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Using Exterior Painting to Help Your Home Sell

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 at 2:11pm.

Painting a Home to Sell Curb appeal sells. A home that is attractive from the street sells faster and at a higher price in most cases. In competitive markets, it can be one of the few ways to stand out among other desirable homes. A big way to create a strong curb appeal is to repaint your home's exterior.

Painting can be time consuming and quite expensive but, if a home is in need of a facelift, it can pay off in a big way. A fresh look can appeal to home buyers and appraisers alike, so it is worth it to look into whether or not this home improvement can work for you when selling.

Questions to Consider

Before seeking painting bids or checking the condition of your brushes, rollers and pans, you need to consider a number of questions. These include:

  • Does the entire house need repainting?
  • How much value will repainting add?
  • Is power washing needed?
  • Should I hire a professional house painter or do it myself?
  • What does a professional paint job cost?
  • How can I find a reliable painter?
  • What colours should I choose?

How Much to Repaint

Deciding how much of a home exterior to repaint before sale depends on the overall condition and age of its paint as well as your budget. If you can't afford to completely repaint your house, consider touch ups of specific house features such as selecting compelling new colours for the front door and trim.

Power Washing the Home Exterior

Power washing is the first step in careful exterior painting and helps paint adhere to surfaces. By itself, excellent power washing can refresh a Calgary townhome's look enough to add a considerable amount of value.

Clean up involves ridding the exterior of any spider webs or insect nests and removing litter from gutters. Then there is scrubbing and scraping off loose paint. Homes from the 1960s or earlier may have layers of paint including lead, so you should get a paint analysis and advice about how to protect yourself and soil surrounding your house.

It is possible for homeowners to do the power washing themselves with a bucket of soapy water and a long-handled brush or by renting a power washer. A professional cleaning crew likely will cost hundreds, although this may turn out to be a palatable expense if you are too pressed for time or unable to do it yourself. Doing this yourself often costs much less than a professional painting crew charges for cleaning and prepping before they can repaint your home.

Painting Professionals vs. DIY

If a professional power washing can't make it into the budget, you may not be able to fund a professional painting job. This means your choices are:

  1. Power wash the house yourself and skip painting
  2. DIY power wash, then selectively repaint parts of the house yourself
  3. Completely clean and repaint the entire house on your own

A DIY job requires selecting a time of year when you have plentiful time to accomplish the project. You also need to factor in cost of materials, which are included in a professional job.

Tools Needed To Paint A Home's Exterior

Before a homeowner can paint their home's exterior, they must have the proper tools. The following tools are required to paint a home's exterior:

  • Pressure washer. A pressure washer is necessary for removing dirt, grime and damaged paint from the home's exterior. 
  • Tarps. Tarps help protect the ground and shrubs from paint splatters.
  • Paint brushes. It's important to use quality paint brushes for any home improvement project; better brushes make better marks and provide better coverage. 
  • Paint rollers. Paint rollers are needed to cover large swaths of the home quickly. 
  • Ladders. Ladders help homeowners reach the taller parts of the house.
  • Paint trays. Paint trays hold wet paint and make it easier to get paint on rollers. 
  • Painter's tape. Painter's tape is used to attach tarp to surfaces like the ground or the side of the house. 

Any homeowner who wants to paint their home must gather these tools before beginning their project. They may also need a painting stick and a paint can opener. 

Cost of Professional Painting

How much does it cost to paint a house exterior? The average cost of professional exterior repainting can vary somewhat depending on your area. The size of the house is one metric to consider when calculating costs, but do not forget that the height of your home and any prep work can add to the overall cost. In some cases, the cost to paint a two-story home may be double that of a single-story home despite having the same surface area to paint.

Along with power washing, preparation for painting usually includes the painting and scraping already mentioned as well as sanding, priming and puttying any holes (such as in gutters).

Selecting a Painter

If you hire a professional painter, ask a few of their references about the timeliness and quality of work done. You can ask the painters you interview for phone numbers of customers who might be willing to talk with you. Ask friends, family members, and neighbours who have had their houses repainted for names of painters they trust as well.

Before setting a painter loose on your project, make sure you are certain of the colours and quality of paint you think are best for the project.

Choice of Colours

If you've decided to paint, your next decision should be to consider your house colour ideas and pick your colours. Wondering how to choose exterior paint colors for your house? Keep in mind that you are trying to sell the home. Even if bold exterior paint colours are trending, and you like them, it may be best to choose a neutral colour that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Varying shades of white as well as grays including gray-green and gray-blue are good choices. Beiges, including taupe are also common choices. However, a new coat of your home's current colour may be the least expensive choice.

For splashes of lively colour, turn to annual flowers in your landscaping, because they will need to be replaced the following year anyway. If a new homeowner doesn't like the colours, they can easily and inexpensively change annuals in the next growing season.

Painting can be a great way to give your home a fresh new look. Sellers should definitely consider this as an option if it is projected to add value and exposure to their home.

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