The quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to freshen up the exterior of your home is with paint. You can easily modify the entire look of your home just by applying a different colour or if you don't want to make any drastic changes you can add a couple new coats of the same colour. It will brighten up the exterior and make it look new again regardless of what colour you decide upon.
Steps for a Long Lasting Painted Finish
No matter what you are painting there are three steps that you must follow to achieve a great looking and long lasting finish. Prep, prime and paint!
Step one: Prep!
Its important to prep the surface that you are planning on painting. Skip this step and be prepared for a chunky, rough and flaky appearance that will need to be redone very soon. Paint doesn't stick very well to dirt or dust which means you will need to repaint much sooner plus it means the next time you paint will be harder and messier.
The most important aspect about this step is to make sure the surface is super clean. Scrub dirt and grease with a gentle cleaner and brush away dust with a soft bristle brush. Certain exterior materials can be cleaned with a power washer but just be careful of brittle finishes like stucco. Once the surface is clean make sure to fill any cracks or holes with paintable caulk or sealant.
You will also want to mask off anything that you do not want to get paint on. Window and door frames should be masked with painters tape and the ground or flower bed should be covered with a drop sheet.
Step two: Prime!
Primer is specially designed to adhere to bare or previously painted surfaces so that the final coats of paint will last for many years to come. Choose a primer that is specific to what you are painting. If you are painting brick or stucco use a masonry primer but if you are painting metal siding consider using a primer meant for metal. Always research that the type of primer you are using is suitable for the job.
Nasty stains may need to be sealed prior to priming so that they do not bleed through. There are a number of different products that you can use but Killz is a very popular choice for stains.
Once you have completed at least one coat of primer let it dry the recommended time as specified on the can. Four hours is typical but always give it longer if you are unsure.
Step three: Paint!
Now that all of the hard work is complete you can actually paint with your chosen colour. Its recommended to paint at least two or more coats to achieve a solid and even finished product. Brighter and intense colours like red and yellow will require even more coats.
Make sure to use a roller appropriate for the texture. Smooth and simple vinyl siding will require a thinner roller whereas stucco needs a thick and fluffy roller to get in all the nooks and crannies. Always cut in corners and around frames with a paint brush for a crisp and clean paint line.