The Five Most Common DIY Exterior Painting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Exterior painting is a great way to refresh a house from the outside. However, there are some common exterior painting mistakes to avoid. In this article, I describe the five most common exterior painting mistakes and how to avoid them.

Why Exterior Painting Mistakes Matter
It's important to make as few exterior painting mistakes as possible. Having to repaint due to mistakes is a waste of time, money, and painting supplies. Beyond that, doing a bad job of painting a house makes the house look bad and lowers the potential resale value. Doing a good job when painting the outside of a house can mean that you won't have to repaint your house for several more years and can be a good selling point if you decide to sell your home. The exterior of your home is the first impression that your home makes on guests. Even if you don't plan ever to sell your home, a nice exterior finish will help your house make a great first impression and will be something you can be proud of.

Exterior Painting Mistake #1 – Bad Paint Choices
Picking an exterior paint that is an ugly color, a color that does not "fit" with other nearby houses, or simply low-quality is an easy mistake to make, yet it is very easily avoided. See what the other houses in your neighborhood are painted like, pick a color that you like and that will go well with your house, and buy paint that is guaranteed to last for a long time. This will improve the appearance of your house, the potential resale value of the house, and will reduce the frequency with which you need to repaint. Remember to use a quality primer as well as a quality paint.

Exterior Painting Mistake #2 – Not Doing Adequate Preparation
Surfaces have to be prepared before most painting. This is no different when doing exterior painting. If your house is dirty, you should pressure wash it and also remove any remnants of old paint chips. You may have to "rough up" the surface with a wash of trisodium phosphate before applying a primer. Remember to tape off things like windows or any areas that you don't want to cover with paint. Not doing the above could cause paint not to adhere well to your house, while accidentally getting paint on a window could force you to begin another project.

Exterior Painting Mistake #3 – Ignoring The Weather
Many weather-related problems can happen while doing exterior painting. A sudden downpour could completely invalidate a day's labor, while hot, direct sunlight can cause paint peeling. If you can, try to pick a time when the weather will be cool and dry, with no chance of rain.

Exterior Painting Mistake #4 – Using Bad Technique
"Bad technique" can encompass a lot of things with regard to exterior painting. For example, painting only in one direction, using inappropriate brushes or rollers, or using so much paint that the paint clumps and runs. Before you begin to do any exterior painting, make sure that you know how to paint to avoid clumping and running and to ensure that the paint is spread evenly.

Exterior Painting Mistake #5 – Not Enlisting Help
Painting a house is not a task to be taken lightly. A house to be painted will need at least one coat of primer and two coats of paint. Doing this alone would take a great amount of time. However, having the assistance of three or four friends or family members reduces the time and effort that doing exterior painting takes on a person. If people help you to paint your house, you should repay them, of course.

In short, get a neutral, quality paint (and quality primer), make sure everything is clean and well-prepared, pay attention to the weather forecast, paint using proper technique, and get people to help you. If you do all of this, your exterior painting should be smooth sailing. Have any further tips for exterior painting? Feel free to share your suggestions in the form of a comment. Thank you for reading!