Tips for Exterior Painting Preparation

Taking the extra time to prepare properly for your exterior painting project is a direct investment into your time and money. Good exterior painting preparation has been proven to help the paint last longer and look better. Good preparation also helps prevent other related problems such as mold growth, chipping, and peeling. Get started on your successful exterior painting project by reading and following the exterior painting preparation steps below.

Prepare Yourself

Exterior panting preparation is a dirty job, so you should wear clothes that you don’t mind dirtying. Furthermore, in mind when you select your clothes for your project that you will be getting wet. It is also essential that you wear protective goggles; this is especially important during the scraping process, because chipped-off paint and other materials could easily fly into your eyes and thereby cause serious damage. Don’t take any chances: prepare properly by having a good pair of goggles or protective glasses on hand. Work gloves are also important for protecting your hands during the prep process.

Spray the Dirt Away

Spraying the dirt away is essential because paint will not adhere well to any type of dirt, especially the outdoor kinds like grime and dust. While some recommend using a power washer for this step, others caution that a power washer could cause more harm than good by potentially driving water deep into or behind wood siding or trim. If the soffit gets too wet, the wood will absorb the water and swell, quickly causing the new paint to peel off. Even if you don’t have wood siding, it still may be a better idea to use a hose with a strong water flow rather than a power washer. For even stronger cleaning than just a hose, use a special brush attachment for the hose along with liquid soap – just make sure to rinse off all of the soap. You may also want to consider using rags and sponges, depending on the amount of dirt on the exterior of your home. The more dirt there is, the more scrubbing you’ll need to do. If there are any areas with mold or mildew, then it is advisable to wash with an anti-fungal cleaner. These types of cleaners can be found at hardware or home improvement stores.


Make sure to have your goggles on when you scrape any loose paint. Using a paint scraper, putty knife, or wire brush will be more effective. When scraping stubborn paint and/or scraping multi-layered paint, consider using a heat gun or rotary paint remover. A heat gun looks like a hair dryer but reaches very hot temperatures – as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit – so make sure to wear work gloves to protect your hands, and keep the heat gun away from all fresh paint, paint fumes, paint cans, and paint thinner/cleaner in order to avoid fire hazards. Another option for removing stubborn paint is a rotary paint remover, which can be attached to an electric drill. The stiff wire tines on the rotary quickly remove large areas of paint. Take caution when you are using this tool, as it should never come into close contact with any part of your body. Consider practicing on a small piece of wood before working on the siding, so that you feel safe and confident while working on the real thing.

Sand & Repair

For wood siding, fill any gouges or holes with patching compound; make sure the compound is exterior grade. Sometimes this product is called plastic wood, so keep that in mind when you go to purchase it. You will also need to sand the edges of the area in which you removed the paint, in order to help the new paint cover and hide the edge properly. Caulk any cracks, seams, or gaps with paintable exterior caulk. It’s important to be meticulous near the doors and windows so that the paint will adhere properly onto these tricky areas.

Taping & Covering

This is the final step before getting into the actual painting. You will need to tape off any areas that are not to be painted (such as around windows) with painter’s tape. This will ensure a smooth, straight line of paint that goes only where you want it, and helps avoid cleanup hassle later on. Place drop cloths anywhere that you do not want paint dripping onto, including shrubs, bushes, porches, and the like.

If you just aren’t up to painting on your own, then RENODIZ……

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