How to Prep Your Home’s Exterior for Painting

We are partnering with Lowe’s for our exterior home makeover.  All opinions and ideas are 100% ours.

How to Prep Your Home’s Exterior for Painting

Hello friends!

Today,  I want to share with you the steps we took to prep our home’s exterior for painting. 

Although prepping a home for paint is not as fun as actually painting it, the PREP WORK is EVERTYTHING!  Truthfully, you can never prep enough.  Cy always says the three most important parts of painting your home’s exterior is:

  1. Prep
  2. Prep
  3. Prep

It is important because without good prep work, your paint job will not look as good as it should.

To prepare to paint our house, Cy and I took a trip to Lowe’s to get some supplies we needed.



Step 1:  Pressure Wash the Exterior

For a good paint job, the exterior has to be CLEAN.  A pressure washer is the best tool to clean your home’s exterior effectively and efficiently.  It helps to remove loose paint and built-up grime and improves paint adhesion.

Be sure to pick the right size nozzle on your sprayer because spraying too aggressively could actually damage your home’s exterior.

We used this Greenworks pressure washer, and it worked great!



For tougher spots to clean, you could use a safe cleaning agent like TSP.

Safety tip:  Use safety googles when pressure washing to avoid dirt and debris from getting in your eyes.

STEP 2:  Scrape Away Loose Paint

The next step is to scrape away any loose paint. 

The best and most cost effective way to do this is with a paint scraper. The goal is not to remove all of the paint, but to ensure you have removed all the loose and peeling paint before applying new paint.  Scrape in the direction of the grain to avoid tearing wood fibers.

Cy would use the paint scraper to remove the loose paint and then use his wire brush to whisk away any surface dust, especially on horizontal surfaces like windowsills.

 Once all loose paint is removed, it is time to move on to Step 3.

Step 3:  Prime and Seal Bare Wood

After you have scraped off any lose paint and debris, you will be left with some bare wood in spots.  Use a good primer/sealer to spot spray those areas.  This will seal the wood, help keep out moisture, and help the new paint to adhere to the surface better.

Two light coats should do the trick!


Step 4:  Caulk Seams and Cracks

Once you’ve primed the surface,  caulk all the seams and cracks to keep out moisture.  Let the caulk set (usually a couple of hours) before painting over it.

Make sure to use a quality exterior, paintable caulk. 


Step 5:  Cover Windows and Landscaping

Be sure to cover your windows with plastic before painting to keep overspray from getting on them.  You may also want to cover any landscaping that is close to your home’s exterior with plastic as well. 


If you missed our last episode of Notes from Home, you can check it out below.  It includes a video tutorial of how to prep your house for paint that you may enjoy as well!



Once you have prepped your house, it is time for the fun part…PAINTING!

We will be sharing more about that process soon!




  1. Traci, thanks for your prepping tips.. Living near the coastal area of Georgia we get mildew and that has to be pressure washed before you can even think about painting. As you said, prepping is no fun, but necessary if you don’t want a do over too soon. It’s also a plus if you have a congenial hubby to do the heavy lifting.

  2. Wow!!!! Such great information. I don’t know how you guys get soooo much done in such a short period of time. Do you sleep? Lol. :). Love reading your blog. A dream of mine would be to have the talent you both have. I would love a home make over.

  3. Love your Notes from home and the adventures of the Hutcherson family! I can’t wait for Friday to see what you and your beautiful family have been up to. This post is a keeper for us, next year I plan on sprucing up the outside of our home. Thankyou Hutcherson family!

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