Although it is often preferable to hire a professional painter and decorator when giving the outside of your home a new coat of paint, there are certain things you can do that will make the job easier if you go it alone. Exterior painting is certainly best left to professionals if you will have to work at height due to the extra risks involved. That said, if you are determined to do your exterior painting yourself, what should you be keeping uppermost in your mind? Read on to find out what the professionals in residential exterior painting often advise.

1. Don't Start With Paint

Before you even think about painting, preparation should come first. Properly preparing will save you time in the long run. With exterior painting, this means cleaning the outdoor surfaces, the walls, boarding, soffits, and window frames. Years of weathering will have left dirt, mildew, and grime on the outside. Pressure washing is a favored method among professionals but soap and water with an old rag is often just as effective. If you remove flaking paint with a scraper and then sand down the surface rather than painting straight over, you will obtain a smoother finish. Additionally, any gaps or cracks you encounter should be filled with a suitable waterproof caulk.

2. Consider Both Primer and Paint

If you are painting unpainted surfaces or those with significant wear from the last paint job, then start with a coat of primer. The primer you choose should be compatible with the surface type, for example, masonry or wood. Professionals use primer as a base layer to achieve a more uniform finish. Purchase high-quality paint that is designed for exterior painting. The wrong sort of paint won't provide the longevity or look you are seeking.

3. Understand the Weather Conditions

Exterior painting shouldn't be done at any time of the year. The weather will play a pivotal role in not just how the paint dries but the overall appearance. Dry yet mild days are best for exterior paints because you won't have to worry about rainfall and your paint running. Note that extreme heat can cause the paint to dry too quickly so it looks streaky. What's more, painting outdoors is a physical job that can be tiring in the summer, another good reason to get a professional to do it for you.

4. Use the Right Tools

For most exterior surfaces, a combination of both rollers and brushes is best. Brushes offer precision, good for edges and narrow areas. On the other hand, rollers can cover large spaces more efficiently. Rollers should have longer naps for painting rougher surfaces while shorter naps are preferable for covering smooth surfaces. Read more.