frequently asked questions

How To Do Exterior Painting

Learning how to paint the exterior of your house can seem like a daunting task - but it doesn't have to be. If you are looking to add to your curb appeal or just trying to figure out how much paint you need, Dutch Boy is here to help. That's why we've answered the most frequently asked exterior painting questions.

Frequently Asked Exterior Painting Questions

When painting the exterior of your home:

  • Always start with a clean surface
  • Paint one side of the house at a time, starting with the highest point
  • Apply a full, even coat to one side of the house at a time
  • Always paint the trim last

Exterior painting preparation is all about the details.

Exterior surfaces must be clean before painting. Thoroughly wash with a house-cleaner-and-water solution, making sure to remove any and all mildew. Rinse and allow the surface to thoroughly dry.

If there is loose or peeling paint on the exterior of the home, scraping and sanding* is needed. Remove all sanding dust by rinsing, and allow the surface to dry.

The appropriate exterior primer should be applied to any bare or stained surfaces.

Visit our painting advice for more tips on preparing to paint.

The ideal temperature for exterior painting is between 50 F and 85 F. Higher temperatures can cause the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly, resulting in bubbles/blisters, while lower temperatures can prevent paint from drying properly.

Always avoid painting in direct sunlight, strong winds or when rain is expected within 48 hours.

To achieve one-coat coverage on the exterior of your home, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured exterior surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 25-30 square feet per gallon. Some bright colors may require multiple coats to achieve sufficient hide.

Visit our Exterior Paint Calculator for an approximate estimate of the paint needed for the exterior of your home.

Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

Visit our Project Checklist for a complete list of exterior home painting tools and supplies.

When using more than one gallon of the same product, mix the gallons together to ensure color and sheen uniformity.

Two coats of this paint will provide maximum protection.

Dutch Boy primers are specifically formulated to seal porous surfaces and block stains, as well as ensure the proper adhesion of the topcoat and produce the best possible coverage.

Learn more about the purpose of primers.

It is always smart to operate spray equipment with safety cautions. Always use respiratory and eye protection.

Learning how to use a paint sprayer depends on the type of spray gun you have. All spray guns are different and it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Yes. Before painting aluminum or vinyl siding, always make sure the surfaces are clean and remove any chalk or dirt. Use a Dutch Boy exterior acrylic latex paint for best adhesion and flexibility.

When painting vinyl siding, we do not recommend applying a color that is darker than the original surface.

Visit our exterior paint products for more information.

Avoid painting when rain is expected within 48 hours. When caring for exterior painted surfaces, such as porches and decks, avoid putting furniture on the painted surface for at least 48 hours.

Allow new paint applications to cure for at least 30 days before you clean the freshly painted surface. The best way to care for freshly painted surfaces is to wash them with a mild nonabrasive cleaner and water.

Our Dutch Boy exterior line of paints offers a special additive to make our mold- and mildew-resistant products.

If mold or mildew exists on your surface, they must be removed before painting.

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Removal of old finishes by sanding, scraping, or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.