The Correct Way to Paint the Exterior of Your Home

If you are planning a makeover for your home or simply do not like the exterior color of a house that interests you, knowing the right way to paint the outside of a house can save a lot of money in the long term. Not only will you be able to complete the project yourself, you will be able to do it with confidence. Once you know the steps to follow, you can complete the project yourself without having to spend additional money on a professional.


  1. Check local building codes to determine if there are any restrictions on the use of oil-based paint. These types of paints contain higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or solvents.
  2. Choose between oil-based supplies or latex supplies. Whichever type of paint you choose, make sure it matches the same type of primer. In order to determine what type of material you are going to use, first determine the type of coating material your home is made of. If you have vinyl siding, you should always use an acrylic latex primer and topcoat, but with aluminum siding, you should use an oil-based primer with a top layer of acrylic latex.
  3. Apply a coat of primer to areas of bare wood or areas where you have removed the paint so that the top coat adheres better to the surface.
  4. Immerse a brush in the paint so that no more than half of the bristles are submerged in the paint. When lifting the brush, make sure you clean the bottom of the brush on the edge of the can, and keep the bristles up while moving towards the house.
  5. Paint the house from the top towards the bottom, starting from the pediments and moving on to the main siding, windows, moldings and doors, in that specific order. Make sure that the paint is removed periodically to prevent mixing.
  6. Paint the siding with the 5-inch brush 2 to 3 inches from the edge of the corners, windows and doors, making sure to paint three to four boards at a time and move the brush with a back and forth motion. Make sure to paint in the direction of the coating.
  7. If you’re painting under the edge of the boards made of wood, use a 3-inch brush; If you have wood shingles, paint around the edge or perimeter, making sure to work the paint into cracks and seams.
  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 until the entire house is painted.
  9. Clean the brushes when you have finished working, using soap and water for latex paint and paint thinner or turpentine for oil-based paint. Make sure you have the paint thinner and turpentine in a tightly closed glass container.
  10. Allow the first coat of paint to dry for eight hours, or the amount of time recommended on the paint label, before applying the second coat and repeat steps 4 through 7.

Tips and warnings

  • Let the house dry for two or three days if it has rained recently.
  • Paint the east and north sides of the house in the afternoon and the west and south sides of the house in the morning to prevent the paint from drying out too quickly.
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