Over time, exposure to the elements can cause the exterior of your home to look worn and outdated. Home exterior renovations don’t have to be time consuming and costly. You can make valuable updates to your home’s exterior by adding a fresh coat of paint and refinishing your deck. These type of affordable updates can dramatically boost your home’s curb appeal and give your home a striking new makeover.
Not only will painting and staining your deck help your home look like new, but you’ll also protect your investment for years to come. Consult the experts at your local True Value hardware store for all the painting tools, staining products and expert advice you need to start your project on the right path.
Paint the Exterior of Your Home
There are many stressors on the surfaces of your home’s exterior. Sunlight and ultra-violet radiation degrades pigments and binders in paint, resulting in chalking, erosion and color loss. Weather and moisture are always trying to penetrate the paint; while humidity from inside the house pushes outward, causing the paint to "push off" the surface. In addition, temperature fluctuations make the paint expand and contract, which causes it to peel and flake off.
All of these factors can make your home's exterior look shabby over the years. Follow the steps below for home exterior updates that will help get your house looking great again.
Step 1. Choose the Right Paint for the Job
TrueValuePaint.com has a wide variety of tools for you to choose the right paint color for your home. Once you’ve decided on your home’s exterior color, it is important to also choose the right paint for the job.
The outside surface of your home will determine what kind of paint and primer to use. It is recommended that you use latex paints, which have higher durability on exterior surfaces than oil-based paints. Latex paint provides better fade resistance, flexibility, chalk resistance and adhesion. If your home is older, it may already have many layers of oil-based paint on its surface. Follow the steps below for home exterior updates that will help get your house looking great again.
When painting aluminum or vinyl siding, use an exterior latex primer and paint such as True Value WeatherAll® Exterior Aluminum/Vinyl Siding paint. If you will be painting masonry, such as brick, concrete or stucco, prime and paint with True Value WeatherAll® Exterior Masonry and Stucco primer and paint. If you have wood siding on your home, use a latex primer and paint such as True Value WeatherAll® in your desired sheen.
Flat and satin sheens are good for exterior siding because they have little reflection. Semi-gloss sheens are typically used for shutters and trim. Vinyl or aluminum siding that is slightly dented or worn looks best when repainted with a flat sheen because it camouflages imperfections more; a satin finish is a better choice when the siding is in good condition. In addition, semi-gloss finishes are tough, are easier to clean and are resistant to mildew and chalking.
Step 2. Buy the Right Amount of Paint
Once you've decided what colors to paint, you'll need to know how much to buy. When estimating, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the length of each surface by its height and add another 30 percent for good measure. Typically, one gallon of paint will cover 200 to 350 square feet. Buy more than you think you need; you can always use the extra for touch-ups.
Step 3. Prepare for Painting
Before your home exterior painting project begins, take precautions so that you don’t get paint on places that you don’t want it, including your neighbors’ property.
Use drop cloths to cover cars, patio furniture, shrubs and anything else you don't want spattered. Although you're painting outside, it's a good idea to cover the ground so you don't get paint on walkways and the yard. Remove all screens, light fixtures, plumbing outlets, electrical covers, shutters and address numbers/placards or cover them with painter's tape before you begin.
Remove peeling or flaking paint by sanding and scraping it off. Scrape first using a large scraper, then rent or buy a disc sander. Begin sanding with a coarse abrasive and then finish with a fine one. It's particularly important to smooth the edges between the painted and scraped areas as painting will accentuate any ridges and edges left behind.
- If your home was built before 1978, test the exterior with a lead testing kit to determine whether it contains any lead-based paint. Lead poses a serious health hazard, especially to children and pregnant women. To protect yourself and your family, avoid scraping or sanding lead-based paint.
- When using a ladder to reach high areas, invest in an adjustable ladder stabilizer that attaches to the ladder and braces onto the roof.
Remove any dirt and eliminate mildew by washing surfaces with a mixture of water, trisodium phosphate (TSP) and bleach with a long-handled brush. Then thoroughly spray surfaces with a pressure washer loaded with a mild detergent. Let everything dry completely before you start painting. When cleaning stucco homes, or if the surface is chalky or crumbly after cleaning, also apply a masonry surface conditioner.
- Use TSP as directed by the manufacturer. TSP can corrode metal and damage finished wood. Be sure to wear protective goggles, clothing and rubber gloves.
Use an exterior spackling compound to repair any holes or damaged areas. With wood, it's also important to caulk joints and cracks in areas such as trim and window frames using paintable caulk. Use an old screwdriver to scrape out any old caulk and clean the joint using a small brush. Apply paintable caulk with a caulking tool.
Step 4. Prime and Paint
A paint roller is a great home exterior painting and priming tool, especially for stucco and brick, which can be difficult to paint over. If desired, use a sprayer but watch your surroundings to avoid spillage. Make sure to use a high-quality paint primer, like True Value WeatherAll® primer, before you paint. This seals porous surface material so the topcoat won't soak in and dry unevenly, and helps prevent peeling, rusting and bleed-through (especially on wood and concrete).
When you're ready, pour True Value WeatherAll® paint into a paint tray and coat your roller. Follow the "top-down" rule — work from the top of your house to the bottom to get the most even coverage. Finish with the trim. Go over the paint surface with a roller when you're done to balance coverage. Use paintbrushes for windows, trim, cracks and crevices. Use two coats for optimal results.
- Use ladder mitts to prevent paint from scraping off. Another useful product is a pot hook, which allows you to hang the paint bucket from your ladder for easy access.
- Avoid ridges and lap marks on a flat surface by always stroking into the wet paint, never away from it. As you finish painting one area and move on to the next, blend each new stroke of the brush toward the wet paint previously applied so the layers blend evenly.
Step 5. Don't Forget the Front Door
The outside of your front door is a great opportunity for a quick home exterior renovation that will add contrast to the rest of your paint job. A new coat of glossy paint in a bold, cheerful color adds style and will make your home look attractive and unique. First, remove the door from the frame and remove the doorknob. Protect any hardware with painter's tape. Prime all door surfaces completely, including the front, back and all four outside edges. Paint over the primer with an angled sash brush, painting the corners of the raised panels first. Work from top to bottom and use at least two coats. Reinstall the door when you're finished.
Step 6. Clean Up
Thoroughly rinse roller covers and brushes in water (or paint thinner, if you're using oil-based products) until it runs clear and squeeze them out to remove excess liquid. Store in plastic bags. Remove the drop cloths and pull off the painter's tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any paint.
- If you use paint thinner, make sure you find out where and how to dispose of paint thinner properly. Some states have laws that do not allow you to pour paint thinner down the drain.
Stain Your Deck
Staining your deck regularly will make it last longer by giving it a layer of protection. Check to see if it's time to refinish it by applying a few drops of water. If the water beads up, there's no need to add stain now. If the drops soak in, you need to refinish. Before you start, remove everything from the deck and clean it thoroughly with a broom and a pressure washer.
Step 1. Clean the Surface and Remove Existing Finish
Deck cleaning products or "brighteners" are available in a variety of types and strengths. Make sure your deck is compatible with whatever cleaner you choose, especially if your deck is made of soft wood like redwood or cedar. Check the manufacturer's instructions to see whether you should start with a dry or wet deck. Try to clean on a calm day to keep wind from blowing the cleaning agent around the yard. Use a deck stain applicator to apply the cleaner to the entire deck, being sure not to allow the cleaner to puddle anywhere.
Scrub tough areas with a stiff brush or a broom. Don't use any wire brushes — wire bristles can break off into the wood and cause rust spots. Follow the product's instructions regarding how long to let the cleaner soak into the wood, usually about 10 to 15 minutes. After the cleaner has been allowed to soak, rinse the deck thoroughly with a hose.
- Cleaners contain bleaching agents, so wear protective clothing, safety goggles and rubber gloves.
Step 2. Apply Stain
When choosing a stain, remember the finished color varies based on the wood itself. If you are applying a new stain over an old one, choose a color that is similar to or darker than the original. Test the stain in an inconspicuous area to ensure you are satisfied with its color and appearance on the wood. Do not apply a liquid-resistant sealer prior to deck staining or the solution will be unable to soak into the wood.
Apply a thin, even coat of stain using a paint roller with an extension handle, covering three boards at a time. You might also consider using a spray applicator — this provides the most even application. Do not allow the stain to puddle. Repeat the process until the entire deck is covered. Use a paintbrush to cover corners and other difficult areas such as steps, railings, board ends and cracks. Apply two coats if needed.
Allow stain to dry completely before replacing furniture and potted plants. Wait a couple of days before using the deck.
Step 3. Clean Up
Rinse your roller covers and brushes with water or paint thinner until the water or solvent runs clear. Store applicators in plastic bags or hang them on nails or hooks to dry. Pick up drop cloths.
Step 4. Maintain It
A new deck needs to be refinished every six to twelve months. As your deck gets older, the stain lasts longer so you don't have to refinish as often. Do the water test every year and remember that the best time to refinish your deck is in the fall or spring.
Congratulations, you're finished! For the rest of your home exterior painting and staining needs, go to your local True Value hardware store for all the tools, products and expert advice you need to start right.