Exterior Home Painting Tips & Ideas - Health Tips - Angieslist

Adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of your home is one the most popular home improvement projects this time of year. Painting not only increases your home’s curb appeal, it also helps protect your home from the elements.

Angie's List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies, went to highly rated exterior painting companies about the best time to paint and the importance of prepping your home.

How do I know when it’s time to paint?

  • A good paint job should last 5-10 years.
  • The most obvious sign that you’re home’s exterior needs a fresh coat of paint is peeling.
  • Check the side of your house that gets the most weather exposure – this will be the side where the paint begins to show signs of wear first.
  • Peeling paint allows water to seep into the wood and can cause the wood to rot.
  • Ignoring this can lead to more expensive repairs down the road.

Before you paint:

  • Consider the type of paint you want and how much you’ll need: It is wise to paint your home in shades that will compliment neighboring houses. Working with color schemes that harmonize with the community will give you the best results.
  • Prep your home: Insufficient preparation is the most common reason for exterior paint to fail. A properly prepared surface gets the best results from your paint project. Before starting an exterior paint job, eliminate any existing paint problems. Paint that’s peeling, cracking, or blistering often signals larger problems and needs to be corrected. Make any necessary repairs prior to priming and painting. Trim shrubs and bushes that grow against your home so the painter has enough room to paint your home – make sure all parts of the home that need painting are easily accessible. Use drop clothes to protect your landscape/driveway.

Angie’s List tips for hiring a professional exterior painter:

  • Ask how long the contractor has been in business.Are pictures of their past work available?
  • Are employees experienced painters? Ask what training and qualifications they have.
  • Does the contractor have insurance? Painters typically work with ladders – insurance will help protect the company and you.
  • Ask what type of prep work the painting contractor has to do (sand, power wash, etc.)
  • Can the painting contractor make recommendations on what materials will work best for your project? A professional keeps up-to-date on the latest products/techniques/trends – makes color suggestions.
  • How much do they charge? Be sure not to hire on price alone.
  • The outsides of most older homes have probably been painted with lead based paint (which was banned in 1978) at one time or another. It is recommended that professionals inform you of their lead paint removal process. This is especially important if you are scraping or sanding the old paint, as the dust it creates is especially dangerous.


Good advice. You misspelled the word 'complement'. Your use of the word 'compliment' is wrong.

I suppose the title: Paint the exterior of your house should be changed to: A rookies guide to when to hire a painter.

My house was JUST painted on the exterior and I believe it looks good and was well-prepared.

My house was JUST painted, and I believe it looks good and was well-prepared.

You would do well to inform your public that the EPA's new law going into affect April 22, 2010, requires ALL who disturb paint, to take a one day lead paint training course from an EPA approved trainer. go to www.epa.gov/lead/RRP for more info. The fine is $37,500 a day. Lead dust kills kids.

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