A small wooden house in the woods, illustrating the importance of painting a wooden exterior.

Should I Paint My Wooden Exterior

Painting the exterior of a wooden home is an important task that not only enhances its appearance but also protects it from the elements. The exterior of a wooden home is constantly exposed to the sun, rain, wind, and other weather conditions, which can cause damage over time. Unpainted or poorly painted wooden exteriors are more likely to suffer from rot, warping, and other forms of deterioration, which can lead to costly repairs. In addition to protecting the wood, painting the exterior of a wooden home can also improve its energy efficiency. We will go over five steps to painting a wooden exterior in this article.

Prepare the Surface

The first step is to painting a wooden exterior is to prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding the wood. Use a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime and let it dry before sanding the wood to remove any rough spots or loose paint. It is important to note that pressure washing should be done with care, as it can cause damage to the wood if done too aggressively. Don’t hold the spray nozzle too close to the wood. A mild detergent solution can be used to clean the surface and remove any mold or mildew. Sanding should be done with a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface, without removing too much wood. Remember to sand along the grain of the wood to not disrupt the natural appearance of the wood.

Repair Damage

A close up view of the corner of a white house that shows faded paint to show the importance of repairing damage before painting wooden exteriors.

Inspect the wood for any damage such as rot, cracks, or holes. Repair any damage with wood filler and let it dry completely before moving on to the next step. It is important to use a wood filler that is appropriate for exterior use and ensure that the filler is fully cured before continuing.


A close up photo of a man painting an exterior to focus on the importance of applying primer when painting wooden exteriors.

Next, apply a coat of primer to the wood. This will help the paint adhere better and provide a smooth surface for the paint to go on. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step. When choosing a primer, make sure it is formulated for exterior use and is suitable for wood. It is also important to use a primer that is recommended by the paint manufacturer to ensure compatibility and optimal results. Here are some options for exterior primer from Sherwin Williams.


A hand painting an exterior from gray to blue, demonstrating the step of using exterior paint when painting wooden exteriors.

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint. Use a paintbrush for corners and edges, and a paint roller for larger areas. Start by painting the trim, then the siding. Be sure to use a high-quality exterior paint that is appropriate for wood. It is important to use a paint that is formulated for exterior use, and has a suitable level of durability and water resistance. Exterior paint that has a high level of pigmentation will also provide better coverage and durability. Benjamin Moore offers high quality resistant paints in hundreds of colors for your wooden exterior.

Clean Up

A man's hands washing a paint brush to illustrate the importance of taking care of cleaning up when painting wooden exteriors.

When the paint is dry, clean up any paint drips or spills. Remove the painter’s tape, if used, and your wooden exterior is ready to go. It’s important to keep the paint brushes and rollers clean and properly stored to extend their lifespan. Make sure your brushes are thoroughly washed and scrubbed with a wire brush to prevent stiffness.

Wrapping Up

By following these steps and using the proper techniques, your wooden exterior will look fresh and new in no time. With a little elbow grease and some paint, you’ll have a beautiful home in no time. It is also important to keep in mind that regular maintenance and repainting will be needed to maintain the appearance and protect the wood from the elements. Painting a wooden exterior can be a daunting task so our team of expert painters here at Quality Coats are happy to help!

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