Preparing Your Home for Painting

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 3, 2018)

If you are going to be painting the exterior of your home, then there is one step you really need to pay particular attention to, and that step is the preparation. Preparing your home for painting is perhaps the single most difficult, time-consuming, and aggravating step in the painting process. The reason for this is that if you do not properly prepare your home you can easily find yourself needing to repaint the exterior, or at least a portion of it, within a few months. Do the job the right way the first time by following these instructions.

Items needed:

  • Rotary or vibrating sander
  • 100 grit sand paper
  • Paint scraper
  • Long utility cord
  • Utility knife
  • Power washer (optional)
  • Garden hose (optional)
  • Scrub brush (optional)
  • Wire brush
  • Bucket
  • All weather caulking
  • Caulking gun
  • Drop cloth
  • Helpers
  • Step ladder (optional)
  • Ladder (optional)
  • Scaffolding (optional)


  1. Get your materials. The first step in preparing your home for painting is to actually gather all the materials you will need of the job. The list of materials or items needed that is listed above is made up of some of the more common items that you can use to prepare the exterior of your home for painting. Keep in mind that pressure washers are usually somewhat expensive you may want to consider renting one of these machines instead of buying it. However, if you want to you can also wash the side of your house by hand using a garden hose and a scrub brush.
  2. Clean the wall. One of the best ways to begin preparing your home for painting is by washing it off first. By simply washing the walls of your home, you will end up removing many of the loose paint flakes. If you use a pressure washer or a scrub brush you can remove even more of the paint that you want to remove so that you can begin with a clean slate. Start on one side of your house, near the top, and work your way down, and then around to ensure you get every portion of the wall.
  3. Prep the area. While your walls are drying, you can begin preparing the rest of your home for you're the deep cleaning you will be doing. At a minimum, this means that you should be laying down a drop cloth at the base of the wall you will be working to help protect your bushes or grass along that wall. If you will be using any scaffolding or ladders, this would also be the best time to go ahead and set those up as well.
  4. Scrape the wall. Using a paint scraper and razor blades remove as much of the remaining paint on the walls as possible. Take your time and do not dig into the wood or you can end up damaging the siding of the house itself. If you end up damaging the wood, you may end up needing to replace the siding itself which can lead to a lot more work than you would like to take part in.
  5. Sand. Once you have finished scraping one of the walls, go back over that wall with a sander. This will help you remove any remaining bits and pieces of the paint so that you have a nice, smooth, paint free surface to work with.
  6. Inspect and repair. As you are working on each side of the house, take the time to look at each of your windows and doors to ensure that they are in good working condition. If necessary remove and replace any caulking that is no longer in good condition, replace any windows that have been cracked or damaged. Additionally, take a look at any faucets and outlets that may be found on that side of the house to ensure that they too are in good working condition, and replace them if necessary.
  7. Repeat as necessary. Repeat steps two through six on each of the exterior walls of your home. Once you think that you are done, go back over each wall and double check. If you find anything that you may have missed, go ahead and take care of it.
  8. Clean up. When you have finished scraping each side of the house, you are almost finished preparing your home for painting. All that you need to do is some serious clean up. This means that you need to first dispose of anything that may have collected in the drop cloth, and putting away all your tools. Once you have done that go ahead and wash the walls again to remove any remaining dirt, grime, and paint or wood dust that may still remain on the walls.

Once you have finished preparing your home for painting, you can get started on the actual painting job. Remember that you don't want to wait too long, or you can leave the exterior of your home open to the elements and even insects that can end up damaging your home. If you haven't already done so take advantage of the time that your home takes to dry from the final cleaning you did to pick out your new paint and pick up your primer. By the time that you finish picking up these items you can get started on the painting of your home. Otherwise, make sure that you wait until the exterior of your home is completely dried.

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. ...


Fixing a Bad Fuel Gauge

With rising gasoline costs, one of the most frustrating problems is needing to fix a bad fuel gauge. Here are the basics ...

Discover More

Removing Tobacco Smell from Upholstery

Tobacco smoke, for all its health risks and other problems has one overriding problem—it stinks! Even after a ...

Discover More

Things to Clean Before Moving In

Moving into a new apartment or home can be both an exciting and daunting event. Exciting because you are getting a new ...

Discover More

Cordless, Compact, and Powerful! DeWalt's 18-volt drill-driver kit packs a big punch in a small package, with a powerful high-performance motor tucked away inside a compact design. A great addition to the tool chest of any professional or DIYer! Check out DeWalt 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Selecting the Right Paint

There is more to getting the right paint than simply running out and picking up the first type of paint that you choose. ...

Discover More

Removing Paint from Brick

Do you have a home that has a brick wall that has been painted over? Would you like to change that color of paint, or ...

Discover More

Storing Paint Properly

Paint is a rather unique product. Not only is it expensive, but if it isn't stored properly you can face all kinds of ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one minus 1?

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.)