Get the Right Amount of Paint the First Time
Use our paint calculator to estimate how much paint to buy.
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Easily upgrade your curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint on your home's exterior. Find information on priming the outside of your home, application techniques and potential problems in this how-to guide.
A primer will help paint adhere to the surface, providing a more uniform appearance. Use a primer when painting over new wood, bare wood, or repainting over existing bright or dark colors. Ask your salesperson and read the labels before making this decision.
Sunlight and UV radiation. Sunlight and moisture can cause chalking and tint loss; however, latex paint tends to resist the effects of direct sunlight better than oil-based or alkyd paints.
Water and moisture. Wood expands and contracts due to changing moisture levels. Paint will crack and flake under this stress. Permeable or breathable latex paint allows water to vaporize and escape before damage can occur. Moisture can cause blistering, which leads to mildew growth. Paint additives keep mildew from forming but will not kill existing mildew.
Change in temperature. Superior adhesion and flexibility in paint helps prevent cracking and flaking, caused by the expanding and/or contracting of the substrate (wood, plywood, or hardboard). Top quality acrylic latex paint is an excellent choice for areas with freeze/thaw cycles.
Aluminum and vinyl siding present special challenges when painted. Aluminum siding frequently suffers from excessive chalking and may contain dents and imperfections. Pressure wash or hand-scrub to remove chalk and rinse afterwards. Satin or low luster paint is the best choice for aluminum siding because it hides dents and makes the imperfections less noticeable. A spray application gives the best appearance. Vinyl siding has the same problems with one additional limitation. Vinyl siding has a tendency to buckle or warp irreversibly from hot, direct sunlight. Darker colors will absorb more heat, so select a paint color no darker than the original color of the original vinyl.