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Exterior Painting: Mistakes To Avoid for a Flawless Finish

exterior painting

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the exterior of a home. It not only rejuvenates the appearance, giving it a brand-new look, but also acts as a protective shield against the elements. Whether you’re aiming to boost your property’s curb appeal or preparing to put it on the market, a well-executed exterior painting job can significantly elevate its value and aesthetic appeal. 

However, like any home improvement project, exterior painting comes with its own set of challenges. A slight oversight or a hasty decision can turn what should be a home’s crowning glory into a glaring eyesore.

The world of exterior painting is riddled with potential pitfalls. From the unpredictable whims of Mother Nature to the intricacies of paint selection, there’s a lot that can go awry. And while some mistakes might be easy to brush off, others can have long-lasting repercussions, both for your home’s appearance and your wallet.

In this guide, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to achieve that flawless finish your home truly deserves. So, before you pop open that paint, let’s explore the landscape of exterior painting.

How To Paint a House Exterior: Mistakes to Avoid

Exterior painting your home can be a rewarding project, but it requires careful planning, patience, and the right techniques. If you’re a DIY enthusiast looking to take on this task, here are some comprehensive tips on how to paint a house exterior while ensuring you avoid some of the more common mistakes:

Residential house wall undergoing exterior painting work.
Primers help the paint adhere better and provide a smooth surface. Use them over bare wood or over-paint with a deteriorated surface.
  1. Washing: Before you even open a paint can, ensure the surface is clean. A thorough scrubbing removes dirt, broken-down paint residues, and mildew. While pressure washers are effective, they can be damaging if not used correctly. Instead, consider using a hose, pump sprayer, and scrub brush. This method is safer and equally effective. For the cleaning solution, a mix of water, chlorine bleach, and a phosphate-free cleaner like a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute works well.
  2. Scraping: Any paint that has peeled, bubbled, or blistered needs to go. If your house was built before 1978, be cautious of potential lead presence. For safe scraping, tools like the PaintShaver can be handy. Remember, manual scraping might be tedious, but it’s the least damaging way to remove old layers.
  3. Sanding: After scraping, assess the surface. If the paint still adheres well, smooth the boundary between the paint and the bare wood using 50- or 80-grit sandpaper. For a more refined finish, especially in areas that might get close scrutiny, follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown.
  4. Repair and fill: Address any minor cracks, dents, or rot. For shallow holes and divots, use fast-drying fillers like Ready Patch. For deeper cracks or rotten spots, two-step epoxies are recommended. Ensure that the surface is smooth and ready for painting.
  5. Priming: Primers help the paint adhere better and provide a smooth surface. Use them over bare wood or over-paint with a deteriorated surface. Acrylic primers are versatile, but for cedar or redwood, oil-based coatings are essential to prevent staining. Tinting your primer can help you identify spots that need more paint.
  6. Caulking: Seal all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. While siliconized acrylics are commonly used, urethane acrylics offer better flexibility and longevity. Ensure you’ve primed before caulking for better protection.
  7. Choosing the right paint: Acrylic latex paints are now the go-to choice for most DIYers due to their superior performance and environmental benefits. However, for high-traffic areas or specific surfaces like steel railings, oil paints might be more suitable.
  8. Mask unpainted areas: Protect items that won’t be painted. Gutters, drainpipes, doors, windows, and utility meters, often left on homes, should be wrapped in plastic or masked. This ensures they remain unaffected during the painting process.
  9. Application techniques: Decide on your application method. While paint sprayers are fast, they require expertise to avoid drips, thin coats, or overspray. For DIYers, using a brush offers maximum control and often results in a better-quality job. If you’re using rollers or sprayers, always follow up with a brush to ensure even coverage. Always apply two top coats. This not only gives a richer finish but also ensures longevity.
  10. Work Smart: Always start at the top and work your way down. This prevents drips and streaks. Monitor the weather. Avoid painting on rainy days or when the temperature is below 50 degrees F. Some modern paints can be applied in cooler temperatures, but it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  11. Safety first: Always wear protective gear, including safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask or respirator, especially when scraping or sanding. Ensure your workspace is safe. If using ladders, ensure they are stable and positioned correctly.

By following these DIY tips and dedicating time to each step, you can achieve a professional-looking paint job that not only enhances your home’s curb appeal but also offers protection against the elements.

Contact us here if you would like to find the best painting contractor for your residential or commercial needs.

An Analysis of the Cost To Paint a House Exterior

Having looked at how to paint a house exterior, let us now look into the cost. Over the years, the cost to paint a house has seen significant changes due to evolving perceptions. 

Historically, painting a house was viewed as a luxury. The production of paint was marked by high costs and limited capacity, making it a significant investment for homeowners. However, with the passage of time and technological advancements, the scenario has dramatically changed. 

Today, due to advancements in technology and manufacturing processes, high-quality paints have become more affordable, making exterior painting more accessible to the average homeowner.

While many view house painting as a cosmetic upgrade, its value runs deeper. At its core, painting is an investment in both the aesthetic and structural integrity of a home. Beyond enhancing visual appeal, a fresh coat of paint serves as a protective barrier against various environmental elements, safeguarding the home from potential damages like weather effects, insect infestations, and mold growth.

Several factors come into play when determining the cost of painting a house’s exterior:

An individual calculating the cost to paint a house.
The average cost for exterior house painting is around $3,000. However, this figure can vary widely, ranging from as low as $1,800 to as high as $13,000.
  • How much to paint a house exterior: The average cost for exterior house painting is around $3,000. However, this figure can vary widely, ranging from as low as $1,800 to as high as $13,000. The size of the house, the type of siding material, and the level of prep work required are primary determinants. For instance, different materials like vinyl, wood, concrete, stucco, metal, and brick have varying costs per square foot due to their unique preparation needs and the amount of paint they require.
  • Additional factors: Beyond material and size, other elements can influence the cost. These include labor costs, the home’s location, any required permits, the extent of prep work needed, painting accessibility (especially for multi-story homes), the quality of paint chosen, and any additional tasks like trim painting or necessary repairs.

It’s essential to view exterior painting not just as an expense but as an investment. On average, painting can lead to a value increase of over $4,000 for a home. This translates to a 107% ROI for interior painting and a 55% ROI for exterior painting. A well-painted exterior can also enhance a home’s curb appeal, attracting more potential buyers and competitive offers.

Strategies to Optimize Costs

For homeowners looking to get the best value for their money, several strategies can help optimize costs:

  • Multiple bids: By obtaining competing bids, homeowners can compare rates and services and get a clearer understanding of the work involved.
  • DIY tasks: Engaging in simple tasks like moving furniture, trimming shrubs, or even some prep work can lead to significant savings.
  • Timely repainting: Addressing signs of wear and tear can prevent extensive preparatory work in the future, leading to cost savings.
  • Strategic color choice: Opting for lighter colors, especially for exteriors, can result in less frequent repainting due to their resistance to rapid fading.

While the immediate costs of exterior painting might seem daunting, it’s crucial to view it as a long-term investment. With careful planning and consideration of the factors mentioned above, homeowners can ensure they achieve a beautiful, protective, and cost-effective transformation for their homes.

Why You Should Choose Koehn for Your Exterior Painting Project

At Koehn Painting, we believe that your home is more than just a structure; it’s a reflection of your personality, aspirations, and dreams. When it comes to exterior painting, the stakes are even higher. The exterior of your home is the first impression it offers to the world, and we’re here to ensure it’s nothing short of spectacular.

Here’s why Koehn Painting should be your first choice for exterior painting:

Couple deciding on paint colors after understanding how to paint a house exterior.
The foundation of a successful paint job lies in proper preparation.
  • Expertise born out of experience: With over 35 years in the industry, our legacy is built on a foundation of excellence. Founded by Leroy and Susan Koehn, our journey has been one of unwavering commitment to the craft of painting. Our team brings a wealth of experience to the table, ensuring every project we undertake is a masterpiece.
  • Understanding of local conditions: Being a local residential painting service, we possess an uncanny ability to understand the unique challenges and conditions of Wichita, KS. This local knowledge ensures that the paint not only enhances the visual appeal of your home but also safeguards it against the elements.
  • Quality materials: We never compromise on the quality of materials we use. Our commitment to excellence means we prioritize premium materials that yield superior results. Whether it’s the paint, brushes, or other tools, we choose only the best for your home.
  • Meticulous preparation: The foundation of a successful paint job lies in proper preparation. We understand the importance of preparing surfaces meticulously before applying paint. From cleaning and stripping to priming and addressing imperfections, we ensure that your home’s exterior is primed for perfection.
  • Safety first: Painting, especially exteriors, comes with its set of challenges. Our team is well-versed in safety protocols, and we carry insurance to protect both our professionals and homeowners. With Koehn Painting, you can have peace of mind knowing that safety is our top priority.
  • Efficiency and timeliness: We value your time. Our expertise enables us to complete projects swiftly, ensuring minimal disruptions to your daily routine. Our dedicated team of professionals ensures that your project is completed on time, every time.
  • A legacy of satisfaction: At Koehn Painting, we don’t just paint walls; we transform them into expressions of beauty and style. Our growth and success over the years are a testament to our dedication to adding value to the lives of our clients. Our purpose remains stronger than ever, and our satisfied customers are a testament to our commitment.

Choosing Koehn Painting for your exterior painting project means entrusting your home to a team that treats it as their own. We invite you to embark on a journey with us—a journey that promises expertise, commitment, and a vision brought to life. Let us transform your home’s exterior into a work of art that stands the test of time.

If you want to learn more about Koehn and our painting services, feel free to get a quote from us.

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