How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Exterior Painting Tips and Tricks

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > Exterior Painting Tips and Tricks
Exterior Painting Tips and Tricks

There are more than one do-it-yourself painters out there who have had to endure the sight of paint peeling off to reveal ungainly plaster or concrete on the exterior walls of their houses, after what they had thought was a superlative exterior painting job that they had accomplished. Exterior painting is a tricky job that involves following to a T a specific set of procedures, even before beginning the painting job.

  1. You may be tempted to pour in some thinner and skimp on the paint but remember that paints perform optimally only when they are applied at the recommended spread rate.

    1.Proper Paint Preparation Pays Off

    In fact, according to findings from a study made by the scientists and chemists at the Forest Products Laboratory of the USDA Forest Service, one of the most common causes of failure of a house paint job stems from a failure to prepare the painting surface appropriately. You can call this taping off certain aspects of your home such as the windows because you do not want to paint your windows or scraping off the lose paint before applying new paint. Either way, the job of preparing to paint should and easily could take as long as the actual paint job itself. If it does not, perhaps you should consider hiring someone because you may be just wasting your time and money and you may end up having a paint job your neighbors will humorously respond too.


    Thus, it goes without saying that do-it-yourself enthusiasts should take note of the following five essential steps that MUST be carried out before embarking on an exterior painting job, during of course, the dry season.

  2. 2.Smooth the Rough Edges of the Old Paint

    After you have peeled away the old paint, ensure that you use a sand paper to smooth the rough edges from the previous paint layer. This will ensure that the new paint coats the surface evenly.


    o You may want to wear gloves when sanding because the sanding and the friction it causes could wear the skin down on the tips of your fingers and you will need your hands to remain healthy to make this evolution that much easier. You do not want to hurt your hands in the beginning of this process. You may also want to strongly consider buying an electric sander for a job of this scale. Manually sanding the outside of your home can tire your arms quickly―only delaying this home improve project.

  3. 3.Prepare the Weathered Wood Properly

    TEnsure that you thoroughly sand any weathered wood and coat it with primer before applying the paint. Else, paint applied to the bare wood surface tends to crack and peel off just after a year or two.

  4. 4.Use a Primer

    This is a must-do for any type of exterior wooden surface that you may want to paint.

  5. 5.Ensure There's No Water Leakage or Seepage Behind the Wood

    Water leaks or seepage behind the wood can cause paint to peel off. Thankfully, carefully caulking the vulnerable areas of the painting surface—splits or cracks in the siding and exposed seams at the joints and around doors and windows—can safeguard the paint layer. It is however, always a good idea to call in the professionals to determine if the wooden surface is structurally sound enough for a painting job.

  6. 6.Apply Paint Only at the Appropriate Spread Rate

    You may be tempted to pour in some thinner and skimp on the paint but remember that paints perform optimally only when they are applied at the recommended spread rate. You do not have to be too liberal when applying the paint but you do not want a scarcity of paint either; this could expose your home harmfully to the elements.

  7. 7.Pivotal Steps

    The above-mentioned five steps to be carried out before starting with your exterior painting job are all about preparing the painting surface so that it can cheat Father Time and Mother Nature and support the paint for years on end.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.