Painting Exterior Walls

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 15, 2017)

Painting exterior walls is s a rather serious project. Not so much because of the skill required, but rather because of the amount of work required. In all reality painting exterior walls is a fairly labor intensive project. This means that you will want to set aside a whole weekend, at the minimum, where you will be doing nothing but this work. Otherwise you will end up rushing your work, and have a house that looks absolutely horrible.

  1. Gather your materials. Before you can begin painting the exterior walls of your home, you need to start collecting the materials you will be using. In this particular case that will be drop cloths, paint brushes, paint scrapers, vibrating or rotary sanders, outdoor extension cords, 100-grit sand paper, step ladder, scaffolding, painter's tape, exterior primer, exterior paint (in the color of your choice), and painters caulk. Make sure that you get enough primer and paint to cover all of your walls. One of the most important things that you can get for this project is some help, since the project is rather difficult and time consuming.
  2. Prep the work area. Once you have your materials, begin prepping the work area. Lay out the drop cloth along the bottom of one of your walls, and begin stripping the old paint. This is done by scraping and sanding the old paint off of the walls. The drop cloth at the bottom of the walls will catch all (or most) of the paint as it comes off the walls. As you finish each wall properly dispose of the waste that you removed, and then continue on to the next wall. Continue doing this until you have removed all the old paint. Be sure that you also cover up all the windows on the wall you will be painting using newspaper and painters tape.
  3. Clean the walls. After you have finished stripping the old paint take the time to actually wash and dry the walls as well. This will help remove any dust, dirt, grime, or paint residue that can help prevent a nice even coat of paint. The easiest way to do this is by using a pressure sprayer, so you may want to rent one from your local home improvement store.
  4. Choose the right time. One of the most important aspects of painting your exterior walls is to choose the right time to do this. Ideally you will want to do the project on a couple of consecutive days where the weather will be nice and pleasant. You don't want the weather to be too hot, since you will be working outside. Additionally, you don't want the weather to be too windy as well.
  5. Apply your primer and paint. If you are using a paint that does not have primer included within it, make sure that you apply the primer first. Start working at one end of the wall, and proceed all the way around your house working from top to bottom. Allow the primer to completely dry before you begin painting so that you can ensure you haven't missed any spots. Ideally you will finish priming one wall, and then move on to the next, and so on until you have finished priming the entire house. This should give more than enough time for your primer to completely dry so you can inspect it. Touch up any areas that you may have missed, and then allow them to dry before you begin painting. When you do begin painting the house, use the same process for applying the paint that you used to prime the house.
  6. Repeat as necessary. After you have finished painting the first coat on your walls inspect them to ensure that you haven't missed any spots. Additionally, this will give you the chance to see if you like the color as it is. If you don't like it then repeat step five, or at least the painting portion, until you have the exact color and shade that you want.
  7. Clean up. When you are finished with the project, or even if you are only finished for the day, clean up after yourself. This entails cleaning the paint from the brushes and rollers, cleaning out the trays, and so on. Additionally, you will also want to clean up the drop cloths. This way you will still have the materials and tools ready to use for your next step.

These particular instructions assumed that you were using the traditional paint brush and roller method of applying the paint. However, there are at least two other methods that you can use. The first is to use a paint sprayer to apply the paint. Not only is this method particularly quick, it allows you to apply a nice even coat which will look fantastic. The second method is one that is usually a little more expensive, and that is to hire a professional to do the work for you.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


Identifying and Dealing with Poison Ivy

Just about every person has had some experience with poison ivy in their lives. Usually, this experience was not a very ...

Discover More

Avoiding Money Scams

It is a sad fact but there are many, many different people out there who's only goal in life is to separate you from your ...

Discover More

Replacing Your Odometer

For some reason many people are afraid to tackle repairing or replacing the odometer on their vehicle. The truth is that ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Painting over Wallpaper

Are you looking for a way to change the look of a room that has wallpaper, but you don't really feel like pulling the ...

Discover More

Repainting Latex on Oil Paint

For the most part it is a good idea to remove any remnants of oil paint before you begin painting latex paint in the same ...

Discover More

Painting near Windows

Painting near windows can be tricky if you haven't done it before. That being said, there are a few steps that you can ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)