9 Interior and Exterior House Painting Rules

Does the outside of your home need to be freshened up? Interior and exterior house painting are the same but different in many ways. The exterior of you home, especially if it’s wood will be in need of a repaint every three to seven years. However, houses with hardie plank siding need painting less often.

If you don’t want to pay for a professional painting contractor and you’re painting your house, there are certain rules you must follow if you want it done right. We look at 9 key rules of house painting.

1. Don’t Skimp on Paint or Materials

The old adage “you get what you paid for” certainly applies here. The top quality paint products do last longer and cover better. It’s worth paying for the high-quality interior or exterior house paint, caulking, putty, primers, drop cloths, tools and brushes. So, spend it and you will reap the benefits. 

You should look for paint that has a lifetime warranty to protect against blistering, peeling and fading. Let that color shine brighter and longer.

If you are painting siding, you can look for a high-quality flat or satin finish because it does a good job hiding those pesky defects and irregularities. You will want to use satin, semi-gloss or even gloss finishes for trim because this paint is typically more durable.

2. Preparation is Key

Just like anything else you do in life, preparation is very important. Interior or exterior paint will adhere well if the surface is dry, clean, and not peeling. You may have to scrape and sand a bunch before painting.

You always need to clean first. Use a hose, scrub brush, and detergent, or you can also use a pressure washer. Be careful that you don’t get the water too deep in between the joints to cause your wood to rot or erode.

You’ll need a scraper if you have flaking paint. If you have some pesky flakes, you may need a sander like a 5-inch disk power sander or a random orbit sander. You should start with the 60-grit sandpaper and go from there.

You don’t need to remove all the old exterior paint from the surface – just the loose paint. You want a smooth surface. After sanding, use wood filler and a putty knife to fill in all the holes and cracks.

You will then need to sand off again after the filler is dry. You will then need to brush off dust, prime, apply caulk to the joints, and then let the caulk dry before you apply any top-coats.

3. Use Plenty of Paint

Don’t skimp on the amount of paint you apply. This could cost you more in the long run because you may will have to repaint sooner. Or, you could have coverage issues even after applying the second coat.

Start painting your base coat by adding a high-quality oil-alkyd primer to metal. You can tint your primer to your paint color, which can help minimize the amount of paint you need to apply. If you don’t tint your primer, there are also advantages because you can see spots that need to be touched up easier.

After your primer or base coat is dry, apply your first coat. You will most likely need a second top coat to cover evenly.

4. Use All the Right Tools

You need to have a high-quality roller and brush. You may even want to consider an airless sprayer that you can rent at most tool outlets or home improvement stores. One of the easiest ways to paint is to use the airless sprayer to apply first and then back-roll it with the roller to give the surface texture.

Airless sprayers can be tricky. You will need to pay close attention to the directions to get experience. You should start with a side of the house that is not visible until you perfect your spray skills. Or, if your neighbor is a professional house painters, you can ask him/ her for a visual demonstration. Meaning, free work of course!!

Use a 5-gallon paint bucket. You may want to consider using a paint strainer to avoid the paint from clogging the sprayer.

5. Wait for the Perfect Weather

Waiting to paint in the best weather conditions is wise. You should avoid painting in the rain, hot days, or when it’s windy. Ideal temperatures are around 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s best if you don’t paint when it’s too hot because the heat will make the paint dry too fast, just like direct sunlight. When you paint, try to follow the shade.

Temperatures below 45 degrees may prevent the paint from adhering correctly. If it is damp or wet, the paint may bubble.

6. Use Covers to Protect Your Stuff

Proper preparation also means covering the area. Using plastic, paper or cloth drop cloths will help save time during cleanup. Cover your garden, plants, decks, shrubs, driveway, and patios.

This step is extremely important if you use a paint sprayer. The overspray can reach your neighbor’s house if you are not careful, so take the extra time to mask and cover all nearby areas. Check how far it sprays with a quick test before you go to town and get your neighbor’s car.

7. Don’t Try to Reinvent Painting Techniques

Take time to study the tried and proven painting techniques. There are no shortage of videos from pros and experts on the best ways to paint.

You always start at the top and work your way down. You should start with any overhangs to prevent the fresh paint from dripping on the newly painted areas.

Paint siding and then tape around windows and doors before you start the trim. Remove the tape as soon as you are done with the trim to prevent any residue. Touch up any areas as necessary for even coverage.

8. Be Honest with Yourself

Do you have the time, skills, will, and tools to do the job? If not, don’t paint your house – you may need to hire a professional house painter. If your house is two-stories, is the ladder tall enough?

Don’t kid yourself. Painting a house is a tedious job. Be honest with yourself because you don’t want to sign up for more than you can handle. Especially, if your home is large or needs a great deal of prep work.

9. Do Your Research Before Hiring a Professional

If you decide that hiring a professional is best, you should get at least three detailed quotes from three painting contractors. Be sure you get references and do background checks. Make sure they have insurance and licenses.

You should also check out their work. When you get references, drive by the homes to see if you like the workmanship. Look online for reviews and check out the Better Business Bureau for any ratings or complaints.

Looking for a Professional Painter for House Painting?

If you are ready to tackle that interior or exterior house painting project, check out A Touch of Color Painting.

Get a free quote today from a local, premier contractor. We have one of the best warranties in the business!