The first task is to estimate how much paint you will need. Measure the length of all sides of the house, then multiply the length of all sides by the height of the house, adding two feet to the height for overhang. There’s no need to subtract doors and windows as you’ll probably need the extra for touch-ups. Now divide the total square footage of your project by the coverage rate displayed on the paint can you’ve selected.
When choosing a color, remember that many housing developments have restrictions on exterior colors, so you’ll want to find out if you live in one. There are different kinds of paint as well:
- Gloss exterior acrylic enamel is usually used only on smooth, flawless surfaces, as the high sheen accentuates imperfections. It’s also the most difficult and time-consuming exterior paint, not to mention the most expensive.
- Satin exterior acrylic latex provides excellent coverage and good looks. Another advantage to this type is that it doesn’t attract dirt and dust like other paints.
- Flat exterior acrylic latex is the most commonly used exterior paint thanks to its good coverage, reasonable price and versatility. It’s also easier to touch-up and doesn’t show imperfections as much as gloss.
- Semi-gloss exterior acrylic latex is used mostly for doors, gutters and window trim as it is washable and resists stains.
- Solvent-based paints are the most versatile, providing ease of application in a variety of temperatures and moisture conditions.
Once you’ve chosen your paint type and color, you’re almost ready to go. You’ll need more than paint to do the job, however, such as applicators, tools and materials. There are three types of paint applicators, and you may use any one or a combination of them: brushes, rollers and sprayers. You’ll also need wide-width masking tape, scrapers of various sizes and a utility knife.
Now that you have your materials, you’re ready to get started with the most important step: surface preparation. First, scrape loose paint until most of the surface is exposed. Next, use sandpaper to dull the surface and make it smooth. Use a pressure washer with commercial cleaning solution to wash the surface of the house and rinse thoroughly. Let dry at least 24 hours before painting. You may need to prime the surface before painting.
After covering windows, doors and trim, you’re ready to begin painting. Take your time and do a thorough job, and you’ll have added value to your home, slowed deterioration and given yourself a sense of accomplishment.