15 Exterior Painting Hacks That Boost Home Value

exterior house paint with red trim

If you're looking to sell your home, you want it looking the best it possibly can to fetch top dollar. Part of that is making sure the exterior of the home looks great. It is, after all, the first thing prospective buyers will see when coming to tour your home.

These tips will help you successfully paint the front of your home in a way that will be appealing to potential buyers without breaking the bank.

1. Make It HOA Compliant

If you live in an area with a homeowners association, make sure you use colors that adhere to HOA guidelines. Picking an unusual color can make your home stand out compared with the other homes in your neighborhood, but it could stand out in a bad way.

Furthermore, if the HOA finds out about your un-approved color choice, you may need to repaint the home in a color that's HOA approved or face a hefty fine. This can drastically increase the cost of your painting job.

Do yourself a favor and check with the HOA before you begin painting. It will save you time, money, and a headache in the long run.

If you live in an area without an HOA, you should still make sure that not only will the color you select look good on the exterior of your home, but that it also fits with the neighborhood as a whole. A home that sticks out like a sore thumb won't do you any favors with buyers.

2. Fix Peeling Issues

Nothing dates a home more than peeling paint. Peeling paint can happen over time, due to bad weather conditions, or because the paint wasn't done properly the first time around.

Examine the entirety of your house by walking the perimeter and writing down anywhere that you find peeling paint.

It's now time to begin the project. To start, use a scraper to remove the loose or peeling paint from your exterior wall. Be careful not to remove too much.

You can now use a putty knife or trowel for bigger jobs to apply patching material to the damaged area. The patching material can be purchased at any home improvement store. Once the patching material is applied, give it a few hours to dry thoroughly.

Once it has dried, use sandpaper to make sure the patch lays level with the rest of the wall. Take your time on this to make sure it is done correctly. Once you are done sanding, you can remove any resulting dust and debris.

You can now paint over the patch with the same paint found on the rest of your home. This will make the exterior look clean. In turn, it will also improve the value of your home.

3. Clean Brushes

To save money, you can reuse old brushes but make sure they are properly cleaned before using them again. This will ensure that paint from an old project doesn't end up on the exterior of your home.

Beyond soap and water, vinegar is also a great way to clean your paintbrush.

4. Paint Rollers

paint roller on home exterior

It would take a really long time to paint the entire exterior of your home with only a paintbrush. You can instead use a paint roller. A paint roller will ensure a think, even finish, and excellent coverage for your home.

5. Paint Sprayers

Another option is spraying the exterior of your home. The benefit of spraying your home is the speed with which you will be able to complete the project. Spray allows you to cover large areas of the home quickly.

If you are paying someone to paint your home, this is a cheaper option since it will take fewer work hours.

The paint tends to be thinner, though, than if it was applied using a paint roller.

paint sprayer exterior house

6. Shutters

If you want to improve your home's value through exterior paint but don't want to actually spend the time or money repainting the entire home, you can simply repaint your shutters.

If your home is white, consider a color like blue, which will create a contrast and a beachy feel. You could also go with black to create an even greater contrast.

If your home is a darker color, you may want to consider painting the shutters white to add some light to the home.

If you have a specific design style in your home, you should consider what color shutters will go best with that particular style.

Painting the shutters in a color that does not go with the rest of your home could decrease its curb appeal and value so make sure you pick a color that makes sense for your home.

7. Trim

Similar to shutters, painting trim on the exterior of your home is a cheap and quick way to improve its curb appeal and value. If you have shutters, consider painting the trim and shutters the same color.

If you have an all-white house, adding black trim around the windows, garage, and decorative areas can make the home really stand out and give it a more modern look.

8. Pick Good Colors

yellow paint on outside house

This should be obvious but picking a good color is the best way to improve the value of your home through exterior painting. To do so, start by picking up a variety of swatches from a paint store near you.

People will be viewing your home from the light provided by the sun, not florescent lights at a store, so it is incredibly important to test out and see what paint colors will actually look like outside.

Make sure to get trim paint colors at the same time. This way, you can test them out to make sure the trim colors will look good with the main color you are selecting.

You should keep in mind the style of your home when picking a paint color. Different paints will make sense for a modern home versus a more traditional one. Take into consideration the year in which your home was built, its overall look and feel, and what you are trying to accomplish by painting.

9. Stay Light

Using a light color on your home can not only boost your home's value by being appealing to buyers but can also do so by reducing heating costs and saving you money immediately. Light colors like white or tan reflect the rays from the sun. This will result in less heat in your home in the summer.

Conversely, if you live in a cold area of the country, you may want to consider darker hues to keep heat in the home.

10. Neutrals

If you are looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may want to go with a neutral color that will be appealing to the largest number of buyers possible.

11. Paint From Top to Bottom

When painting, you should always start at the top and work to the bottom. This will help control streaking and allow any drips that occur to work for you rather than against you.

12. Watch the Weather

Before you begin painting the exterior of your home, make sure to consider the weather conditions. Poor weather conditions can decrease how good the paint job looks, which can decrease the value of your home.

Make sure you are not painting when rain is expected as that will ruin all your hard work. You should also try to pick a time when the temperature will not change drastically from day to night.

You should also make sure that you are not painting on a windy day. Too much wind can actually make a paint job dry too quickly and appear streaky. There should be some humidity the day you paint, but not too much.

Some experts say that 40% to 70% humidity and 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit are perfect painting conditions for the exterior of your home.

13. Always Use Primer

hand painting primer exterior

Just like with interior paint projects, most exterior paint projects also require the use of a primer. Doing so will extend the life of your paint and improve its appearance, both of which will increase your home's value.
Primer is generally a resin-based material that looks similar to paint. It is the initial coat and works by sealing what's under it away from the top coats of paint. The primer also helps the paint adhere correctly to the home and creates a smoother finish.

The primer should always be used on new surfaces before they are painted for the first time. It should also be used after removing old paint and before applying the new paint. If you repaint over old and peeling paint, the new paint won't last very long. Instead, you need to take the time to get rid of peeling paint and prime the surface before using new paint.

Primer is now, however, necessary 100% of the time. If your previous coat of paint is still holding up well and you are not using a lighter color, you may be able to paint directly over the old coat instead of needing to first use a primer.

Primer may also not be necessary if you are using a paint-primer combination paint. Many manufacturers make these today, and they're a great option if you want to successfully paint your home in fewer coats, and you wish to take on less work.

14. Clean Carefully

One easy and cost-efficient way to improve the paint on the exterior of your home and therefore increase its value has nothing to do with painting at all. You simply need to clean it in order to ensure the paint looks its best.

It is usually best to wait for a warm day to clean the paint. Make sure you pick a day that is not too windy to avoid the spray from the hose going everywhere.

If you have furniture or decorative items right next to the wall, consider either moving them or covering them so dirty water does not run off directly onto these other items which you wish to keep clean. Make sure you cover any vents, outlets, and light fixtures. Water, dirt, and grime are not a friend to any of these.

You can now simply use a hose. Spray it onto one section of siding at a time. Do this in a downward motion. Once an area has been sprayed, you can use a brush and cleaner to scrub the siding and remove as much dirt and grime as possible.

If there are any especially dirty areas, you may want to try to tackle them a bit before you even get the hose out so that dirt does not run off from the area and into others.

Really bad stains and rust may require a stronger cleaning solution. If you are unsure how to clean the home yourself, you may want to consider hiring someone to do the job for you. While it's not a cheap job by any means, it's cheaper than having to repaint the home sooner than anticipated.

While you're cleaning, make sure kids and pets stay away from any chemicals you're using, as they could be dangerous if ingested.

15. Combine Cans of Paint

To ensure you have enough paint for your entire home, make sure you purchase more paint than you actually need.

Make sure you mix the cans of the same color you purchase together in a larger container. This will help you make sure that the same color is being applied throughout.

If you do not take this step, it's possible the color will be ever so slightly different from can to can, which is something you can easily avoid by just taking a few minutes to combine the cans of paint.

If you've never done this before, a professional can advise you on how to do so as well as just how much paint you will need to coat the entirety of your home.

Make sure you have a little leftover in case you need to do any touch-up jobs sometime down the road as well.