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Painting Your Own Home

Friday, October 21, 2022

Fall in Texas is a great time to paint your home’s exterior. With the proper preparation and safety precautions, it can be a fulfilling and budget friendly project that enhances your curb appeal for several years to come.

If you live in a Homeowners Association, approval is typically required prior to making any changes to the exterior of your home even if painting the same color. If you live in a Crest managed community, you can submit your Exterior Modification Request online HERE. Once you’ve secured any necessary approvals, it’s time to gather supplies and get started. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pole saw or loppers to trim trees and bushes
  • Ladder an appropriate height for your home
  • Pressure washer or hose and scrub brush
  • Scraper and/or sandpaper
  • Wood filler or putty
  • Paintable caulk
  • Paint brushes and rollers or paint sprayer
  • Paint
Step 1 - Trim Trees & Shrubs All painted areas will need to be accessible and not impeded by tree branches or shrubs. Trim any areas that will prevent you from safely cleaning and painting. A good rule of thumb is to keep all branches four feet from walls and roofs to prevent rubbing during high winds. If you have bushes and shrubs you don’t want to trim, you could cover with a blanket or sheet and pull back to leave plenty of space for accessibility.

Step 2 - Clean Surface Paint adheres best to a clean surface. Pressure wash the painted surfaces to remove built up dirt and debris. If a pressure washer is not in your budget, a water hose and soft brush will get the job done.  A mild detergent and bleach solution will help remove and clear mildew stains and soil deposits.

Step 3 - Remove Loose Paint If you have areas with loose or peeling paint, scrape or sand to create a smooth surface that paint will adhere to. If using sandpaper, for best results, start with a heavy grit (60 - 100) and move to a finer grit (220 - 300).

Step 4 - Repair Damages Large damaged areas or rotten wood should be replaced to maintain a consistent surface and preserve exterior integrity. Some smaller areas can be filled with wood filler, putty, or caulk. When repairing, try to keep your surface repairs level and smooth. Some fillers are sandable while others are not, so pay close attention when purchasing supplies. Look for raised hail heads and nail them flush with the surface.

Step 5 - Caulk All horizontal and vertical seams that are cracked or have shrunk, including around window and door openings, should be sealed with paintable caulk. Any countersunk (nail heads that are below the surface rather than even with it) or dimpled nail heads should also be caulked.

Step 6 - Prime When purchasing paint, talk with your paint supplier to determine which paints will work best with the type of surface you are painting (i.e. hardie siding, cedar, vinyl aluminum siding, etc.). Many of the top paints on the market today are paint and primer in one.

Step 7 - Paint Paint can be applied with a roller and brush or with a paint sprayer. A roller and brush is the more economical option. Starting at the top and working your way down, roll a thick coat of paint onto the surface then use the brush to work the paint into the cracks and crevices. Pay close attention to the type of roller nap and brush you select to ensure they are made for the type of paint you are using. While painting, check regularly for runs and drips and brush them out while the paint is still wet. If you are investing in a sprayer for the project, read the user guide to ensure it will work with the type of paint you are using and that you are using the equipment in the right weather conditions.

Safety Ladder safety is paramount during all home projects. Make sure the ladder is placed in a level area with all four feet on the ground and the locking mechanism extended. Always follow the 3-point rule when climbing – keep two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot in contact with the ladder at all times.

A nice paint job has the power to transform your home. Step back and admire your work. Happy painting!

Painting Your Own Home

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