Use a low pressure hose to rinse weather stains, muck, webs, or other dirt off the exterior of your home. Be sure to move outdoor furniture, vehicles or other décor out of the way before you get started. This is especially important if you’re paying someone else to do the job—pay them to paint, not redecorate.
Fix it up!
You may need to finish some other stuff on the “honey-do” list before you get to painting, such as fixing small holes in the siding and repair cracks where moisture tends to collect. Be mindful of whether the issue is crucial to the pre-painting process, or if it is merely a cosmetic issue you can address later. But remember, fixing those little issues helps us talk up the house for you when you’re ready to sell!
Scrape it up!
Tools required: 1) Paint scraper. 2) Sander. 3) Tenacity.
Be careful! If your house was built before 1978, the paint may contain lead. Get the lead out! Go to www.epa.gov/lead for information on the hazards of working with lead-based paint and how to have it safely removed.
Prime it up!
Treat yourself: splurge on some high-quality wood primer – it will ultimately make your job easier
Mind the gap!
Get some high-quality caulk and close up any gaps, cracks or holes in the wood. This will keep air in, moisture and vermin out, and turn that paint job into the talk of the town.
Talk it up!
If you plan outsource your paint job, make sure you negotiate the details with your contractor. Put the conversation in writing for easy reference once you’ve reached an agreement about liabilities, delegations and pricing.
Keep it simple!
Think two-tone, not Picasso and definitely not Pollock. Don’t make painting your home’s exterior more work than it is worth, and stick with colors and designs that won’t seem garish in a couple years.