BK Home Inspections > Blog > Timely Tips > Exterior Painting

Exterior Painting

Protect your home’s exterior with paint.

Keeping your exterior paint in good condition not only makes your house look better, it is also important for general maintenance. A good coat of paint protects wood finishes from the elements and from insect damage.

You can also paint nearly every other type of siding, including vinyl, aluminum, brick, stucco, and other masonry materials—as long as you use the right kind of paint and prepare the surface properly. To paint any kind of siding:

  • Start with a clean surface
  • Repair any damaged areas
  • Fix any problems causing damage
  • Paint on a mildly warm, dry day with no rain in the forecast

The right paint to use on your home exterior.

The right paint to use depends on the surface you are painting and, if there is existing paint, the kind of paint you’ll be painting over top of. Most surfaces can be painted with 100% acrylic latex paint, which is water-based. Discuss your particular situation with your paint dealer and ask for recommendations.

Latex paints can cover almost any surface and dry quickly. Latex paints hold up well to wind and rain and exposure to the sun. The only drawback to using latex paint on your home’s exterior is that they don’t stand up to wear such as vigorous scrubbing, and they tend to stain more easily that oil-based paints.

Oil-based paints dry more slowly and require that you use a solvent to clean brushes and pans. The dried surface can crack more easily than latex and may fade more quickly. However, oil-based paints tend to adhere better to surfaces that are poorly prepared.

Choose the right brush.

Pay attention to the brushes you choose, too. Choose natural bristles for alkyd paint and nylon or polyester bristles for latex paint. You’ll need a 4-inch straight-edged brush for broad surfaces and a 2-inch trim brush and 1½-inch sash brush for trim. Be sure to buy high-quality brushes with long, tapered bristles. A good brush can make your job easier, a bad brush can make your job significantly more difficult.


Bob Beisbier, owner of BK Home Inspections, is a Certified Master Home Inspector who has been providing professional and thorough home inspections in southeast Wisconsin for over 12 years. Bob is Infrared certified, DILHR Certified, and provides Home Energy Tune-ups, Environmental Data Reports, Pre-sale Home Inspections and Pre-offer Home Inspections.