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Your Ultimate Home Painting Guide: Tips, Costs, and More

01.1 - home painting guide

So, you’re thinking about giving your house a fresh new look with a coat of paint? Excellent idea! Painting your home can transform its appearance, increase its value, and make you fall in love with it all over again. But before you dive into this exciting project, there are some key things you need to know. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to consider in plain and simple terms, so you can paint with confidence.

Before You Get Started

Before you rush to the store to pick out paint colors, take a moment to think about the big picture and consider the following questions:

1. Are You Ready for the Long Haul?

Painting your house is a significant undertaking, whether you do it yourself or hire a pro. It’s more like a marathon than a sprint. If you decide to tackle it yourself, be prepared for a time-consuming job. Sometimes, homeowners who start painting in the summer don’t finish until mid-summer.

2. Why Are You Painting?

Consider your motivation. Are you painting to sell your home or for maintenance? If it’s for a sale, you might want to choose a color that appeals to potential buyers. But if it’s for yourself, pick a color that you genuinely love. Changing the color of your house is a big decision, so take your time.

DIY Painting

Many homeowners are tempted to save money by doing the painting themselves. Besides the cost savings, there are some unexpected benefits:

  • Enjoyable Weather: When the weather is nice, painting outdoors can be quite enjoyable. Plus, if you paint by hand, you can work on it in short bursts that fit your schedule.
  • Detail-Oriented: Painting your house on your own allows you to get up close and personal with your home. You’ll notice areas that need repairs or attention. Take your time to address these issues properly.

Hiring Professional Painters

Even the most ambitious DIYers might reconsider when faced with the scale of an exterior painting project. That’s where professional painters come in handy. Here’s why:

  • Efficiency: Pros work in crews, so the job gets done quickly. You can expect completion in days, not months.
  • Tools: Professionals come equipped with all the necessary tools, including expensive items like high-velocity paint sprayers and scaffolding, which homeowners would have to buy or rent.
  • Quality: Reliable painters produce high-quality work, but always check their previous projects before hiring.

Choosing the Right Color

Selecting the paint color is often the most enjoyable part of the project. If you’re painting to sell, go for neutral colors that appeal to a broad audience. Otherwise, pick a color that matches your style and enhances your home’s overall look.

When to Start Painting

Timing is crucial when it comes to exterior painting. Consider these factors:

  • Moisture: Don’t paint a wet surface. Wait until it’s dry. A relative humidity level of 50 percent is a good guideline.
  • Temperature: Extreme temperatures can affect the paint curing process. Direct sunlight can cause issues, so choose the right time to paint.
  • Time of Day and Season: The best time for exterior painting is late morning to mid-afternoon. Summer is ideal, but late spring and early fall are also good choices.

Costs of Exterior Painting

If you’re doing it yourself, estimating costs is straightforward. The majority of your expenses will go toward paint and primer. One gallon of exterior paint typically covers 400 square feet. Spraying uses more paint than brushing or rolling. Professional painters, on the other hand, will be more expensive, but you can ensure that their work is efficient and of high-quality.

House Painting Tips and Tricks

Before you start, consider these tips to make your project smoother:

  • Fill Holes and Cracks: Properly fill any holes or cracks before painting, rather than relying on paint to cover them.
  • Break it Down: If you’re painting on your own, think of each side of the house as a separate project. It makes the job feel less overwhelming.
  • Choose the Right Paint: Invest in quality paint and primer to ensure better coverage and durability.
What You’ll Need

Before you begin painting, make sure you have the right tools and materials:

  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint roller set
  • Paint brushes
  • Tape measure
  • Laser measuring device (optional)
  • Metal paint scrapers
  • Heat gun
  • Drop cloths (canvas and plastic)
  • Caulking gun and exterior-grade caulk
  • Ladders (6-foot and extension)
  • Exterior acrylic-latex paint
  • Trim paint (if needed)
  • Primer
  • Wood filler or putty
  • Painter’s tape

Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a quick overview of the painting process:

  1. Inspect your Siding: Carefully examine your home’s exterior for holes, cracks, and areas that need repairs. Note what needs to be removed, like gutters and drainpipes.
  2. Measure for Paint: Measure all areas that will be painted and subtract windows and doors. Don’t forget to account for extra paint.
  3. Remove Obstructions: Take down minor obstructions like house numbers and attachments. Secure larger obstructions with plastic sheeting if you can’t remove them.
  4. Fix Major Problems: Now is the time to fix broken siding, window trim, corner trim, and any other issues.
  5. Remove Loose Paint: Scrape away any flaky or weak paint. Be sure to follow safety guidelines if dealing with lead-based paint.
  6. Clean and Mask: Wash the house thoroughly and mask off areas you don’t want to paint.
  7. Caulk and Patch: Seal cracks and patch holes. Apply primer to patched areas.
  8. Apply Paint: Use a paint sprayer to apply the paint and have someone follow with a roller for a smooth finish.
  9. Paint the Trim: Leave time for the paint to cure before painting trim and other elements.

Painting your home can be a rewarding project that enhances its beauty and value. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire professionals, such as Apex House Painters, careful planning and attention to detail are essential. Select the right colors, time it well, and follow the steps for a successful house painting project that you’ll love for the years to come.


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