How to Prepare Your Home for Exterior Painting in Calgary

How to Prepare Your Home for Exterior Painting in Calgary

Preparing your home for exterior painting is a critical step in ensuring a flawless and enduring finish. In Calgary’s unique climate, which can range from intense sunlight to freezing temperatures, proper preparation can significantly impact the lifespan and appearance of your exterior paint job. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to get your home ready for a fresh coat of paint, ensuring the best possible results.

Step 1: Inspection and Repairs

Start by conducting a thorough examination of your home’s exterior. Look for common issues like cracks, wood rot, or mildew, which can compromise the quality of your paint job if not addressed.

Fill in small cracks with a high-quality caulk.

Use a putty knife to apply caulk to seal any small cracks in the siding or trim to prevent water infiltration and further damage.

Replace any rotten wood or severely damaged areas.

Identify and replace any rotted wood or siding. This may require professional help, depending on the extent of the damage.

Treat mildew with a solution of bleach and water or a specialized cleaner.

Clean areas affected by mildew with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water, scrubbing the area gently to remove any growth before rinsing it off completely.

Step 2: Cleaning

A clean surface is essential for ensuring that the new paint adheres properly. Over time, exteriors can accumulate a layer of dirt, dust, and other pollutants that can interfere with paint adhesion.

Power wash your home’s exterior to remove accumulated dirt and debris.

Use the power washer to thoroughly cleanse the exterior of your home. Adjust the pressure settings to be strong enough to clean effectively without damaging the siding, brick, or wood. Pay special attention to areas under eaves and around windows and doors where dirt tends to accumulate.

Allow the surface to dry completely after washing.

This drying process is crucial as painting over damp surfaces can lead to peeling and mold growth.

Step 3: Scraping and Sanding

Old, peeling paint must be removed to create a smooth surface for the new coat. This step is vital for preventing the new paint from flaking off.

Scrape off peeling or flaking paint

Use a paint scraper to remove any loose or flaking paint. Be thorough yet gentle to avoid gouging the wood or other materials.

Sand rough areas

Sand the scraped areas to smooth out rough edges and to feather the edges where the old paint meets the bare surface. This helps create a seamless surface for the new paint. If extensive sanding is needed, consider using a power sander to make the job quicker and more efficient.

Step 4: Priming

Priming is a foundational step in the painting process. It ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the painted surface.

Choose a high-quality primer

Apply a quality primer appropriate for the material of your home’s exterior and the type of paint you will be using.

Apply primer to all bare and repaired areas.

If you’ve had issues with stains or mildew, consider using a primer that has stain-blocking properties to prevent these problems from bleeding through the new paint.

Allow time to dry completely

Allow the primer to dry thoroughly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, before proceeding with painting.

Step 5: Masking and Covering

Properly masking and covering areas that are not being painted is crucial for achieving clean lines and protecting windows, doors, and landscaping from paint splatters.

Use painter’s tape

Use painter’s tape to cover windows, door frames, and any hardware. Make sure the tape is well-adhered to avoid paint seeping underneath.

Plastic sheets

Hang plastic sheeting over windows, doors, and large areas that need protection.

Drop cloths

Lay drop cloths over plants, walkways, and other surfaces to protect them from drips and spills.


Taking these preparatory steps seriously can greatly influence the quality and longevity of your exterior paint job. In Calgary’s varied climate, it’s especially important to ensure your home is adequately prepared to handle whatever conditions arise. With the right preparation, your new exterior paint will not only look great but last for years.

Ready to refresh your home’s exterior but not sure where to start?

Contact Elite Trade Painting today—your expert Calgary painters—to discuss your painting project and how we can help bring your vision to life.

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