How to Prep for Exterior House Paint How to Prep for Exterior House Paint

What You'll Need
Selection of paint brushes
Paint rollers or paint pads with extender poles
Caulk with caulk gun
Ladders or scaffolding
Measuring tape
Masking tape
Exterior putty

Before applying exterior house paint you'll need to undertake some important preparation steps first. Making the proper preparations is half of the job and while it can seem tedious, it is important to get a better quality finish and a more durable coating on the walls. Preparing and maintaining exterior surfaces is considerably different than preparing indoor surfaces where weather damage and wear and tear is not a concern. To begin, you will need a set of everyday DIY tools in addition to the following tools and materials.

Step 1: Getting the Paint

First, you'll need to figure out how much paint you are going to need to complete the job. To do this, you will need to calculate the total surface area of the walls to be painted. You may already have a rough idea if you have painted a top coat onto the exterior before. To calculate the complete surface area, multiply the length by the height of each wall and then add these figures together. Present this figure to the clerk at your local DIY store and they should be able to advise you with regards to how much paint you need. You should get approximately 25 percent more paint than the calculations suggest. Also, bear in mind that you will need to apply at least two coats. Exterior paint, also known as masonry paint, is quite different than interior paint and it will be clearly marked.

The color of the paint that you choose may be limited by local planning restrictions, so be sure to check this before buying any paint. If you are going for a mixed color, it is a good idea to make sure you have more than enough when you buy it as the color may not come out exactly the same way if you need to order it again.

Step 2: Getting the Other Supplies

Make sure you have a sturdy ladder. For larger houses, you may find it more practical to hire a scaffolding service. Other supplies you will need is exterior putty, masking tape, sandpaper, scraper and various everyday tools.

Step 3: Preparing the Surface

To prepare the surface, you should first repair any damaged areas of the wall. If there are any chunks missing from the masonry work, you can use the putty to fill in the holes. Be aware that this will need to be left for at least 24 hours to dry before applying paint. Also, any particularly rough areas of the surface should also be sanded back.

Before starting the painting itself, make sure that everything not to be painted is well protected. Cover any plants with drop cloths and use masking tape around and window frames or other fixtures that are in your way. Finally, you are ready to start painting. It is best to start from the top, working down, leaving the first coat to dry for 24 hours before applying the second coat.

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