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In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before painting the exterior of your house, helping you achieve professional-quality results while saving time and money.

Is the exterior of your home needing a refresh?

Looking for some ideas for a little curb appeal?

While there are many ways to boost the curb appeal of your home, for the most dramatic transformation, painting the exterior of a house is hands down the best way!

See how paint and some elbow grease can boost your curb appeal.

Plus check out these Before and After Curb Appeal Ideas on a Budget.

Last summer we decided to take on the big job of painting the exterior of our house …. ourselves!

It was LONG overdue and we had been putting it off for a couple years.

We decided to jump right in and get to work!

We were able to save thousands of dollars by painting the exterior ourselves and I’m so glad we did. 

Yes, it was a lot of work, but it was so worth it! We’ve never been afraid of a little bit (…ok A LOTTA BIT) of hard work. 

We love the way it transformed our home,

but we aren’t the only ones who love it.

Our neighbors are constantly telling us just how amazing our home looks now.

For more ideas to add a little pizazz to your home check out 20+ ideas for a small front porch.

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Home Before Repainting

From the moment we decided to purchase our home, I wanted to change the exterior.

I HATED the orange toned brick.

If I were to have my way I would have lime washed it or applied a German smear to the brick.

But, Steve was dead set against doing anything to the brick.

Would you believe I even toyed with the idea of removing the brick and adding rock.

I’m ambitious, but not that ambitious.

So, in order to update the exterior of our home I’ll use paint.

Paint is the most economical way to update your home.

While this project was a lot of work, it was so worth it to me!

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How Much Does It Cost To Get The Outside of Your House Painted?

Painting the exterior of your home costs an average of $2,500 (for a 2,400 sq. ft. two-story home), with most homeowners paying between $1,800–$3,200.

That’s a lot of money and I am FRUGAL!

So, it would be a DIY project for me, well US.

Thank goodness Steve was willing to help!

Should I Paint The Exterior of My House Myself?

Let’s be real here, depending on the size and height of your house and the condition of the existing siding, preparing and painting a house on your own can be a tedious, difficult job.

Don’t paint your house yourself unless you have the time, tools, skills and stamina to do the work.

I had most of the tools, I’m not afraid of a little hard work and I wanted it done!

Yes, we could have hired a painter, but where’s the fun in that?

No really, I can’t see paying someone to do the work that I know I can do for myself.

Our home is a single story.

If it was a two-story, I would have hired it out.

I’m afraid of heights, so the really high parts on the front of the house Steve had to do.


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Prepping the House for Exterior Paint

In preparation for painting the house we first hosed down and cleaned everything up. Little girl with scrub brush cleaning the garage door.

Before beginning the painting project, the surface of your house should be clean, and dry.

You’ll want to wash off any dirt and mildew.

We live in a desert, no mildew here.

Paint won’t adhere very well to dirty or rough surfaces, so be sure to clean the siding and trim thoroughly and allow to dry.

Pressure washing is an effective way to clean the house prior to painting.

Our house is stucco and we were warned by the home inspector to never pressure wash our stucco, because of the type of stucco it is.

So, we cleaned our house by spraying on a cleaner and hosing it off.

Other Preparations Before Painting

Be sure to sand (or scrape as needed) any peeling paint to create a solid surface for the paint to adhere.

If you sand down to bare wood be sure to prime also.

We did not need to stand because our house is stucco, but we did need to repair several spots from Woodpeckers.

Yes, we live in a wooded area and the male Woodpecker likes to attract the females by pecking my stucco. 

The crazy birds have even pecked on the vent pipe of my fireplace.

Now that’s got to be hard on their beaks and it makes a lot of noise!

You’ll also want to protect lights, doors and windows from paint.

We remove light fixtures, electrical covers and downspouts. 

You’ll also want to mask off windows and doors, especially if you are using a paint sprayer. 

I ran out of the paper on the last few windows and I had quite a bit of over spray on them.

So, I had to spend some time after painting scraping off the over spray.

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Painting Exterior of House

Painting Exterior of House - The backyard became another outdoor living space for our family. The two toned paint color really added a lot of visual interest to the backside of the house.

Once all the prep work is complete it’s time to start painting.

You may wonder is it better to roll or spray the exterior of a  house?

There are advantages to each method. 

The paint will be applied much thicker if rolling on the paint, which may  give you better coverage than if it was sprayed. 

When a house is rolled it eliminates the risk of  over spray.

I initially thought I would roll on the paint, but with the rough texture of stucco, the coverage was not good at all.

We purchased a siphon feed spray gun, which was not the best choice for painting the exterior of a house.

It’s better for painting furniture.

Oh well, live and learn.

It still worked.

Although it was just a lot slower at applying the paint.

Painting the exterior of a house with a sprayer is much faster than rolling.

Even so, it  still took us about 2 weeks to paint the entire house.

We worked on it in the evenings and on Saturdays.

We applied 2 coats of paint with the sprayer on the body of the house.

For the pop out of the stucco we used a high density foam roller and a dark charcoal color called Peppery by Behr.

First I cut in with a paint brush under the eaves and then rolled the remainder of the pop out.

Once again with 2 coats of paint for full coverage.

All of the wood trim was also painted with 2 coats of the dark charcoal color as well as the garage door.

Is It Necessary to Apply Two Coats of Paint?

Painting Exterior of House - With new plants, patio, lighting and paint the backyard truly became another living space for our family.

Although you may get good coverage with one coat of paint, it’s best to apply two coats to achieve the best performance with the paint

House painting pros say two coats is the way to go. 

Two coats of paint does take more time and paint, but it’s so worth it if the paint will perform better.

With all that time and energy that goes in to painting a house, you’ll want it to last for years and years.

Choosing Paint for the Exterior of a house

Always choose the highest quality of paint that your budget will allow. 

If you’re going to paint your own house, you may have more room in your budget to allow for a higher quality paint.

As you know, we are big fans of Behr Paint.

For our project we used Behr Premium Ultra Plus exterior paint.

A high quality paint will also be more resistant to fading and stains. 

The Behr colors we used on our house are Sculptors Clay and Peppery.

Choosing Paint Colors

Two toned paint - taupe and charcoal grey  totally updated the look of the house.

Choosing your exterior paint color is the fun part … or for some, maybe it’s the overwhelming part. 

For quite some time I thought about the colors I wanted to paint the exterior of our house.

Remember, I am not fond of the brick color, so I looked for colors that would compliment the brick and make it look more up to date.

I used Behr’s Color smart tools on their website. From this I was able to get a good idea of colors that could possibly work. 

Here are some tips if you’re stuck trying to choose your exterior paint colors:

  • Pinterest and Houzz are both great places to look for exterior paint color inspiration.
  • Behr’s Color Smart tool allows you to try out different color combinations.
  • Take a look around your neighborhood to get a feel for the colors that appeal to you.
  • Get paint samples and try them on your home. See how they look in different lighting and at different times of the day. This way you’ll be more confident in your color choices.

Is Painting Your House Worth It?

Painting your home definitely adds value. 

In fact a fresh coat of paint can increase the value of your home by about $2000.

Not only does the monetary value of your home increase with new paint, but how you feel about your home will change. 

I am thrilled with the results of painting the exterior of our home.

It feels like a new home and love all the comments we get from our neighbors.

Before and after photos show the dramatic transformation.

Just take a look at the before and after photos!

Before the house felt tired, cold and uninviting, but with the warm taupe color and the charcoal paint on the popout, it no feels warm and welcoming.

The new colors have dramatically changed the way our house feels and looks.

Plus I love the new color for my front door too, you can read all about painting a front door like a pro.

Are you ready to paint the exterior of your house?

Do you feel confident that you can choose paint colors that will compliment your home and add a little curb appeal?

Thank you for spending a little time with us!

We hope you found some inspiration for your home today.

Please share your tips and ideas with us.

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