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

How to Avoid Exterior Painting Problems

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Painting > How to Avoid Exterior Painting Problems
How to Avoid Exterior Painting Problems

The exterior is the first thing that visitors to your home will notice. So, stand on the curb and take a good, hard look at your residence. If it has peeling or faded paint in places, this might be a good time to think about giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint. The climate in the region where you live, your budget, and the size of your home will be primary considerations when considering such a paint job.


Most homes built before 1978 have some lead-based paint and the repainting of such homes need to be done carefully to ensure that it does not pose a health hazard to the occupants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued certain guidelines to ensure lead safety in homes. Adhering to these will ensure a safe and healthy environment for you and your neighbors.


There are a few things that must be avoided when painting the exterior of a house. Knowing what they are can help simplify your work and ensure you better quality at a lower expense. A marvelous and impressive paint job can also lead to a significant increase in the home’s value besides increasing its aesthetic appeal.

  1. 1.Inadequate Preparation

    There is a lot of work to be done before the actual painting process can begin. This includes stripping off the old paint, applying a primer, counter sinking nail heads, and ensuring that windows, doors, and walkways are protected from the paint with tarp or some other means. If there is weathered wood that has to be painted, it must first be sanded and primed. Caulking will help prevent moisture from seeping in through cracks. Seepage in wood exteriors can be prevented by application of a water-resistant preservative ahead of the priming.

  2. 2.Inclement Weather

    Light colors and whites are popular choices when painting home exteriors.

    Choosing a day when the weather will be conducive to painting is also extremely essential. If there is too much sunlight, it can cause the paint to dry too fast and there is a possibility of air bubbles developing. Similarly, painting on a windy day can cause dust and dirt to fly into the paint. Ideally, it is recommended that if painting, you should start early in the morning and move around the house along with the movement of the sun.

  3. 3.Get the Technique Right

    There are some steps to be followed when embarking on a painting project. Once the surface to be painted has been prepped well, paint must be applied in even strokes using just the right amount of paint. There should be no clumping or running whatsoever. Each paint has a recommended spread rate and there should be no compromise on this at any time. Using the wrong paint on porous surfaces can prove disastrous.

  4. 4.Don’t Use Inferior Quality Products or Equipment

    At first glance, painting equipment may all look the same. But there are a great many differences in quality as well as price. For instance, paint brush bristles can be made of natural hair or synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Enamels and topcoats do well with the use of natural bristle brushes while synthetic bristles are best for latex coatings. Paint sprayers used for exterior paint jobs are usually large gasoline or electric units. Acrylic latex paints are considered most suitable for exterior painting. They might be more expensive but have been found to last longer.

  5. 5.Choose the Right Color

    Light colors and whites are popular choices when painting home exteriors. White though dirties easily and quickly is a very plain color, devoid of sparkle or creativity. Tinted neutrals have also gained in popularity of late as they can give the visual impression of a larger home. Color samples must be chosen after being viewed in natural light. Different shades of the same color can be used in interesting combinations to give a unique look to the house. The surrounding landscape will also have an impact on the color chosen for the home. For instance, if there is dense foliage around the house, it will cause the paint to look darker than it actually is.

Keeping these pointers in mind when opting for an exterior paint job will ensure that you receive the best possible result. By taking a few precautions while starting the project can help you save on any unnecessary future expenses on painting and you will make sure your home is not popular for all the wrong paint reasons!

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.