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Exterior Painting Techniques

Project Overview

Exterior Painting Techniques

There are all different kinds of siding you might encounter when it comes time to paint the outside of your house. You could have cedar, plywood, hardboard, stucco, or masonry. Sometimes, you might have a combination. In general, you should use a power sprayer or a roller with a heavy nap for concrete, stucco, and brick. Use a brush, a roller with a medium nap, or a power sprayer for any other materials

8 Steps

  1. Priming the Surface
  2. Paint Roof Trims and Soffits First
  3. Paint the Inside Corners and Around Trim
  4. Paint Bottom Edges of Siding
  5. Do walls with a roller or brush
  1. Feather the Brush or roller
  2. Blend the strokes Together
  3. Speeding up the Process
Show all steps »
Priming the Surface

Step 1

Priming the Surface

Masonry surfaces always should be primed, especially if water stains are present or if glossy paint is to be top-coated. Cedar and redwood contain resins that bleed through water-based paints, so use an oil-based primer on bare wood. Make sure there's no rain in the weather forecast. You'll need to apply primer to any bare siding. For best results, allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's recommendation. A sprayer or roller will speed up the process.

Paint Roof Trims and Soffits First

Step 2

Paint Roof Trims and Soffits First

Paint the roof trim and soffits before the walls if they will be different colours. This will keep the trim paint from dripping onto the newly painted walls.

Paint the Inside Corners and Around Trim

Step 3

Paint the Inside Corners and Around Trim

Paint the inside corners and around the trim. A corner roller or trim brush is a great help when cutting in these areas.

Paint Bottom Edges of Siding

Step 4

Paint Bottom Edges of Siding

On clapboard or shingle siding, paint the bottom edges of the siding before painting the face. That way, you'll make sure you don't miss any spots. A trim roller works great for this job.

Do walls with a roller or  brush

Step 5

Do walls with a roller or brush

Do the walls with a roller or a brush, starting at the top. If you're up on a ladder, work carefully and don't overextend your arm -- it could throw you off balance. Try to finish strokes directly in front of you so you can make sure there's no drips. Paint one defined "block" at a time.

Feather the Brush or roller

Step 6

Feather the Brush or roller

Start each stroke by feathering the brush or roller. Feathering means placing the surface of the brush or roller against the siding gradually, instead of abruptly. This eliminates a definite start line and makes it easier to blend the next block of strokes into the present block.

Blend the strokes Together

Step 7

Blend the strokes Together

Blend the strokes together by working quickly. It's important to blend the new stroke into the completed stroke while the paint is still wet so you can avoid lap marks. Never stop in the middle of a section. Paint to the corner of the house so the paint colour is consistent. Move the ladder so you can just reach the completed block of siding. To eliminate lap marks, rewet the feathered edges of the previously painted block with your brush or roller just before you start each stroke. Repeat the process until the top area is completed, then move on to the lower sections.

Speeding up the Process

Step 8

Speeding up the Process

You can speed up the painting process by using a paint sprayer; a variety of sprayers is available for rent or purchase. Before you start spraying, ask your paint sprayer supplier exactly how the sprayer operates, what masking will be required and the appropriate methods to clean the sprayer. Choose a calm day to spray your house. A windy day can make spraying difficult. Regardless of how you paint the house, let the paint dry and then touch up any missed areas. You may need to correct drips or sags with a razor blade or sanding block.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 5 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


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