Whether its improving the overall value of the property or making it more livable for you and your family, a DIY project is a great way to pass time in summer. One particularly popular and relatively easy to do project is painting your home’s exterior. It’ll refresh your home and give it excellent curb appeal. Plus, it’s a project you can complete over one weekend without too much effort. Here’s our 3 step guide to painting your home’s exterior.
What You’ll Need: Materials, Tools and Protection
A DIY paint job is easily doable, and costs only as much as the materials, tools and protection you need. Those materials include the paint itself, the primer and the caulking (to seal cracks and joints). Tools would include the paintbrushes, rollers, sanders, and scrapers. You’ll also need drop cloths (to protect your lawn/garden), masks/respirators (to protect yourself), and a HEPA vacuum/suit if you’re stripping lead-based paint.
Step One: Prep The Surface and Test for Lead
First, prepare the surface for the next two steps. You’ll need to wash the house, scrape loose paint off and sand it smooth to make it an ideal surface to which the new paint can adhere. If your house was built before 1978, test for lead-based paint (which will require you wear more protection while you’re scraping it off). You can purchase a lead-testing kit online.
Step Two: Patch Imperfections And Prime The Surface
Next, patch and prime. Fill in smaller imperfections with epoxy. Bigger gaps and joints will need caulking – but only add caulking after the primer is applied. If possible, take this time to fix any rot or potential rot problems signaled by improper water drainage. Now, prime the entire exterior – this seals the wood and makes it even easier for paint to adhere to the walls.
Step Three: Paint
Its now time to paint. Water-based latex (or acrylic) paint is flexible, easy to clean and more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints. Even if you’re the Leonardo Da Vinci of painting always read the paint can it will contain tips and instructions on using that specif brand of paint which could can come in handy. When you’re undertaking a DIY paint job it’s better to use brushes and rollers than a paint-sprayer. As paint-sprayers can be hard to control. When you’re painting, start at the top and work down. Apply two coats and stay in the shade as much as possible as direct sunlight will cause the paint to dry and flake.
Maintaining The Exterior
To keep your hard work in pristine conditions you’ll need to main it. Once the paint has dried, keep it looking fresh with consistent caulking, touch ups and removing mold and mildew whenever you spot it.
For more tips or advice on improving your home’s value in your neighborhood, talk to your local real estate agent.