10 Tools You Need to Paint Your Home's Exterior


Paint Sprayer

Practice using the sprayer on a piece of wood before trying it out on your house. BanksPhotos/E+/Getty Images
Practice using the sprayer on a piece of wood before trying it out on your house. BanksPhotos/E+/Getty Images

Most high-volume paint pros use sprayers to apply exterior paint. The method is up to 10 times faster than brushing and four times faster than rolling. Plus, paint sprayers can offer a consistent finish, even in tight areas.

Before you zip out and rent a paint sprayer, there are few things to consider. First, make sure you're renting one for exterior use. Sprayers that will be using thick exterior paint will need a large sprayer tip. The sprayers should also be rated for exterior use, which means they'll have more pounds per square inch of pressure and more horsepower.

Second, spraying paint takes practice. Before you aim the sprayer at your home, fill it with water and pretend to paint a spare board, spraying side to side and overlapping each pass. When you're actually applying paint, you'll probably need two coats to finish the job. Paint sprayers tend to use a lot more paint than brushes and rollers, so plan accordingly.

Most sprayers rent for $70 to $100 a day (it can cost upward of $400 to buy one). Some can be quite loud, so have ear protection handy. You'll also want to use a respirator mask and eye protection [source: Flietner].

Author's Note: 10 Tools You Need to Paint Your Home's Exterior

If teenagers on ladders holding cans of paint doesn't seem like a great idea, then I don't know what does. I'll be trying it this summer as we turn a simple repainting of our home's exterior into a DIY experiment that's sure to come up again when I'm old and no longer able to properly defend myself. ("What were you thinking, mom?" I can hear it now.)

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  • American Ladder Institute. "How to Choose the Right Type of Ladder." Ladder Safety. (June 21, 2014) http://www.laddersafety.org/choosetherightladder.aspx
  • Donegan, Fran. "Picking House Paint." (June 21, 2014) http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,219538,00.html
  • DIY Advice. "Ladders and Scaffolding." (June 21, 2014) http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/painting/exterior/ladders-scaffolding/
  • DIY Network. "10 things You Must Know When Painting a House Exterior." (June 21, 2014) http://www.diynetwork.com/painting/10-things-you-must-know-when-painting-a-house-exterior/pictures/index.html
  • Flietner, Maureen Blaney. "Choosing a Paint Sprayer." (June 21, 2014) http://www.bobvila.com/articles/365-choosing-a-paint-sprayer/
  • Fontana, Frank. "Seven Tricks to Painting Like a Pro." (June 21, 2014) http://www.oprah.com/home/7-Tricks-to-Painting-Like-a-Pro
  • Hazelton, Ron. "How to Use a 5-in-1 Painting Tool." Ron Hazelton. (June 21, 2014) http://www.ronhazelton.com/tips/how_to_use_a_5-in-1_painting_tool
  • House Painting Guide. "How to Prepare Outside Surfaces for Painting: Getting It Right the First Time." (June 21, 2014) http://www.housepaintingguide.org/how-to-prepare-outside-surfaces-for-painting-getting-it-right-the-first-time/
  • House Painting Info. "Choosing a Caulking Gun." (June 25, 2014) http://www.house-painting-info.com/caulking-gun.html
  • Hurst-Wajszczuk, Joe. "How to Paint Your House's Exterior." This Old House. (June 21, 2014) http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20180479_20399640,00.html
  • Johnson, Grady. "Protecting the Plants When Pressure Washing Your House." Garden Guides. July 9, 2008. (June 21, 2014) http://www.gardenguides.com/video-57945-protecting-plants-pressure-washing-house.html
  • McMillan, Katharine Kaye. "How to Use a Paint Roller on a Wall." (June 21, 2014) http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-a-paint-roller.html
  • Minnesota Department of Health. "Exterior Lead Paint Removal." (June 21, 2014) http://www.health.state.mn.us./divs/eh/lead/homes/exterior.html
  • The Family Handyman. "Exterior Painting Tips and Techniques." (June 21, 2014) http://www.familyhandyman.com/painting/techniques/exterior-painting-tips-and-techniques/view-all
  • Wooster Brush. "Synthetic vs. Bristle." (June 26, 2014) http://www.woosterbrush.com/lowes/verses.html


Can I use interior paint for exterior surfaces?

Can I use interior paint for exterior surfaces?

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