What repairs should you do before painting the exterior of your house?

Exterior Paint


A new exterior paint job will last up to 10x longer when the surface is properly prepared for painting. The Vancouver weather is looking great, and we’ve started painting exteriors already! 

We wanted to share some important things to look out for before you book your exterior project.

These 5 tips will ensure that your project is done right and you love your home!


5 Things to check before painting your exterior:


  • Blistering and Peeling Paint:

Paint can blister when air bubbles form underneath the film of newly applied paint. This usually occurs when the paint is applied to a surface that isn’t clean or is otherwise prepared incorrectly. 

Peeling paint is just that- paint peeling away from your home. This is one of the most obvious signs of repair, and signals you should think about painting!

Areas with peelings or blistering paint need to be thoroughly scraped. After scraping away damaged areas, a primer is applied before painting begins.

  • Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white salt-like formation. Efflorescence can form on stucco, brick, concrete, and other hard surfaces. It is caused by the evaporation of water (that contains soluble salts). Therefore, it is most likely to occur in areas where rain, snow, or other moisture is present. 

Efflorescence is most common in new construction projects. This is because materials are usually not protected during the building process. This allows efflorescence time to form.

Efflorescence is removed using a wire brush or scraper. Cleaners are then applied to discourage further formation. 

  • Mildew

Mildew is a type of mold that can grow on the exterior (and interior) of your home. It is caused by a combination of moisture, darkness, and/or cool temperatures. Mildew takes the form of splotchy grey, white brown, green or black spots and is usually easy to recognize. 

Removing mildew is a fairly straightforward procedure.  First, a cleaning solution is applied and rinsed away.  Then a proper primer is applied, followed by 2 coats of paint.  

When painting an exterior (or interior) you should ensure your contractor is aware of any instances of mildew.  Painting over the mildew is not a solution. If painted over, mildew will continue to grow through the new paint and become more difficult to remove.  

  • Damage to Wood


Wood rot is very common, especially in Vancouver where many months of the year are damp and rainy. Rot is a form of decay caused by moisture and fungus. Rotted wood must be cut out before work begins. A carpenter may need to do repairs before painting begins.

Fractures and cracks and other damage to the home of course need to be repaired. An exterior paint job will not only make your home look great, but also protect the substrate and ensure your home stays in good shape. This only works if the underlying wood structure is suitable for painting. 

Always check your home for damage and point it out to your painting estimator. An honest painter will be upfront about repairs required and have referrals available if the work is outside of their expertise.

  • Rust Discolouration

Metal railings, furnishing, and decor can be a great addition to the look of any home. Metal can rust and the rainy Vancouver weather is a great environment for rusting to occur. 

Regular painting of metal areas can help to reduce the chance of rust, and also function as a repair for some rusted metal. Certain metals can also be replaced to mitigate the chance of rust in the future.

Rust discolouration is easy to spot and should be easy for your painter to repair.

Best Practices  / How to Proceed:

Always inspect your own home for damage before booking your painting estimate. 

During your estimate, point out anything that doesn’t look right. Trustworthy contractors will be upfront. Untrustworthy contractors may cut corners to secure the job. 

We encourage you to point out all issues to your contractor (and click here for 5 other questions to ask your painter). If they don’t provide a solution that sounds right, that may be a red flag!

If you’re ready to get an estimate to check out Fresh Paint’s easy estimation tool. We’ll get you in touch with an experienced estimator and ensure your project is done right!