More than Curb Appeal

The exterior of your home requires regular maintenance and care and a coat of paint can go a long way in protecting this asset but also ensuring you avoid expensive fixes and upgrades before their time, but that’s not the only reason to apply a coat of paint. A realtor will tell you that a coat of paint on the exterior of your home will not only boost the curb appeal but also provide a nice return on your investment by increasing the value of your home at resale.


Tools You'll Need


Bleach or TSP Cleaner
Disposable gloves
Microfiber cloth
Scrubby sponge
Putty knife
Drop Cloths


Stabilising Primer Solution
Paper and painter’s plastic
Painter’s tape
Fine Paint Brush
Paint Bucket


Plastic Painter's Tarp
Mildew Resistant Paint
Angled Brush
Extension Pole
Sanding sponge
Small paintbrush
Exterior Paint
Tack Cloth

Clean Up

Broom or dusting cloths
Screwdriver and/or electric drill
Caulk and caulk gun
Mineral spirits

Tutorial Steps

This 7 step tutorial outlines all the steps that need to properly repaint the exterior walls of your home. Before we begin there are a few things we need to address.

Safety First

  • Wear flat, grippy shoes and don’t over-reach when you are working on a ladder. Always keep one hand on the ladder.
  • Wear a dust mask and goggles when you need to use a wire brush to clean any surface.
  • Don’t lean your ladder against any windows or guttering. Make sure it is against a solid surface and that it doesn’t rock.
  • Secure the top of your ladder with a rope to a window frame, or drill a hole in the wall and install an eyelet fixing.
  • For every 1.3 metres of height, place the ladder about 30 centimetres away from the wall (at the bottom).
  • If the ground slopes more than 16 degrees sideways (or at least six degrees away from the wall) where your ladder is, use some ladder levelling devices and non-slip mats to help keep the ladder secure and steady.
  • Always keep three points of contact to the ladder and your chest/waist inside the rungs of the ladder.

Clean the walls

A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective.

Sand and Scrape

Paint that has peeled, bubbled, or blistered has got to go. Scrape and sand all cracked or chipping paint. Lead Alert — there’s a strong possibility in houses built before 1978 that lead may be present in old paint — you need to proceed with caution. If your paint does contain lead, you’ll need to take special precautions during the scraping and sanding phases to protect yourself, your family, and the environment from toxic dust. If the paint is lead-free, you ‘ll need a dust mask and lay down tarps to catch debris before tackling the most crucial part of the project.

Patch & Fill

After the sanding is done, it’s time to fill minor cracks and dents, repair any rot, and replace any pieces that are too far gone.

1st coat of primer

Primers are formulated to penetrate, seal, and provide a good surface for the top coats to stick to. Use them over bare wood, Spackle, and epoxy, or over paint with a chalky, deteriorated surface. Acrylic primers can be used on most surfaces, but on cedar or redwood, oil-based coatings are a must because they lock in these woods’ reddish-brown “extractives,” which will leach out and leave behind rusty stains if the wood is primed with a water-based product.

2nd coat of primer

Spray exposed nail heads with a metal primer to prevent rust from bleeding through the paint.

Caulk & Seal

When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim.


Deciding which paint to use has gotten much easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints almost to extinction for painting exterior walls. The acrylics offer superior performance (they don’t harden with age, the way oils do, so they move and breathe without blistering), they don’t mildew as readily, and they emit fewer VOCs, so they comply with new air-quality regulations. They also work over both oil- and water-based primers. Oil paint still has a place in high-traffic areas such as wood steps and porch floors because of its superior wear resistance and on steel and cast-iron railings, which benefit from oil’s water repellency. Start at the top and work down. Work in the shade, out of the sun’s glare. As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 10 degrees celsius two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints.

CPCA Member Products
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