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All American Trade Work

June 14, 2024

Complete Guide to Preparing Your Home for Exterior Painting


Painting the exterior of your home can be daunting, but with proper guidance, it can become as easy as pie. Let All American Trade Work of Medford, Oregon, be your guide and show you how to prepare your home’s exterior for painting like a professional.

From cleaning and prepping the surface to repairing any damage or cracks, choosing the right paint, applying primer, and then correctly painting the exterior, we’ll have you covered at every step!

Cleaning and Prepping the Surface

You’ll need to clean and prep the surface before you begin painting. Start using a pressure washer to remove any dirt, dust, or grime accumulated on the exterior. This will help ensure an even finish once you start painting.

Next, use a wire brush to remove any flaking paint or rust spots from the surface. You should also check for holes or cracks in the walls and fill them with spackling paste.

Repairing Damage and Cracks

Before you start painting, repairing any damage or cracks is important. This includes holes, chips, and even minor dents. Otherwise, the paint will look smoother and cleaner than you want. For this task, you’ll need basic materials: a putty knife, sandpaper, spackle or joint compound, an old cloth or rag, primer, and caulking.

Start using the putty knife to scrape away any old paint attached to the surface. Then use sandpaper to even out rough areas and ensure the consistency is entirely free of dust and dirt. Next, add a thin spackle or joint compound layer over the area to level with the rest of the wall. Let this dry completely before proceeding with your repairs.

When everything is nice and dry, you can apply a primer coat on top of your repair area so it will bond better with your new paint job. After that has dried too, which usually takes about 24 hours, use some caulking along all edges of your repaired area for extra protection against moisture damage.

Choosing the Right Paint

Once you’ve prepped the surface, it’s time to choose the right paint for your project. The location and subject of the painting will both influence the kind of paint you choose. For example, a glossy finish is best for high-traffic areas like doors and trim. But an eggshell or matte finish might be better if you paint a ceiling or wall in a room with little foot traffic.

Exterior paints are oil-based (alkyd) or latex formulas (1). Alkyd paints are more durable but take longer to dry, requiring mineral spirits to clean up. Although latex paints dry rapidly and are easy to clean with soap and water, they don’t last as long as alkyd formulations. Consider the color too. Lighter colors reflect heat while darker colors absorb it, so pick accordingly, depending on the sun exposure in your area.

Applying Primer

Priming the surface is vital to achieving a successful painting project; research before you buy to have the appropriate oil-based or water-based primer for the job. Once you’ve chosen the suitable primer, start power washing and scraping off any loose paint. Then use sandpaper for lightly sanding down rough spots or areas needing smoothing.

Use masking tape and plastic sheeting around windows and doors to protect them from paint splatter. After that, use a brush or roller to apply your primer in even strokes, as the manufacturer directs. Allow plenty of drying time before your painting project, usually at least 24 hours if possible!

Properly doing this will ensure a longer-lasting finish on your home’s exterior painting.

Painting the Surface Properly

Once you’ve prepped the surface, it’s time to start painting! Use a paintbrush or roller to give you an even finish, and remember to move quickly before the paint dries. To ensure your exterior looks its best, keep in mind these essential tips:

  1. Choose a quality paint that will withstand the elements and not fade quickly.
  2. Start with small wall sections and work up or down for better coverage.
  3. Paint from top-to-bottom on both walls and trim for a neat finish.
  4. Use multiple thin layers instead of one heavy coat to prevent drips and unevenness.

Remove any leftover paint from surfaces using mineral spirits or turpentine for best results. Then, wait until each layer is entirely dry before applying additional coats.


You have everything you need to give your home’s exterior a fresh look. Sure, it may seem like a lot of work, but the result speaks for itself. Plus, if you put in the effort now and take care of any necessary repairs and preparation, you won’t have to worry about doing it again soon. And remember, painting is an investment that pays off in improved curb appeal and increased property value. It is worth every ounce of effort! Even if it initially seems intimidating, you can make your house look its best with patience and determination.

If you need a painting expert to help with your project, consider working with All American Trade Work of Medford, Oregon. Our painting professionals will help you make your painting project a success and worth the experience. Contact All American Trade Work today! Curious about our exterior painting service? Follow this link to discover more: https://www.www.allamericantradework.com/residential-painting/exterior-painting