10 Tricks for Painting Your Home's Exterior

Choose Your Weapon Wisely
Brush or roller? Both have their place in the house painting world. Mel Yates/Taxi/Getty Images

After days — even weeks! — of prep work, you are finally ready to get down to business. You've chosen the perfect color, spent way too much money on gallons and gallons of quality paint, and now the only question that remains is: how do you get this stuff on the walls? Do you brush, roll or spray?

For the pros, the answer is "all of the above." Each paint application method has its pros and cons:

  • Brushes give you the most control, but are s...l...o...w. Use a brush to handle detail work along the edges of windows and other unpainted surfaces.
  • Rollers cover a lot more area than a brush, but are best on perfectly flat, broad spaces like wide clapboard siding, stucco or cinder block.
  • Paint sprayers give you the best coverage and the most flexibility, but they a) cost more than brushes or rollers; b) blow through a lot of paint very quickly; and c) require a certain level of skill and finesse that amateur painters rarely display [source: Mahoney].

If you feel confident with a paint sprayer, use the sprayer first to blast a large area, then follow with a brush — called "back brushing" — to ensure smooth and even coverage [source: Benjamin Moore].