especially with dark colors), results in an even color for your new paint, 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 create a rough patch.
  6. Plan to paint in good weather. A professional painter can look at the forecast and find the most opportune day for applying exterior paint. That’s why they’re experts! If you want to do the painting yourself, wait for a day that is between 75 and 85 degrees, and with low humidity. This will result in the best adhesion.

Why Painting Your Home is a Good Idea

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

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

Peeling paint is an obvious sign that it needs to be replaced. If your paint is peeling on your home, you need to have it repainted 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 easiest 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 color makes it stand out too much, or if the opposite is true and you want it to stand out, a different color can change its vibe.

Hiring a Local Professional Painter in St. Louis

After prepping is over, you have the option to hand the job off to a professional painter in St. Louis (if you hadn’t already decided that from the start!). Hiring a painter is cost effective. It also guarantees that the results will exceed your expectations with less effort on your part.

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

  • A professional painter will know the best way to complete the job, which means the paint will look much better and the project will go a lot faster.
  • Companies don’t make a mess. Their results will be much neater, without excess paint splattered or spilled on your home.
  • Because of their skill and knowledge, your new paint will probably last a lot longer than if you painted by yourself.
  • A professional painter will have the safety equipment needed to paint areas above ground level.

Based on your DIY skills and desires, you can trust your painter to complete all the pre-painting preparation, too. Most services are fully prepared to handle each part of the project, from removing old paint and pressure washing the exterior to applying the new paint.