Discover the Do’s and Don’ts for Exterior Painting

It’s important to paint the exterior of your house – not just for design purposes but also for protecting your home from the elements. However, diving into an exterior painting project without proper knowledge can lead to less-than-stellar results. That’s where we step in to help!

In this post, we’ll walk you through the essential do’s and don’ts of exterior painting. Whether you’re considering picking up the brush yourself or thinking about professional help, understanding these tips will ensure that your home looks fantastic and stays well-protected.

The Do’s of Exterior Painting

1. Do prepare your walls

Ensuring your house is ready for painting before you even open a paint can is crucial. Start by thoroughly washing the exterior to remove dirt, grime, and mildew. This can be done with a pressure washer or hand with a stiff brush and a mixture of water and mild soap. Next, scrape off any peeling or chipped paint and sand the surface to create a smooth base for new paint. Don’t forget to repair cracks or holes in the siding with exterior-grade filler. Finally, tape off windows, doors, and trim to protect them from accidental brush strokes.

2. Do choose the right and quality paint

Selecting the right paint is vital for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your paint job. Opt for high-quality exterior paints that are suitable for the material of your home’s facade, whether wood, brick, or vinyl. These paints may come at a higher price point, but their resistance to weathering, fading, and peeling makes them worth the investment. Additionally, consider the finish—glossy finishes are easier to clean, while matte finishes can help hide surface imperfections.

3. Do use quality tools

Good quality tools can significantly affect the efficiency and appearance of your paint job. Invest in brushes and rollers designed for exterior paint. Brushes with synthetic bristles are generally best for water-based paints, while natural bristles suit oil-based paints. Rollers should be high-density foam or wool to hold enough paint and provide smooth coverage. Also, using painter’s tape for clean edges and drop cloths to protect your landscaping can make your job cleaner and more professional.

4. Do check the weather forecast before proceeding

Timing your painting project is essential. Aim for a time of year when the weather is mild—too much sun can cause the paint to dry too quickly, leading to cracks and blisters, while too much moisture can prevent proper drying. Ideal temperatures for painting are typically between 50-85°F (10-30°C) with low humidity. Watch the weather forecast and avoid painting on rainy or windy days to ensure the best outcome.

5. Do create a color palette

women choosing samples of wall paint

When choosing colors for your home’s exterior, consider creating a cohesive color palette that enhances its architectural features. Use a base color for the main parts of the house, a complementary color for the trim, and an accent color for doors or shutters. This approach brings visual harmony and allows you to express your style while adding to the curb appeal.

6. Do research and find out what paint works best for you

Different surfaces and climates require specific types of paint. Research various brands and types to find the best fit for your home’s exterior material and your local weather conditions. For instance, if your home is in a particularly sunny or coastal area, look for paint that has UV protection and salt resistance.

7. Do experiment with texture

Texture can significantly impact the visual depth and interest of your home’s exterior. Consider options like sand textures for a stucco finish or a gloss on shutters to make them pop. Textured paint can also hide imperfections on older home exteriors, providing an even and visually appealing surface.

The Don’ts of Exterior Painting

House Painter Painting the Trim And Shutters

1. Don’t skip prep work

Never underestimate the importance of preparation. Skipping steps such as cleaning, sanding, and priming can lead to paint that peels, cracks, or fades prematurely. Always take the time to properly prepare your surfaces. This might seem time-consuming, but it is essential for a lasting, high-quality finish.

2. Don’t use low-quality paint

It can be tempting to save money by opting for cheaper paint, but this is often a false economy. Low-quality paint may not adhere well, might require more coats, and generally doesn’t stand up to the elements as effectively as higher-quality alternatives. Invest in the best paint you can afford; it will save you money in the long run due to its durability and better coverage.

3. Don’t paint in unfavorable weather

Painting in the wrong weather conditions can ruin your hard work. Avoid painting in extreme heat or direct sunlight, which can cause the paint to dry too quickly and lead to cracks or bubbles. Similarly, painting on a damp or rainy day can prevent paint from drying correctly, potentially leading to a blotchy finish. Always check the weather forecast and plan your painting around optimal conditions.

4. Don’t just choose one color

While a single color might seem safe, it can often lead to a flat, uninteresting look. Integrating multiple colors, as suggested in creating a color palette, will help highlight your home’s beautiful details and structure, making it stand out in the neighborhood.

5. Don’t choose more than one bright color

 While including vibrant colors in your palette is great, using more than one bright color can overwhelm the eyes and detract from your home’s overall look. Stick to one bright color as an accent and keep the rest of the palette neutral or subdued to create a balanced and pleasing exterior.

6. Don’t stray too far from the colors in your neighborhood

While personalizing your home is important, it’s also wise to consider the overall aesthetic of your neighborhood. Choosing colors that drastically differ from nearby homes can make your property stick out awkwardly and potentially affect its marketability. Aim for a color scheme that complements your community while still allowing for personal expression.

7. Don’t overlook safety

Exterior painting often requires working at height, so proper safety measures are crucial. Always use sturdy ladders and ensure they are securely positioned. Avoid stretching too far while on a ladder—move it frequently to keep it within safe reach. Additionally, wear appropriate safety gear like gloves and goggles, and ensure good ventilation if using potent solvents or paints.

8. Don’t rush the job

A rushed paint job rarely yields good results. Take your time with each step, from prep to the final coat. Allow the paint to dry fully between coats, and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for drying times. Rushing through the process can lead to unsatisfactory coverage and may necessitate a redo much sooner than anticipated.


Embarking on an exterior painting project is a significant decision that affects your home’s aesthetics and longevity. While it might be tempting to tackle this task solo, the benefits of hiring a professional like Custom Painting Inc. cannot be overstated. With their 40 years of experience, you can ensure that your home not only looks its best but also receives the care it deserves.

Ready to transform your home’s exterior with confidence and ease? Contact Custom Painting Inc. today. Call us at 925-686-0903 or leave a message on our online contact form. Let us help you achieve the perfect look for your home with professionalism and expertise. Your dream home exterior is just a call or click away!