No home improvement project revives, protects and beautifies a house as quickly, effectively and affordably as exterior painting. A new coat of paint can completely transform a house, and while painting a house can be a big job, it’s a project that can be completed in a week or two.
If you hire a exterior house painter, expect to pay from $1,000 to $4,500 or more, depending on the size and condition of your house. By doing the work yourself, you can save the labor portion of the cost – typically more than half – but it will take some serious effort.
Regardless of whether you hire a pro or do it yourself, painting your house is something you won’t want to repeat in a few years. With this in mind, here are 10 critical rules that will ease the work and help ensure a beautiful, lasting result.
1. Don’t skimp on materials.
Pay for top-quality paint, primer and caulking compound. Top-quality paint lasts longer, and flows and covers better than poor-quality paint. Buy paint that has a lifetime warranty against defects in the finish.
With most house paint, you get what you pay for – the best ingredients are expensive. High-quality exterior paint typically costs from $35 to $40 per gallon, up to $70. Be sure to choose 100 percent acrylic paint.
Top-performing exterior paint brands include Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior paint and Clark + Kensington exterior paint, costing between $35 and $40 per gallon, and Sherwin-Williams Duration exterior paint and Benjamin Moore Aura exterior paint – pricier at about $68 per gallon.
Flat finishes, preferred for siding, do a good job of hiding defects and irregularities. Satin and semi-gloss enamels, used for trim, are more durable and easier to wash.
2. Do the necessary preparation for a exterior house painter.
For paint to adhere well, it must be applied to a surface that is clean, dry and not flaking or peeling. Depending on the condition of existing siding and trim, this often means considerable scraping and sanding may be required before you can paint.
Begin by washing the surfaces. You can use a hose and a scrub brush with water and detergent, or a pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer, you must be careful not to drive water deeply into the joints between siding or erode the surface of the wood with the high-pressure water spray.
To remove loose, flaking paint, you’ll need a scraper. Then, for removing tougher paint and smoothing the surface, a 5-inch disc power sander or a random-orbit sander will work well. Start with 60-grit sandpaper and follow-up with 100-grit sandpaper.
The idea isn’t to remove all of the paint, just to remove loose paint and smooth the surface. Use a putty knife and wood filler to fill cracks and holes. Let the filler dry, and then sand these areas again. Brush off all of the dust, caulk the joints, and allow the caulk to dry before applying primer.
Read more about using a exterior house painter at realestate.usnews.com/