Most importantly, and equally as time consuming as the actual painting is preparing the exterior for painting. It is a job that often is better left to professional painters. If you make a decision to repaint your house, then the critical first steps in the process are the cleaning and prepping of the surface. Taking these preparatory steps will ensure the exterior house painting will be a success.
Examine the condition of your house envelope, whether it be stucco, siding or wood. You may find damage such as blistered or peeling paint, spots of mildew or mold, loose flashings or caulking that has deteriorated. Since painting over these problems would be counter productive, note what work you have to do, and get started.
Peeling or blistering paint is often caused by ingress of water. Look for the source of that water, and fix that. Then remove the old loose paint, by scraping it off with a good quality paint scraper. Make sure to get all the flaking paint off, and then sand the wood or siding lightly to smooth and prepare it for the new undercoating. If you are working with rough cedar siding, then a wire brush will do a better job than a scraper.
Molds and mildews can penetrate wood and damage it. Clean it away with a solution of TSP, or trisodium phosphate. Household bleach in water will also do the job. Rinse the area well once you have scrubbed the mold away, and then allow it time to dry completely.
Now, check for loose flashings or deteriorated caulking around windows and doors. Refasten any loose flashing properly. They are your primary defense against water getting beneath the exterior finish of your home. If the caulking has deteriorated or come away, remove it and re-caulk, using a good exterior caulking that can take outdoor conditions for your area.
Loose flashings or caulking will allow water to penetrate beneath the exterior siding of your home, so must be fixed before you begin with the exterior house painting. Remove all damaged or deteriorated caulking and replaced it with new caulking that is made for exterior use. Flashings need to be checked and repaired if loose or replaced if damaged.
Once your house exterior has been examined, repaired and cleaned, you need to get ready for painting. Gather together all the equipment you’ll need for the job. Extension and step ladders, brushes, paint rollers, drop cloths for protecting walks and driveway, masking tape, and paint trays are all needed. Choose good quality equipment that will best do the job.