Painting the exterior of a house can be very daunting, especially if you are a beginner. With the exterior of a house, you would be painting higher corners, tight edges, and taller walls.
Not to mention the fact that you might need to wash and prime the walls. It takes time and effort to evenly paint the whole exterior of a house which is why many professional painters and DIYers go for a paint sprayer.
A paint sprayer is relatively faster than the traditional roller and brush. With a quality paint sprayer, you can paint any exterior evenly with little time and effort but that still doesn’t make it all easier. But, except for having a high-quality sprayer, you also need to know how to paint a house and that’s what we will be explaining today.
Is Painting the Exterior of a House Difficult?
Painting the exterior of a house isn’t difficult if you use the right equipment and follow the right steps. Though the process can be time-consuming considering the time it would take to repair the walls, prep the walls, and then paint, the task is still doable within a few hours depending on how large the house is.
While painting outside, you have to consider many factors such as the weather. It could be pouring outside, too cold, or too hot to embark on a paint job.
With exteriors, you also have to consider the increased possibility of damages, dents, holes, cracks, and even pest activity.
The exterior of a house is always the first part of the home to depreciate due to harsh weather conditions, human and animal activities, dust, and the likes all of which can make painting the exterior more difficult and time-consuming.
I have experienced firsthand how difficult it can be to paint the exterior of a house with a sprayer which is why I have come up with this post. This post will introduce you to and explain vividly everything you need to know about painting the exterior of your house without having to pay a painter. So let’s get to painting.
Can You Paint the Exterior of a House With a Sprayer?
Yes, you can use a paint sprayer to paint the exterior of a house. Paint sprayers are your best bet for painting the exterior of your home. When you are painting the exterior of a home, you are working on bigger and broader surfaces as well as angles and tight corners. This means you need fast equipment, that can cover large areas quickly, and also reach tight spots.
A paint sprayer will help you cover more surface area quicker than a paintbrush or a roller. The downside with a sprayer is that unlike a roller that just needs to run along the surface area, a paint sprayer will need some getting used to, and if you aren’t experienced with using one, you can end up making a big mess.
You will need to connect hoses, prime the pump, use the right tip, and so on before you go ahead with a sprayer but asides from the lengthy time it takes to prepare a sprayer, it would beat the roller in virtually every other aspect.
Should I Use a Roller or a Sprayer to Paint the Exterior of My House?
When it comes to painting large surfaces like the exterior of a house, you can either go for the traditional rollers or the highly efficient and time-saving paint sprayer. The choice you go for depends on your budget, how much time you are willing to use while painting, and how big the exterior is.
While the final decision on what to use depends on your choice, I would recommend using a sprayer rather than a roller.
With a paint sprayer, you rest assured of speed. A 4-foot by 8-foot wall would take between 5-6 minutes to cover when using a roller but with a paint sprayer, you can finish that same wall in less than a minute. Also, paint sprayers make light work of tight corners and crevices.
With a roller, you will find it very difficult and sometimes impossible to reach tight areas and corners while painting. The roller would be too big to get to those spots but with a sprayer, you can apply paint to even the tightest corners.
Paint sprayers also make you worry less about the traction, bumps, holes, or any imperfection in the wall. The exterior of your home will have some imperfections as a result of weather conditions and activity over time.
You might experience dents, cracks, gaps, and holes in the walls which will be a problem if you are using a roller. This is because it will be tougher to navigate your roller through those wall imperfections and at the end of the day, you will most likely end up with a poor paint job.
Also, some parts of the wall wouldn’t be evenly painted and the roller might even skip some other sections of the wall due to the imperfections on the wall but with a sprayer, you don’t need to worry about any of that.
You can just aim the nozzle and spray the affected area in one dash. Paint sprayers also make it possible to apply as much coat of paint as possible with increased precision.
The downside to a paint sprayer would be the cost to get one, the time it takes to set it up before using it, the worry of overspray, and the high maintenance.
With a sprayer, you will need to wash different parts of the equipment and quickly too unless you risk the possibility of paint clogging up the pump or nozzle which can reduce the lifespan. But if you look over the demerits, a paint sprayer is surely a tool to use.
Tools Needed to Paint the Exterior of a House With a Sprayer
To paint the exterior of your house with a paint sprayer, you will need:
- A spray gun. There are generally two types of spray guns. The siphoned-fed spray gun and the high-volume low-pressure spray gun. The basic difference between the two guns is that with the siphoned-fed spray gun, the cup that holds the paint is below the nozzle which means the gun relies on pressure to suck the paint up. This has been said to waste a lot of paint.
With the high-volume low-pressure spray gun, the cup that holds the paint is above the nozzle which means the gun relies on gravity for the paint to flow. This doesn’t waste paint so I would recommend you use it rather than the siphoned spray gun.
- An exterior paint bucket or two. Depending on how big the house is and the size of the paint bucket you buy, you might need more than one.
- A pair of work gloves
- A pair of goggles
- A face mask or a respirator
- Empty buckets. This will be needed to prime the paint sprayer.
- Spray shield. This will help to prevent overspray.
- A spray gun extension. This will come in handy later on.
How to Paint Your House?
The steps below will guide you on the best way to paint the exterior of your house easily.
Put on Your Safety Gear
Working with paint is fun but it can result in accidents too if proper care is not taking. You need to put on clothes that cover your limbs so the paint doesn’t get on your hands and legs.
Then you need to put on a pair of gloves and boots as well to protect your hands and feet. You will also need to put on a face mask and a pair of goggles to protect you from any possible toxic fume. You don’t need to worry about ventilation since you are using the paint sprayer outdoors.
While painting, if paint accidentally gets on your skin, you can read an article I wrote recently about getting paint off your skin. I got into details about different safe methods to remove paint from your skin easily so do check it out.
Prep the Walls
As stated earlier, the exterior of your home is always at the receiving end of harsh weather conditions like heavy rainfall, snowfall, pest activity like rodents and termites destroying the wood, and the likes. These factors will damage the exterior of your house leading to cracks in the walls, dents, holes, and uneven surfaces. Siding and trim could be the most damaged parts of the house.
This means you need to repair the imperfections, remove any nearby object or outdoor furniture, remove any dirt, and clean the wall before painting.
If you paint the exterior without repairing the damages first, then you wouldn’t have a neat result when you are done. Also, you might end up with lines, ridges, and uneven layers of paint coat on the walls many of which you wouldn’t notice early on. So, always check siding and trim before starting to spray.
Prime the Exterior Walls
Priming a surface before painting isn’t always needed but in most cases when it comes to painting exterior walls, it’s advised to apply primer before you paint.
Primer improves the adhesion making it possible for the paint to stick well to the surface. If you are working with bare walls, meaning walls that haven’t been previously painted, then you need to prime the walls before painting. On wood, the primer will seal the grain and improve adhesion.
If you plan on using a light color on the exterior, you can skip the priming process if the previous color isn’t too dark. If it is, then you will need to prime before painting. Using light-colored paint on a darker surface wouldn’t look too good when you finish painting.
You will most likely still be able to see the previous color on the walls and to correct it, you will need to start all over or use more coats of paint than needed all of which could have been avoided if you primed the wall.
Prime the Paint Sprayer
Priming the sprayer is fancy talk for getting the sprayer ready for use. If you would be using an airless paint sprayer, then you need to prime the sprayer to get it ready.
Before you prime the sprayer, you need to mix the paint if needed. If you need to thin the paint or mix it up, I’ll advise you to do that before priming the paint sprayer.
To prime, make sure the sprayer is unplugged and the trigger is locked. Then put the suction tube inside the paint bucket or wherever you have your paint.
Then get an empty bucket or bowl and put the return tube inside the empty bucket. After this, you need to switch the prime and spray knob to the prime position.
The knob is usually a black knob on the spray gun with the words spray and prime written on it. Simply turn the knob to the prime position and plug in the paint sprayer.
Once that has been done, turn the pressure knob on the side of the spray gun. Make sure you start with little pressure. Once you see that the paint is flowing, that means you have successfully primed the sprayer.
Then switch off the machine and submerge the return tube into the paint bucket too. The return tube as the name connotes returns the left-off paint into the paint bucket. That prevents wastage.
After that has been done, turn the prime and spray knob to spray and then get the gun ready by selecting the right tip.
Select the Right Tip
The tip of your spray gun is where the paint comes out from. You need to select a tip that suits your painting task best. For house exteriors, you can use a 515 tip for the spray gun.
The 515 paint sprayer tip will do a good job. You might also fancy using a spray gun extension. The extensions come in different sizes ranging from 6 inches to 30 inches.
The advantage of a spray gun extension is that it serves as an extra-long arm so you don’t need to move from one spot to the other. You can reach higher and wider spots with very little movement on your part.
Since you have prepped the walls, applied primer, chosen an exterior paint, and you have selected the right tip, you can go ahead to paint using the exterior painting you choose.
First, test the spray pressure on a flat piece of wood or cardboard. If you are satisfied with the spray, then you can go ahead to the main exterior. Start with a flat surface at the top then gradually work your way downwards.
While painting, you need to keep the spray gun at about 12 inches from the surface. This allows maximum coverage of the surface without any unnecessary splashing.
You can spray the paint over a specific area twice if you aren’t satisfied with the first layer. Also, you need to consider the structure of the wall. If the wall has layers, gaps, or designs, you need to position the spray gun in a way that the paint reaches every needed part or corner.
You will need to make use of a paint shield while spraying to control any possibility of overspray. The paint shield will keep the paint where it should be as well as off where it shouldn’t.
If you want to learn how to use a paint shield, then read the article I wrote. It’s a recent article where I get into how to use it as well as different tools you can use as a paint shield.
Tips to Follow When Painting the Exterior With a Sprayer
- Hold the gun firmly and straight to get the best painting result.
- Keep a distance of 10-12 inches between the nozzle of the spray gun and the surface to be painted.
- Clean up after use. The paint sprayer has a lot of small and working parts that can get clogged-up or blocked if the paint dries on them. This is why it’s important to clean the sprayer immediately after use so the paint doesn’t harden inside the spray gun.
- While using a sprayer, do not move your wrist. Instead, move your arm from side to side so the layers can be properly applied.
- Always use safety gear especially a pair of goggles and a respiratory mask.
- Work in sections. Complete one section of the wall before you move to another.
- Never spray paint on your body. If you accidentally do so, wash the paint off immediately.
- Make sure to get a paint color that you like so you don’t regret it later.
And if you are painting in colder weather, see my article ‘How to Spray in Cold Weather‘ for additional tips.
So there you have it, this is the guide on how to paint a house. Follow the steps above and you will have a properly spray-painted exterior for your house.
If you have any comments or questions, you can leave them below and I’ll respond to them as soon as possible. Have a nice painting experience.