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Exterior Painting DIY Tips From Professional House Painter

Are you getting ready to paint your house?

There’s a lot of reasons to do it in Charleston with our salty air, rapid temperature changes, and historic homes your property may have reached a breaking point where it needs paint. Luckily it’s not all for nothing as 57% of homeowners say a beautiful exterior improves a home’s value by at least $20,000.

However, painting the exterior of your home is no small feat, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can lead to a less-than-stellar finish.

Let’s go through some of the most common exterior house painting mistakes homeowners make so that you can avoid them. We’ll also give some tips from our experience as a professional paint contractor serving Charleston, West Ashley, Kiawah Island, Mount Pleasant and the surrounding areas.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Exterior Painting

professionals painting the sidings near the roof

Let’s explore some of the most frequent mistakes homeowners make when painting thier home’s exterior and how you can avoid them.

Insufficient Preparation

The most common mistake homeowners make when painting their home’s exterior is not adequately preparing the surface. This can include insufficient pressure washing, sanding, caulking, filling, or patching. It’s the grunt work that often makes the difference between a lasting paint job and only a pretty one. Proper preparation is crucial for ensuring that the new paint adheres properly and lasts for years to come. This includes:

  • Thoroughly cleaning the surface to remove dirt, grime, and loose paint
  • Scraping and sanding any peeling or flaking paint
  • Filling in cracks and holes with caulk or spackling compound
  • Priming bare wood or previously painted surfaces for better paint adhesion

Inadequate Primer

The other issue we often see is homeowners using the same primer type for all surfaces of their home in an effort to save money. It’s annoying to have to buy specific materials for every specific surface but in Charleston you need to go that extra step because of the difficulty of our weather zone. Skimping on primer or using the wrong type can lead to poor paint adhesion, uneven coverage, and reduced durability. Every professional house painter should know that a high-quality, appropriate primer is essential for creating a smooth, long-lasting finish that can withstand the elements.

Incorrect Paint Selection

Selecting the wrong type of paint for your home’s exterior can lead to premature fading, chipping, and peeling. It’s crucial to choose a high-quality, durable exterior paint that is specifically formulated to withstand the unique challenges of Charleston, such as:

  • Intense UV radiation
  • Extreme temperature fluctuations
  • High humidity levels
  • Heavy rainfall or snowfall

Inadequate Protection

Failing to properly protect your landscaping, outdoor furniture, and other surfaces almost always leads to accidental paint splatters and damage. Professional house painters have invested in the right cloth, plastic sheeting, and training to to cover and shield everything before beginning the painting process:

  • Carefully covering plants, shrubs, and lawn with drop cloths or plastic sheeting
  • Removing or covering outdoor furniture, light fixtures, and decorative elements
  • Applying painter’s tape to windows, doors, and other surfaces to prevent paint bleeding

8 Painting Tips from Pro House Painter

painting tips for exterior painting

Now that we’ve covered the big mistakes the next section is how to do it right. Proper paint execution is not easy and even though this section may repeat some of the above, it’s these details that make all the difference in how your home looks in the end.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key steps involved in a successful project.

Tip #1: Proper Surface Preparation with the right Primer.

Understand that proper surface preparation is the foundation of a successful painting project. Take the time to thoroughly clean the surface, remove dust, repair any damage, and prime the area to ensure optimal paint adhesion. This should take probably 50% of the total time of the project or more.

Applying a high-quality primer is crucial for achieving a smooth, even finish and enhancing the durability of your exterior paint. Select primers that are specifically formulated for the surface being painted, whether it’s wood, masonry, or metal.

Surface Type Recommended Primer
Wood
Oil-based or latex primer
Masonry
Masonry primer
Metal
Rust-inhibiting primer

Tip #2: Select the Right Paint

Selecting the right paint is essential for achieving a durable, attractive finish. House painter choose high-quality, exterior-grade paints and coating that are formulated to withstand the specific challenges of the local climate, such as UV radiation, temperature fluctuations, and moisture.

Tip #3: Protect Surrounding Areas

Take great care to protect your landscaping, outdoor furniture, and other surfaces from paint splatters and accidental damage. Use drop cloths, plastic sheeting, and painter’s tape to cover and shield these areas before beginning the painting process:

Area to Protect Protection Method
Plants, shrubs, and lawn
Cover with drop cloths or plastic sheeting
Outdoor furniture and decorative elements
Remove or cover with plastic sheeting
Windows, doors, and other surfaces
Apply painter's tape to prevent paint bleeding

Tip #4: Use the Right Tools

Don’t just use any other tools. Invest in high-quality ones and equipment to ensure a flawless finish. Use sturdy ladders, scaffolding, and extension poles to safely reach all areas of the home’s exterior.

Premium paintbrush, rollers, and sprayers are selected based on the specific needs of the project to achieve a smooth, even application. If your house is big, you may enjoy owning a paint sprayer or you can rent it from a local hardware store for the duration of your project.

Tip #5: Paint your Trim First

When it comes to exterior house painting, house painters often recommend painting the trim first. This seemingly counterintuitive approach actually makes the entire process smoother and more efficient.

By starting with the trim, you frontload the hardest part of the project while you still have energy and patience. If you accidentally get trim paint on the walls, it’s easy to cover up when you paint the walls later.

  • Easier touch-ups: If trim paint gets on the walls, it’s simple to cover up when you paint the walls later. However, if you paint the walls first, any wall paint on the trim will require meticulous touch-ups.
  • Cleaner lines: By painting trim first, you can be less precise and still achieve sharp, clean lines where the walls meet the trim when you paint the walls afterwards.
  • Protection from overspray: If you use a sprayer for the walls, pre-painted trim won’t be affected by overspray.
  • Time-saving: It’s generally quicker to cut in along pre-painted trim than to cut in trim against a painted wall.
  • Highlights architectural features: Painting trim first immediately accentuates your home’s architectural elements, which can guide the rest of your painting process.

Remember to properly prep your trim before painting. This includes:

  • Cleaning to remove dirt and grime
  • Sanding to create a smooth surface
  • Priming to ensure better paint adhesion and longevity

Also, use painter’s tape to protect areas you don’t want painted, such as windows, door hardware, or light fixtures.

Tip #6: Master the W Technique with your Roller

Professional house painters swear by the “W” technique when using a roller for exterior walls. This method ensures even coverage and a smooth finish. Start by painting a 3-foot-wide “W” on the wall, then fill in the open areas without lifting the roller. This technique minimizes roller marks and lap lines.

Key tips:

  • Work in manageable 3×3 foot sections
  • Keep a “wet edge” to prevent visible lines
  • Roll up and down to even out the paint

Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Paint a “W”
  • Step 2: Fill in without lifting roller
  • Step : Roll up and down to smooth

Tip #7: Remove Painters Tape Correctly

Removing painter’s tape can make or break your paint job. Improper removal can lead to peeling paint or jagged edges. Here’s the right way to do it:

  • Timing: Remove tape while the paint is still slightly wet, usually within an hour of painting. This prevents the paint from forming a seal over the tape’s edge.
  • Direction: Pull the tape back on itself at a 45-degree angle. This helps prevent the paint from tearing or peeling off with the tape.
  • Speed: Remove slowly and steadily. Yanking the tape can cause paint to splatter or peel.
Common Mistakes Professional Technique
Leaving tape too long
Remove within an hour
Pulling straight out
Pull at 45-degree angle
Removing too fast
Remove slowly and steadily

If the paint has dried, use a putty knife or razor blade to score along the tape’s edge before removing. This simple technique can make the difference between amateurish and professional-looking results.

Tip #8: Work from Top to Bottom

Its a common knowledge with house painters to always work from the top of the home’s exterior to the bottom. This technique allows them to prevent drips, runs, and splatters from marring freshly painted surfaces below, ensuring a clean and polished final result.

Tip #9: Use a Ladder Safely

Always prioritize safety when using ladders. Ensure that the ladder is stable and secure before climbing, maintain three points of contact at all times, and avoid overreaching or placing the ladder on uneven surfaces.

Top #10: Consider Hiring a Professional

While DIY exterior painting can be tempting, hiring a professional house painter and decorator like Wade Paint Co ensures a flawless finish and long-lasting results.

Professional house painters have the expertise, experience, and equipment necessary to address even the most challenging painting projects, saving homeowners time, effort, and potential costly mistakes.

Looking for someone to help with your Exterior painting project? Call Wade Paint Co.

If you’d rather skip the work and hire a professional give Wade Paint Co a call. We are your trusted local painting company, specializing in home painting services including interior painting. Our team is fast-moving, thorough, and extremely experienced at giving homes what thy need to endure the weather swings in Charleston.

Homeowners in Charleston who prioritize wall preparation can enjoy a beautiful, professional-looking paint job that stands the test of time with Wade Paint Co.

Final Thoughts

white exterior painting pro wade paint co

Exterior painting is a valuable investment in your home’s appearance and protection. By avoiding common mistakes and following the expert tips and techniques used by professional house painter, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish that enhances their home’s curb appeal and value. The use of a brush may help achieve precise results.

It is also important to prioritize proper surface preparation, select high-quality materials, and take necessary safety precautions. Homeowners should carefully consider their skills, experience, and available time before deciding to take on the project themselves.

For those who want to ensure a flawless finish and minimize the stress and effort involved in exterior painting, hiring a reputable professional painting company like Wade Paint Co is a wise choice. With their expertise and commitment to quality, professional house painters can help homeowners achieve the beautiful, long-lasting results they desire for their home’s exterior.

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Wade Paint Co.

Wade Paint Co. proudly offers interior painting and exterior painting services to the following communities: West Ashley, Daniel Island, Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palm’s, Sullivan’s Island, and North Charleston.

Frequently Asked Questions

House painters typically charge between $2 and $6 per square foot, with the average cost around $3.50 per square foot. The total cost will depend on factors such as the size of the house, the complexity of the job, and the quality of paint used.

Yes, you can take a picture of your house and virtually try out different paint colors using various online tools or apps. Many paint companies offer this service on their websites, allowing you to upload a photo and experiment with color schemes before committing to a particular palette.

To paint a 1,500 square foot house interior, you’ll need approximately 5-7 gallons of paint for a single coat. For best coverage, plan on applying two coats, which would require 10-14 gallons of acrylic paint in total.

Yes. Many house painting companies offer warranties on their work, typically for a period of 2-3 years, to cover issues like peeling or blistering paint. This warranty provides assurance and protection for the homeowner.

Yes. Most house painter will trim back any bushes or vegetation that are in direct contact with the house’s exterior surfaces to ensure proper paint adhesion and a smooth finish. However, they generally do not provide full landscaping or bush trimming services.