A fresh coat of paint can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal. But a smooth, durable finish depends on careful prep work.

New paint will quickly flake and fade if you skip sanding your exterior surfaces. So make sure to do everything correctly, especially around doors and windows. These difficult places can be cleaned and appropriately prepared to provide a long-lasting, gorgeous paint finish.

Remove All Furniture

Whether you are having your home painted by professional exterior painting services or are taking on the task yourself, it is best to clear everything out of the room being worked on. It minimizes the chances of any paint splatters or drips affecting your furniture. It also makes cleaning the space more accessible and preparing it for painting once the job is done.

If you cannot move your furniture into another room, keep it as far away from the painted wall as possible and cover it with quality plastic sheets or drop cloths. It is also a good idea to remove any paintings or wall hangings from the walls and store them in a safe place for the duration of the painting project.

Small knick-knack items and souvenirs should also be removed from the work area. It is easy for them to get knocked off or damaged during the painting process, so it is best to tuck these away in closets or other areas not being painted.

Remove All Accessory Items

Long before any brushes or caulk guns come into play, the first step in preparing your home for painting is to inspect it for problem areas. Whether there are minor issues like flaking paint or significant problems such as rust on iron railings or efflorescence (powdery white residue) on aluminum siding and soffit, these need to be addressed before the painting can begin.

Once you’ve completed the inspection, ensure all the windows and doors are closed, and any electrical or gas meters are shut off. Depending on your circumstance, it could be essential to tape or cover these to prevent inadvertent paint spatter damage.

It’s also a good idea to take down curtains and any other window treatments or at least move them away from the area that will be painted. It will help ensure they aren’t damaged by any paint splatter or spilled dust that may occur while the crew is working. If you have smaller nick-knack items on display, it’s best to store them away.

Clean the Exterior

Trying to tackle an exterior painting project on a home covered in dirt and mildew is frustrating and could lead to a job that doesn’t hold up. The best way to ensure your new paint will last is to clean the entire surface before you begin thoroughly.

This step can be time-consuming and requires a power washer, brush, and soap solution, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). The washing should remove any remaining mildew, oils, or anything hindering adhesion. It’s also an excellent time to examine the surfaces of your home for any areas where repairs are needed or that might be problem spots with the paint, such as around vents and other openings in the house.

It’s also an excellent time to trim back any bushes or trees that might block the view of your home. It will also allow the painters to get better access to hard-to-reach areas. Also, the less crowded a work area is, the easier it will be for everyone involved in the painting to move freely and set up equipment.

Prep the Walls

Before starting the prep work for your exterior painting project, examining your home’s walls for signs of damage or wear is a good idea. It might be caused by weather or by animal and insect activity. If you notice any areas of damage, now is the time to make repairs. It would be best to sand down rough spots to smooth the surfaces. It will ensure that your new paint will adhere properly to the surface.

During this time, removing any debris from the area around your home is also a good idea. It might include spiderwebs, wasp’s nests, and leaves. Additionally, covering any plants or shrubbery with tarps is a good idea. It will protect them from any accidental splatters of paint.

After everything has had a chance to dry, applying caulk along the surface where different materials meet is a great idea. It will ensure any messes don’t enter your windows or doors. It’s also a great time to apply painter’s tape around the edges of your doors and windows.

Clean the Roof

A fresh coat of paint shields your walls from the sun’s harmful UV rays, in addition to improving the curb appearance of your house. But a quality exterior paint job takes time, effort, and good preparation. The exemplary prep work can make your new coat of paint last years.

Start with a thorough washing of your house’s exterior surfaces. Dirty clapboards and shingles are a breeding ground for mildew, which can keep the new paint from adhering well. Use a mix of water and a phosphate-free cleaner.

Before you begin to prep the clapboards, take note of any damaged areas. These might be caused by weather wear and tear or animal or insect activity. Fix any rotting sections and apply epoxy fillers where needed.

Be sure to cover and tape over electrical outlet boxes, light fixtures, and hose bibs. And, if you have any delicate flowers or shrubs, be sure to tarp them or move them temporarily so they don’t get painted. Additionally, if your home was constructed before 1978, you must test for lead paint (kits range in price from $10 to $35) and adhere to EPA regulations while handling it.

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