How To Paint a House - Exterior Painting Guide For 2024

Dec 27, 2023

Preparation: The Foundation of a Great Paint Job

Before you even think about opening a can of paint, proper preparation is key. Start by giving your house's exterior a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, dust, and grime. A power washer can be a great tool for this, but make sure to use it carefully to avoid damaging wood or other sensitive materials. Next, take the time to scrape off any peeling or chipped paint and sand the surface to create a smooth base for your new coat of paint.

house cleaning

Choosing the Right Paint

When it comes to exterior paints, not all are created equal. For 2024, look for paints that are specifically formulated for exterior use and can withstand the elements. These will often be labeled as "exterior" or "all-weather." Additionally, consider the finish – gloss, semi-gloss, and satin are popular choices. Remember, the higher the gloss, the more durable the paint will be, but it will also show more imperfections.

Tools and Materials

Having the right tools can make all the difference in a painting project. You'll need brushes, rollers, paint trays, and possibly a paint sprayer, depending on the size of your house and your personal preference. Don't forget ladders or scaffolding for reaching high places, and drop cloths to protect your landscaping and hardscaping from drips and spills. A good-quality painter's tape is also essential for protecting windows, doors, and trim.

painting tools

Painting Techniques

Working from Top to Bottom

When you're ready to start painting, begin at the top of your house and work your way down. This method allows you to control streaks, as you will be working with gravity rather than against it. Use your brush to cut in around windows and doors, and then fill in the larger areas with a roller or sprayer. Be sure to maintain a "wet edge" by overlapping edges before they dry to avoid visible lines.

Dealing with Weather

The weather can be your paint job's best friend or its worst enemy. Aim to paint on days with mild temperatures, low humidity, and an overcast sky to ensure the paint dries evenly. Avoid painting in direct sunlight, as the paint can dry too quickly and not adhere properly to the surface.

weather painting

Safety First

Exterior painting often involves working at heights, so safety should be your top priority. Ensure your ladders are stable and secure, and never overreach while on a ladder. If you're using a sprayer, wear a mask to avoid inhaling paint mist. It's also a good idea to wear protective eyewear and clothing.

Finishing Touches

Inspecting Your Work

Once the main paint job is done, go back and inspect your work. Look for any drips, uneven coverage, or missed spots. Apply touch-ups as needed while the paint is still fresh to ensure the best results. Remember to remove painter's tape while the paint is still slightly wet to avoid peeling off any fresh paint.

Cleanup and Maintenance

After the paint has dried, it's time to clean up. Properly dispose of any leftover paint and clean your brushes and rollers. Store any leftover paint for future touch-ups in a cool, dry place. To keep your paint job looking fresh for years to come, regularly clean the exterior of your house and touch up any areas that become chipped or worn.

house exterior finished


Painting the exterior of your house is a big undertaking, but with careful preparation, the right tools, and attention to detail, you can achieve a professional-looking finish. Remember to take your time, prioritize safety, and choose quality materials. With these tips, your home will have a fresh, new look for 2024 that you can take pride in.