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Getting Ready to Paint the Exterior of Your Home

Project Overview

Getting Ready to Paint the Exterior of Your Home

As with all painting projects, the key to success is preparation. Your first step is to clean everything thoroughly with a solution of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or a good phosphate-free substitute. This removes dirt and grime that would keep new paint from adhering.

6 Steps

  1. Trim Brushes and Limbs
  2. Remove Shutters and Close Storm Windows
  3. Remove Old Putty
  4. Scrub the Siding and Trim with Solution
  5. Rinse House
  1. Remove any Remaining Paint
Show all steps »
Trim Brushes and Limbs

Step 1

Trim Brushes and Limbs

Trim or tie back any bushes and limbs that will get in your way. Cover nearby plants with drop cloths or tarps. Turn off any air conditioning units and cover them with plastic and tape as needed.

Remove Shutters and Close Storm Windows

Step 2

Remove Shutters and Close Storm Windows

Remove any shutters and close the storm windows. Inspect your siding and trim carefully, looking for holes and cracks, then make the necessary repairs. You should fill holes and damaged areas with some wood filler, let it dry, then sand it smooth.

Remove Old Putty

Step 3

Remove Old Putty

You'll want to reglaze windows if the old putty is cracked or shrunken. You can remove the old putty with a chisel or stiff putty knife, but be careful not to break the glass. Apply the new glazing compound as needed, pressing it in place with a putty knife.

Scrub the Siding and Trim with Solution

Step 4

Scrub the Siding and Trim with Solution

Use a brush or broom to scrub the siding and the trim with a solution of tri-sodium phosphate or a phosphate-free substitute. You can rent a pressure washer that makes fast work of this job, but be careful not to force water into any cracks between the siding. Be sure to wear gloves and other protective gear when using cleaners and chemicals.

Rinse House

Step 5

Rinse House

Carry the plate or bucket of glaze in your other hand, or keep it nearby on a chair or stepladder.

Remove any Remaining Paint

Step 6

Remove any Remaining Paint

Use a power sander to remove any remaining paint scraped areas. A sander will cut through the paint in a hurry, so be careful not to damage the siding. Please click here for exterior painting techniques.

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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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