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House Painting Tips

House painting can be quite a job. Everyone wants to think that they can paint a house, but it may not be as easy as it looks. There is no magical formula to house painting, it is just a lot of preparation and a lot of hard work. The preparation is the foundation for a great paint job. If you do not prepare properly, your house painting job will suffer, and probably not last as long as you want.

While it may be difficult, and does require work and attention to details, it can be pulled off by most homeowners who want to give it a go. What you need at the beginning is information, and we offer these house painting tips to help get you started in the right direction.

House painting tips: Preparation

  • Start with a thorough cleaning.
  • Remove any loose paint.
  • Remove stains.
  • Treat stains that may bleed.
  • Sand areas that are too rough or too smooth.
  • Fill, sand, and re-texture areas with holes.
  • Cover the floor or sidewalk.
  • Mask areas where you don’t want paint.
  • If spraying, veil areas not to be painted.

House painting tips: Tools

Painting tools

House painting tools can be as simple as a scraper, a brush, and a ladder, or as complicated as a power washer, and a piston sprayer. In general, it is always better to buy the best tools you can afford. This is true even when buying painting tools.
You will need:

  • Brushes should include a 4″ brush for walls, a medium brush, probably a 2″ angled brush for cut in work, and a small 1″ angled brush for detailed work.
  • Roller heads and a pole, and roller covers. The covers will need to be of the appropriate knap for each job. For smooth standard wall textures that would be about 1/8″ to 1/4″, for rough exterior surfaces a longer knap may be needed.
  • Scrappers may be needed for exterior surfaces to remove loose paint. Buy a sturdy one. Wire brushes can also be helpful for this job.
  • Ladders will be needed at some point during the job. Get good ones, with load ratings matching your weight. Don’t get a ladder rated for 150 pounds if you weigh 250. It could be dangerous. There are a couple of ladder types, and a wide range of sizes, and you should talk to your hardware store pro about what type you will need for each job.
  • Sprayers. I left this for last, because unless you really have some experience with tools and equipment, a sprayer may not be for you. If you do decide to go this route, you may be able to rent a quality sprayer from a paint supplier in your area, or a rental agency.

House painting tips: Materials

The materials you will need:

  • Cleaners. Having a clean, dirt free, dust free, and oil free painting surface is a must if you want your paint to stay on your wall. There are cleaners made specifically for this purpose. If you opt for soap and water be sure to brush off the residue before painting since soap scum is no better for painting than dirt or dust. Denatured alcohol is a good cleaner for oily surfaces, and will also aid in softening glossy finishes.
  • Thinners. If you are using oil based paints, be sure to get the appropriate thinner. You may not need it to thin the paint, but you will need it clean up tools and drips.
  • Primers. Depending on your surface, and your paint type, you may need a primmer. Tell your supplier what type of surface you are covering so that he will make an informed recommendation.
  • Tarps or plastic to cover floors and surfaces where you don’t want paint. You will also need masking tape.
  • Caulk will be needed to reseal joints
  • Paint. Of course you will need that. Pick your colors, and buy a good grade of paint appropriate to the job. Make sure you end up with interior paint for the interior, and exterior for the exterior. I know that sounds silly, but the reason I bring it up, is that it has happened to homeowners I know.

House painting tips: Exterior

  • The exterior may need to be power washed, scraped, or sanded to allow for the application of a smooth coat of paint. All loose paint should be removed, and the walls should be completely dry before proceeding.
  • Be careful not to remove shingles from your home if you power wash.
  • Avoid painting exteriors on a windy day.
  • Make sure that you have plenty of time for drying before the next rain event.

House painting tips: Interior

  • Make sure that everything is clean and well prepared.
  • Care full attention should be paid to the masking and covering of interior surfaces where you don’t want paint. This may not seem important at the beginning, but ruining your carpet, or taking excessive time do to excessive caution is worse than the small bit of  additional work at the start.
  • I like to do all the “cutting in” work before I start rolling the walls.
  • Cut in a wide enough area to avoid the temptation to roll to close to anything you don’t want paint on.

House painting tips: Choosing colors

Choosing the right color can make a room pop with beauty, choosing the wrong color can be a nagging reminder of the fact that you should have made a better effort at the start. I will avoid any temptation to advise anyone on interior designing, but there are plenty of ways to choose colors. Most hardware outlets and paint stores will have swatches that you can take home. There are even some online resources for choosing paint colors. You can take a chip of the paint you want to match to your dealer as well.

House painting tips: Caulking

Sealing your home is one of the most important parts of your house painting job. Caulking provides protection from wood rotting moisture, improves appearances, and aids in preventing pests from coming inside to enjoy your work.

Caulking well is more of a learned skill than something I can describe.

  • Follow the manufacturers recommendations.
  • Be sure to have some clean water and a damp rag at hand.
  • Apply the caulk evenly in one long bead if possible.
  • Smooth with your finger.
  • Use the rag to remove the caulk from your fingers.

Additional tips:

  • Follow the label directions and recommendations on all painting products.
  • If you paint over gloss enamel with latex, soften the old finish first.
  • Buying a scraper with a roller cutout is a good idea. It will serve many purposes now and into the future.
  • Permanent marker stains may bleed through paint. There are several products available to prevent this, including the “kilz” line of products. Shellac will also work.

If you would like to share your house painting tips, feel free to use our comment section.

See also: Paint Color Choices | Purpose Of Colors By Nick Cvijovic of : Edmonton Painting.