Your home’s exterior is its first impression to passersby and visitors. And, much like a firm handshake, it’s a first impression that matters. This is especially true if you’re planning to put your home on the market. Although we spend most of our time inside our homes, it’s also good to put stock into their curb appeal.
One of the most important factors when it comes to your home’s curb appeal is its exterior paint. Chipping or fading paint can shave thousands off your home’s resale value. This makes it crucial to put a paint-refresh project at the top of your home improvement list.
That being said, you shouldn’t just slap on a fresh coat of paint and call it a day. Properly painting your home’s exterior can lend an air of elegance to even the most ordinary home. There are a few ways to make sure your home’s exterior paint job goes right.
Do Your Painting Prep
It can be easy to overlook this step if you’re taking on this as a DIY project. Sometimes, it’s tempting to just get right into the painting. However, it’s absolutely critical to sand and wash your home’s exterior if you want the paint to adhere to the surface properly. Chipping, dirty, or rough siding should be sanded and scraped to create a more solid surface that’s easier to paint. Before doing this, however, hose your home’s exterior down to remove any dirt buildup.
If you don’t do this, even your fresh coat of paint will look dirty and unappealing. Similarly, remove any rotten siding and replace it or just use a wood filler. If there is any mildew on your home’s exterior, be sure to remove it as well. This can easily be done with a solution of one part bleach and four parts water with detergent.
The last step before beginning to paint is to apply a coat of primer. The primer will help the paint stick better and last longer. Just one coat should do the trick.
Decide on the Base, Trim, & Door
There are three main areas you need to consider when painting the exterior of your home: the color of the trim, door, and walls. It’s best to start by painting the trim. While white is a color you usually can’t go wrong with, it’s also a bit common. Spice up your trim with some other neutral colors, but ensure it complements the main color.
If you’re going for a fresh white look, black trim could really give your home a modern finish. For something a little woodsier, however, a deep olive green trim can really give your exterior a welcoming appearance.
Brown trim accents homes with a more stucco-style design, whose base colors are honey mustard or beige. Try to avoid bold hues for your home’s trim – that’s what the front door is for.
When deciding on what color to repaint your home’s exterior, try not to veer too far from its original shade. Staying within the same color family as its original hue is the safest bet that the paint color you choose will complement the home well. After all, its original color was selected to match the architectural style of the home – something that definitely needs to be taken into consideration.
Much like the trim, you should stick to neutral, unobtrusive colors for your home’s exterior. Whites, ivories, and grays are timeless and keep well, while also showing less wear-and-tear than most other colors. Pastels are also a great choice, however, with light olive, apricot, or mint tones giving your home a warm and inviting aesthetic.
Forego painting your home’s exterior walls red. This color is unflattering on most architectural styles unless you’re going for a renovated farmhouse look. Nonetheless, red does look fantastic on front doors.
Red is both elegant yet quaint on a front door, and red front doors have been a tradition for decades, as they symbolize wellness and good luck. The front door is one part of the exterior where you can let your imagination run wild. Aqua blues, vibrant yellows, and forest greens really make an entryway pop and draw the eye to the home’s front porch where additional decorations will go a long way toward enhancing its curb appeal.
The boldest and best color of all for your front door is none other than a deep black. Experts at Zillow have found that a black front door can add $6000 to your home’s value, based on previous purchasing trends. Black front doors connote elegance and security, giving home buyers an increased sense of safety about the property.
Don’t call it quits once your house is done. Adding paint to some of the other exterior elements goes a long way toward revitalizing the entire façade. If your home has a fence, paint it the same color as your trim. Refresh the paint on your mailbox, as well. Although a small feature, it says a lot about the condition of the rest of your home.
Finally, don’t forget to paint the exterior light fixtures. These are often overlooked because their colors are usually so bland. If you have lighting fixtures beside the front door, paint them the same color as the door. If your door is painted a bold color, this will accessorize it nicely.
Painting your home’s exterior doesn’t have to be an expensive feat. With the right tools and know-how, it can certainly be a DIY project. Just make sure you have masking tape to maintain neat edges, scaffolding or ladders to get to those hard-to-reach places, and a roller brush to ensure equal and substantial coverage.
Pro Tip: You’ll likely need two coats of paint on every part of your home, so be prepared to set aside some time for this project and give the paint ample time to dry between coats.
Patience is key when giving your home’s façade a facelift, but the results are often well worth it. The most important thing to keep in mind when repainting your home’s exterior is that the colors you choose reflect the aura and life within the home, as well.
Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Scaffold Store, a trusted scaffold supplier for home renovators and contractors.