How To Paint A House – Tips For Exterior Painting

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Outdoor Renovations

Monday, April 27th, 2020 @ 12:49pm

Think of your home’s curb appeal as its first impression. This is your house putting its best foot forward. There are a lot of jobs you can tackle, both big and small, which can have a big impact on your curb appeal. I’ll share with you my tips for exterior painting 

Exterior Painting Tips for Your House

Keeping your lawn and garden green and flourishing can make a home feel welcoming. So can a bright front door with smart locks.

One major way to upgrade your home’s curb appeal is to bring some new shine to the structure itself in the form of a new coat of paint. 

A fresh coat of paint on the exterior can add value in two ways: you’ll see the return on your investment – and then some – when you paint the home. You will also help create a strong first impression for the home, potentially motivating buyers to make an offer more quickly. 

Painting the outside of your home is a job you could take on your own with the right skills and know-how. Here are my tips for exterior house painting. 

When is the best time for exterior painting?

Late spring or early fall are good times of year to paint the exterior of your home. Why? Paint when it’s too cold, and you’re running the risk or poor adhesion, leading to cracked and peeled paint.

Mike holmes spring

Paint when it’s too hot, and you’ll see the paint dry too quickly which can lead to visible brush marks.

You’ll want to choose a stretch of time to paint where rain isn’t in the forecast. If you paint too quickly after rainfall, your siding may still need to dry out, leading to uneven coverage of paint. And you don’t want your home to be bombarded with rain shortly after you paint while it’s still curing. 

There’s a reason I’m always checking my weather app on my phone. Mother Nature can severely affect your construction plans, no matter what they are. Even adding a simple coat of paint.


Mike Holmes’ Interior Painting Tips

How often should the exterior of a home be painted?

The simple answer to this is: it depends.

The longer answer is this. It depends on the material of your exterior. It depends on the climate of your home. And it depends on how well the last paint job was completed.

Generally, you’ll probably want to be repainting every five to ten years or so — but certain building components can last as long as twenty years if properly applied. So what’s the breakdown?

Stucco paint can typically last five to ten years, depending on the climate. You can repaint sooner if you want to give your stucco home a fresh look. Make sure you use paint that has the ability to expand and contract with the stucco. Higher-end stucco paints will last longer and can help keep water at bay more effectively.

On average, wood siding will need to be painted every five years – but in some cases, you may need to do it every three years.


If you used a stain, you’ll want to do it every four years. The home pictured is from Holmes Approved Homes builder Timber Block.

In some cases, aluminum siding can last about 40 years. As a bonus, it takes paint pretty well, but you’ll still need to repaint it a few times over its life cycle. On average you’ll be repainting every five years – but depending on your climate, you may be able to go ten. Of course, adding a fresh coat of paint won’t do anything for those dents and dings that tend to build up with aluminum siding over the years. It will have to be replaced for that.

Vinyl siding on the other hand only lasts about half as long as aluminum. The good news is, in a lot of ways, it’s practically maintenance-free and shouldn’t need painting during its lifespan. 

Over time, the siding color may fade and while you could add some fresh paint to liven it up – it may be more trouble than it’s worth. When the job isn’t’ done properly, homeowners might find that the paint won’t adhere to the siding, or worse, causes the vinyl to warp. If you want to add some new paint, bring in a pro.


Want an alternative to paint? Check out the pros at Vipeq Canada to learn more about Thermal CorkShield.

Should I Paint My Brick House?

Do you have a brick home? If it’s unpainted, you can leave it as is, and perform the necessary maintenance the brick requires, like repointing the mortar between the bricks. Generally, brick is pretty low-low maintenance and hands-off. 

That changes when you paint it. So while it is possible to do so, bear in mind that you’re signing yourself (and any future homeowners) for a lifetime of extra brick maintenance. Is a fresh look worth that?

If so – you’ll want to use porous paint so that the brick is able to breathe properly. The brickwork better has been installed properly beforehand, otherwise, you’re just covering up a hidden issue that could lead to more problems.

Mike Holmes Brick

Once it’s painted, you can expect to be repainted every three years or so. It’s a big job.

Another more expensive, but less complicated option is to have the brick stained, rather than painted. This seeps into the pores of the brick, giving it a new look, without simply covering the surface.



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