Tips & Techniques
If you're new to the challenges of painting large, weathered exterior surfaces, you may benefit from these professional tips and techniques.

A serious job

If you're considering painting the exterior of your house you need to ask yourself whether you have the time, perseverance and expertise to do the job correctly. Painting a house is a serious job, both technically and physically, and if you decide to tackle it yourself it can eat up your time and money. And any flaws and shortcomings are on display to the world.

You should also be aware that many people start difficult home improvement projects only to get in over their heads or lose interest. Hiring somebody to come in to clean up your mess and finish the job can sometimes cost you more than hiring a professional in the first place.

Tips and Techniques

Tips and techniques

If you are tackling a major exterior painting job but haven't had much experience, here are some pointers to guide you.

  • You will need an appropriate sized ladder to reach high parts of the house. Use ladder pads to prevent the paint from scraping off when it is rested on the wall or other surface. The pads are an inexpensive option and are better than using old rags. They also grip the siding better than improvised fabric, which can slip and be dangerous.
  • Punch a hole in the inside gutter of the paint can with a screwdriver. This will help prevent paint pooling and the can from dripping.
  • When using a roller, empty any excess paint from the tray when you're finished and leave the tray out to dry. Once the paint inside the tray has dried it can be  used again with another colour because it will not affect the new paint. When  there are numerous layers of paint in the tray, discard it.
  • Don't skimp on paint: in most cases one coat is not sufficient. Applying too  much paint can also be a problem. Make sure that it doesn't drip, bubble or sag.Just load up a brush or roller with paint, wipe off the excess and then apply.

    Tips and Techniques

  • Use the best paint possible. The best paint is most durable and in the long run  will save you money. The same goes for your equipment.
  • To avoid lap marks, paint into wet paint so that the most recent stroke of paint  blends in with what has just been applied.
  • Don't stop painting for the day in the middle of an area. Find the end of the section and paint up to it, and then stop. Otherwise there may be streaking or inconsistencies in the final dried appearance.
  • A can hook is available at hardware stores to attach the can easily to a  ladder. It swivels around so that the bucket is easy to get to, no matter how it hangs.
  • When cleaning up paintbrushes and rollers, use a solution of water and laundry softener. Dry the brush with a paper towel and store flat.  If you're planning to continue working tomorrow, wrap the brushes and rollers in plastic and store them in the fridge. Then just take them out the next day and continue working.