How to Prepare Your House for Painting the Exterior

When you are planning on painting the exterior of your home, preparation is the key for success. It can make the difference between your paint job lasting a decade versus 1-2 years. If you don’t prepare properly, you can look forward to spending more money and time to fix problems that could have been avoided with a little patience and knowledge.

How to prepare your house for painting the Exterior

Exterior Painting Preparation Tips

  • • Walk around your house with a notepad and do a full assessment of what needs to be done. You might think that you will only need to do the trim or the siding, but it is best to do it all at once. It will look better when it is all freshly painted. It also makes sense to tackle all the issues at once.
  • • Plan ahead with your paint colour choices and finish types. Take measurements to the best of your ability so you can determine how much of each you will need. Talk to a paint specialist to determine the paint you will need. Keep in mind that if you are painting over aluminum siding, avoid latex paint at all costs. It will react with the siding and cause issues with the paint.
  • • Look ahead at the weather to help you decide when the best time will be to get started. Fall is the best month for exterior house painting, with temperatures between 10-25 degrees Celsius being optimal.
  • • If you have shutters, remove them to paint. Clean them and repair as you would your siding. Paint them separately. Keep in mind that dark paint absorbs heat, which may cause your shutters to warp in the long run.

Preparations Steps To paint your home’s exterior

1. Remove any clutter or objects that are situated around your home. Make sure to cover any landscaping that is around your house.

2. Clean a small, inconspicuous spot on your siding and do a test run with sample primer and paint. This will help you check to make sure there no adherence issues and the paint is compatible.

3. Clean, clean, clean. Rent a pressure washer to help you remove dirt and chalk. If you have mould and mildew or stains, you will likely need to use TSP (trisodium phosphate) to give your siding a thorough cleaning. Make sure to rinse well afterwards and give your house a few days to dry before you move on to any repair work. Depending on the stains, you may need to prime and seal them before you can move on.

4. Set up ladders or scaffolding (you can rent it). Scaffolding is the better and safer option.

5. If you have any repair work that needs to be done, follow up with it. Tighten up or reattach any loose siding or replace if necessary. This is especially important with wood rot. If there are any leaking issues around windows or the roof, consider installing flashing to help prevent further damage. Caulking will help but won’t protect from a lot of rain and ice. Replace any damaged or missing caulking and putty windows that need it. If you have wood siding, you will need wood filler or putty to fill in holes and gouges. Any patches need to be primed and sealed before you move on.

6. For steel or aluminum siding, rust and corrosion must be removed with steel wool or sandpaper. Bare steel needs to be primed right away.

7. Lay down and attach extra tarps to catch paint chips and debris. Scrape and sand loose and peeling paint. If you are dealing with a house that was painted before 1978, wear a ventilation mask and be careful. Chances are the paint has lead in it. If you have rough wood siding or painted brick, you will need a wire brush for this task. Clean up and wash any dust and loose paint chips before you move on to priming.

The Right Primer for the Exterior of Your Home

The type of siding on your home will determine the type of primer you use. Primer is important for a number of reasons:

  1. Stain blocking
  2. Improves adherence of paint
  3. Creates a smooth surface
  4. Reduces the number of paint coats needed
  5. Seals and protects

In general, latex primer will do the job. It works well for both interior and exterior and blocks stains. If you are dealing with tough stains and odors (possibly from a fire or smoke damage), a shellac primer will block both. For wood, there is both oil-based and latex wood primer. Oil-based is the best for bare wood surfaces, and seals and protects. Latex is better for previously painted surfaces. Finally, there is masonry-specific primer for brick, concrete, stucco and plaster.

When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, you want to make sure that you are preparing for the job properly so that you can ensure the paint lasts a long time.

More interesting blogs related to “How to Prepare Your House for Painting the Exterior”

  1. How to Prepare Your House for Painting
  2. The Best Time of Year to Paint the Exterior of Your House
  3. How much does exterior brick staining cost?
  4. How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House Exterior in Canada?

If the work involved in Preparing Home for Painting sounds like it involves too much time and energy to do yourself, call 416.494.9095 or email brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote or visit our website https://www.homepainterstoronto.com/

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.