6 Exterior Paint Prep Tips

It’s called “painting” but when it comes to doing the very best job of putting a fresh coat of color on your home, the last thing you want to pick up is a brush. 


“Washing, sanding and caulking always come first,” advises our East Hawaii Paint Sales Manager, Jesse Shimabukuro.

“And safety,” adds Pat Batchelder, his West Hawaii counterpart. “Exterior painting involves ladders and/or scaffolds. Be sure to establish a sure footing and use the proper safety equipment."

Together they offer the following advice on preparing your home for a result well worth the effort. It comes with an invitation to look them up any time you’re in need of further guidance or inspiration. So let's get started, here are your 6 exterior paint prep tips:

1. Ensure that all surfaces are free of dirt and mildew.
Power washing will do the trick but adding Jomax or Clorox to the wash will kill mildew and prevent its recurrence. 

2. Use sandpaper to rough up areas that could prevent proper adhesion. 

3. Caulk gaps and holes that suck up paint and leak later to create unsightly drips.

4. Be sure surfaces are completely dry before applying primer or paint.

5. Invest in quality brushes and rollers for the best finish. 

Prime all bare surfaces and spot prime previously painted ones to prevent unsightly bleeds. Primer can be tinted toward the color of the finish coat to make your job easier. 

Once your home is ready, go ahead and dip into those five-gallon buckets of the color you love with the brushes and rollers you enjoy using. 

“If you take all of the above steps and use a premium brand exterior paint,” says Belchelder, “it’ll be seven years before you even have to think about painting your home again.” 

Batchelder and Shimabukuro recommend Benjamin Moore (exclusively at HPM on Hawaii Island) as well as Pratt & Lambert paints.

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