How To Paint The Exterior Of Your Home: Step Two

Great job on cleaning the exterior of your home! There are just a couple more steps to accomplish before we attack the task of actually painting the exterior of your house.

The first task to complete is to make a list of all of the materials that you will need to purchase prior to painting your home. I will supply you with a fairly accurate list of what you will need, but remember that it all depends on the size of your house.

In terms of efficiency, it may be better to pick up all the materials that you will need after dropping off the pressure washer… may save you a little time and gas. You can either go to Lowes or Home Depot for these standard painting supplies. So here is a common list of materials that you will need to paint your home:

  • Caulking gun – Cheaper the better.
  • 4 Tubes of 30 year DAP White Caulk (You may need more or less depending on how many cracks you saw while pressure washing.
  • 2 Rolls blue tape: This tape is best used for taping on windows. If you use masking tape it tends to stick to the window if left overnight and it’s terrible to remove.
  • 4: Rolls of Masking Tape.
  • 2: Paint Trays
  • 6 pack of 9″ Roller Cover
  • 2: Frame 9″ Rollers
  • 6 pack of 4″ roller covers.
  • 1: 4″ Mini Roller Handle – Great for Painting Exterior House Trim
  • 2 120 Grit Sanding blocks – Great for Sanding down loose paint.
  • Paint Scraper – Perfect for removing loose paint.
  • 4: Rolls of Masking Paper 9″ – To be used for masking off everything.
  • 2: Rolls of Pre folded Masking Film (72″ x 90″) – Used for Masking off windows.
  • 1: Masking Dispenser – Typically around $20-$30, but is the best investment you can make!!
  • Extension Pole- Purchase the cheapest extension pole you can find that extends- Priceless for touch-up on those just-out-of-reach locations.


These are the basic materials that you will need to purchase in order to paint the exterior of your home. Keep in mind that you will also need a 6′ step ladder (Perfect for all those locations on the first level of your home, 20′ Extension ladder (for the peaks on a ranch style home), a 28′ extension ladder (for a two story home), and a 40′ Extension Ladder for a three story house. My recommendation for ladders is to just purchase a 6′ ladder; it seems that you will always have a need for one throughout life. If you are painting a two story house I would rent a 20′ ladder for two days for all the lower locations (because it is really, really easy to move around compared to a 28′ ladder) and then rent the 28′ ladder for one day just to paint the peaks. The same goes for a three story house… except substitute the 28′ ladder for a 40′ ladder.

Tip: Make sure you ask the place you are renting from if the ladders have levelers on the feet. This is imperative because the ground you will be placing the ladder will almost never be a flat spot. You will also need to rent an airless paint sprayer for one day or two; depending on the size of the home and a couple other things.

So there is your painting list for your little project. Not sounding so little any more is it? Well, don’t worry… It does take a little time, but in the end it will be well worth it.

How long does it take to paint the exterior of a house? Well, with all the materials purchased / rented, it should take one person five days from start to finish (8 hour days). Obviously the more people that you have the faster it goes!

Now that you have all of the materials for the job, the next thing to do is to go around and re-caulk your entire house. Check the trim around the windows, doors, and especially the trim pieces at each corners of your home (These seem to get the most abuse).

If you haven’t applied caulk before on a house, pump the caulk out of the gun with a thickness of about the size of a pencil around the needed areas. It is a good idea to caulk one small section and then rub your finger along the freshly applied caulk, pressing it into the seam. This will help the caulk to attach to both sections and create a smooth seam between the trim and siding.

Tip: Pay special attention to the locations next to down spouts from your gutters. This has a tendency to have the most moisture and damage… So it will need the most TLC. One common problem that I run into with the trim that hangs just below the down spouts is that it is completely rotted away. In this case, I will replace this section of trim to keep from further corrosion of anything else.

Once you have re-caulked your entire home, the next step is to scrape off old paint that is peeling away.

You can do so with a paint scraper and go over it with the sanding block. It’s imperative to have everything end up smooth and consistent so you don’t end up with your house looking choppy. Remember, if you scrape off old paint and can see the bare wood, you will need to apply primer to those areas before new paint can be applied.

The next step is to start masking off everything that you don’t want painted; starting with the windows. Take your blue tape, plastic and masking dispenser and cover your windows so that when you spray your home, the overspray doesn’t get on the windows. When masking everything else, I would recommend using the regular masking tape. Remember, the more time you spend covering everything up, the easier it will be later.

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