Exterior Painting Techniques

There are all different kinds of siding you might encounter when it comes time to paint the outside of your house. You could have cedar, plywood, hardboard, stucco, or masonry.

Sometimes, you might have a combination. In general, you should use a power sprayer or a roller with a heavy nap for concrete, stucco, and brick. Use a brush, a roller with a medium nap, or a power sprayer for any other materials.

 
First, check to make sure there's no rain in the weather forecast. You'll need to apply primer to any bare siding. For best results, allow the primer to dry according to the manufacturer's recommendation. A sprayer or roller will speed up the process.
 
Masonry surfaces always should be primed, especially if water stains are present or if glossy paint is to be top-coated. Cedar and redwood contain resins that bleed through water-based paints, so use an oil-based primer on bare wood.
 
Paint the roof trim and soffits before the walls if they will be different colors. This will keep the trim paint from dripping onto the newly painted walls.
 
Paint the inside corners and around the trim. A corner roller or trim brush is a great help when cutting in these areas.
 
On clapboard or shingle siding, paint the bottom edges of the siding before painting the face. That way, you'll make sure you don't miss any spots. A trim roller works great for this job.
 
Do the walls with a roller or a brush, starting at the top. If you're up on a ladder, work carefully and don't overextend your arm -- it could throw you off balance. Try to finish strokes directly in front of you so you can make sure there's no drips. Paint one defined "block" at a time.
 
Start each stroke by feathering the brush or roller. Feathering means placing the surface of the brush or roller against the siding gradually, instead of abruptly. This eliminates a definite start line and makes it easier to blend the next block of strokes into the present block.
 
Blend the strokes together by working quickly. It's important to blend the new stroke into the completed stroke while the paint is still wet so you can avoid lap marks. Never stop in the middle of a section. Paint to the corner of the house so the paint color is consistent.
 

Move the ladder so you can just reach the completed block of siding. To eliminate lap marks, rewet the feathered edges of the previously painted block with your brush or roller just before you start each stroke. Repeat the process until the top area is completed, then move on to the lower sections.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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