Hiring a company to paint your home can be expensive. But is this a DIY task? Absolutely! With the right preparation and a good plan, you can get the same results for a lot less so you can spend the savings on…well, if you are anything like me – another house project.
I’m partnering with Wagner Spray Tech today to show how we completely changed the look of this investment property using the Wagner HEA Control Pro 170 HEA Cart. Though Wagner has sponsored this post, and makes it possible for me to bring you projects like this, my opinions are always fully my own. So, if you have never used an airless sprayer, pay attention. This thing is a game changer.
The post contains affiliate links. You can read more about what that means here.
Here’s what it looked like to paint this house:
Let’s break this down into a five part overview.
1. Choose the paint
There are a few things to know that can make choosing a paint color far more simple – before you go painting 50 shades of gray on the side of your house and worrying all of your neighbors.
1. Colors look different on a screen than they do in real life.
Every. Time. Actually, they look different on a wall than on that little swatch, too. If that all seems overwhelming, go to point #2…
2. Popular colors are popular for a reason, so use that to narrow down your options and you’ll be pretty safe.
The colors that take Pinterest by storm tend to be good, solid choices. Look, I’m no advocate of doing what everyone else does (seriously, I’m exactly the opposite), but if you need some great choices fast, just check out what people are raving about online. Example: I chose to paint my kitchen cabinets Alabaster white by Sherwin Williaims. Didn’t even look at any other the other 400 whites. Everyone just knows, this one is awesome.
The color on the house in the video, by the way, is Sherwin Williams Summit Gray. With Alabaster for the trim.
3. Quality paints are worth the cost (and you can often use coupons).
The difference between cheap paint and quality paint has to do with the ratio of solvents to pigments. As you might expect, higher quality paints have more pigment. Personally, I’m a big Sherwin Williams fan. I know their stuff, am familiar with their colors, and their product is quality. And this isn’t even sponsored. So there.
I will add that a major SW competitor of similar quality doesn’t offer coupons, to my knowledge. For the record.
4. Check out how paint looks in different lighting to be confident in your color choice.
Once you have your paint choice narrowed down to just a couple options (because with the above steps you don’t have to go crazy, right?!) you should paint it on the house. Paint it in good size swatches. Paint it on a couple of sides. Then watch it for a day or two. See it in the evening, in the morning, when it’s cloudy, sunny, or whatever the weather tosses up. Make sure you still like it.
2. Make a plan
Okay, now that you have your paint color, you need to think about how much you need. Easy answer – talk to the experts at the paint store and they can help you make a good estimate.
Was that a cop out? Probably.
It will take you at least a couple of days to get the job done. And that is once everything is in place. Make sure you have a way to access high places, and that you have removed objects that might be in the way. This includes anything you have attached to the house, bushes or other landscaping close to the area, and anything else that is in the way of putting paint on the home.
Check the weather. I mean, that might sound obvious, but you don’t want to try painting in the rain, and it would probably be best if it were not 100 degrees outside. Both because the paint will dry too fast and you will dehydrate. I don’t love the heat, obviously.
Is a sprayer worth the time? Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Yes. In the past we have rented Titan sprayers for other projects. Titan is Wagner Spray Tech’s division for professionals. They are great machines. So when I learned that they had expanded their consumer line to include an airless sprayer I was really excited to try it out.
Wagner sent me the Wagner HEA Control Pro 170 Cart for this project. I’ve used a good number of the Wagner line up, but this one has to be my favorite. You just cannot beat the power, control, and precision of an airless sprayer. And having used their pro end tools, I was actually blown away by how well this one performed.
But the true test came when we handed over the spraying to our painter, Luis. He’s painted more homes than I ever will in my life, and I figured if he liked it, that was a definite stamp of approval. If you check out the video you can see the difference between his work and mine. They both look great, thanks to a great sprayer, but I had to note in the video that that was real time speed, because he puts it on so fast it looks like I sped up the video. And yes, he loved the Control Pro as well.
Okay, so I know that was a bit of a sales pitch for the sprayer we used. I can say that my husband’s range of sprayer experience is greater than mine, and he said he felt it easily held up to any of the competitors. So there’s that.
My basic point here is that if you are intimidated by an airless sprayer, go ahead and give it a try for yourself. I’m willing to bet you will fall in love, too. The time savings alone will be well worth it.
4. Prep the area
No surprise here – this is where you will invest most of your time. Check for holes that need to be filled or other blemishes. Repair those before painting. If you have areas that need to be cleaned now is the time. A pressure washer is a useful tool for this. Gutters, especially, often need a power washing. Make sure to do so well enough ahead that everything has a chance to dry.
Tape off windows and doors. Do not bother with the trim. A commonly accepted method is to just paint that with the body color – that is, don’t bother avoiding it – then go back and paint the trim later with a brush.
Again, check to be sure landscape is far enough away to get to the walls. Tie it back, trim it up, or remove bushes.
Spray using long strokes, meaning you’ll spray past the end point, then spray back continuously, or starting before you get to the surface to be painted. This will keep the paint from either building up too much or from getting too little coverage. Check out the video to see that technique in action.
I aim for roughly a 12” distance from the surface, as a guideline. For lap siding in particular you will want to be sure that you are also spraying up to get under the overlapping sections. Again, check out that real time section of the video to see our painter demonstrate how that looks.
The Control Pro came with plenty of hose, so we didn’t have any problem getting to any of the sections of the house. But you do want to plan for where the machine is in relation to your work area.
Be sure to wear a respirator, particularly when spraying up in the eaves, as you’ll get more blow back in those areas. Yes, the video caught me without one. That was bad. Don’t do it.
Finally, consider whether you need to back roll the painted surface (that is, go back over the paint with a roller after spraying). On a smoother surface you don’t need to back roll. In back rolling the roller is not loaded with paint. You will simply follow the along the freshly sprayed areas and roll the paint into the texture of the siding.
This house had cedar siding, and back rolling was necessary to get the best adhesion and coverage in all of that texture possible. Now, this is an arguable point. There are those who say it is unnecessary. Personally, we err on the side of doing more than less, and felt it was a good idea for this house. So in the video you will see one of us (my husband, following the painter with a roller to roll it all.) Again, this may not be necessary on your siding.
Finish by painting the trim work.
There it is – Five steps to paint your home. With a few days of work your home can have a totally different look. For the money, painting is simply one of the best investments you can make. Hiring out painting can be crazy expensive. But if you are up to DIYing this, you can buy or rent an airless sprayer and tackle the job yourself with the same results and a lot less money. Like anything, all it takes is taking the time to do it right and you can have a fantastic, professional looking job.
Thank you to Wagner Spray Tech for once again partnering with me to bring you my biggest painting project yet. As you can hopefully tell from the number of projects I’ve done with these sprayers, I genuinely love the product. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, and happy painting!