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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Curb Appeal // How to Paint Your Home's Exterior

You know that house - the one that's right in the middle of some big outdoor project but then is stuck in limbo for one reason or another and there it sits unfinished for months on end. We were that house.

At the end of June, I started painting the exterior - knocked out 5 of 7 walls with a roller and brush and had only two left.  Mind you, they were the two sides of the house that were tallest and required a much taller ladder than this pregnant lady was comfortable climbing. So, the last little bit was saved for the hubs who, unfortunately, hightailed it to Alaska before the job could be finished leaving it half painted for 4 months.

Don't worry - it wasn't left in this literal half-painted state. I did get the entire front finished (with help from my brother on the extra high parts.)

With the arrival of the baby right around the corner and the fact that fall is in full-force we knew we had to get this job finished. Fortunately we had all our go-to painting supplies on hand and even more fortunate - our neighbors had a paint sprayer leftover from their house painting project - so we were able to bust out the last two walls in no time.

Optional: 3M Lead Check

Prep: Clean the exterior by power-washing the siding and trim - removing any dirt, debris or flaking paint. Let dry before painting.
Note: For those with homes built before 1978, be sure to check your home's exterior paint for lead before power-washing or scraping.  If lead is present, special removal processes are required.

Using ScotchBlue™ Exterior Painter's Tape and brown contractor's paper (or newspaper), tape off all windows and doors including trim. Cover plants and landscaping with a drop cloth, plus any part of the porch, deck or roof that is near your painting surface.

Also, take this opportunity to inspect the trim and sealant around your doors and windows.  Remove and re-caulk if the seals are failing or re-trim if you uncover any woodrot/water damage. Also inspect any siding and repair or replace where needed.

Plan to paint on a non-windy day so paint isn't spread around the neighborhood and be sure to move vehicles or any other items that you don't want to get covered in a fine mist of latex paint.  A heads up to your neighbors isn't a bad idea either. You'd be surprised how far that overspray can travel.

The ScotchBlue™ Exterior Painter's Tape was perfect for this project - it adhered securely to our rough exterior surfaces and was easy to tear by hand.

Before diving into spraying the exterior, practice on a large piece of cardboard or scrap piece of wood. You may need to make changes to the consistency of your paint. If it is too thick, add a little water so the sprayer can handle it more effectively. Our Clark+Kensington Exterior Latex Paint/Primer in Seal Point Gray was the perfect consistency for our sprayer and provided great coverage.

Hold the paint sprayer about 8-12 inches from the siding and spray in long, even strokes. If you hold the sprayer nozzle too close you will oversaturate the siding and if the sprayer is held too far away too much of the paint will be sprayed into the air. Use a piece of cardboard as a shield for around areas that you don't want painted.

The previous owners weren't too careful when they painted the house, leaving a large amount of overspray on the brick chimney. Due to the overspray and some additional crack repair work that left our chimney looking pretty rough, we decided to paint it the same color as our home.  It's definitely not for everyone, but I like the clean and cohesive look of the painted brick.  Check out how these homes rocked the painted chimney - here, here and here.

Tips for Painting Brick:  Clean the surface.  A pressure wash may be needed for stuck on dirt and grime and a bleach wash may be needed for areas affected by mildew.  Elastomeric paint is recommended for painting brick, which creates a waterproof barrier.  We chose our Clark+Kensington Paint & Primer Exterior Latex enamel.  The latex paint allows moisture to leave the surface of the paint and helps to prevent mildew.
The Holmes Workwear™ Premium Safety Eyewear were a lifesaver...or should I say, eye-saver - they blocked the bright sunlight and all of the overspray from getting into the hub's baby blues.

We applied two coats of paint to the exterior siding and trim.  Before long our house was no longer a half-painted eyesore but was actually looking pretty dang good!





I still can't get over what a transformation paint can make.  I love the bluish-gray of our Clark+Kensington Seal Point Gray and apparently so does our house...the neighbors tell me it was a very similar shade of gray a few years back. Just meant to be, I guess.

So, do you leave painting to the professionals or is this a DIY project that you like to tackle?

This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.



  1. Meg, you've been so busy with the house, having a baby will be a vacation ... well, sort of :) The house looks wonderful.

  2. Thanks Cheryl! A vacation, huh? I'm going to hold you to that! :)

  3. Great tips for painting the exterior.I generally like the idea of painting the house of my own specially because of my own creativity.You cannot expect the same care from a professional when doing the job.But I think choosing the paint sprayer is the key.If you are planning to doing the job of your own you can try the new Paintzoom paint sprayer.You can read more about here:http://www.asseenontv.com/paint-zoom-paint-sprayer/detail.php?p=362002


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