We’ve compiled a checklist of what to do to prepare your home for exterior painting.

1. Power wash your home. Use a power washer to remove any dirt, grime, or mildew from your home’s exterior. Be sure to hold the power washer nozzle at least 12 inches away from the surface of your house so you don’t damage the siding.

2. Scrape off any loose paint. Once your home is power washed, scrape off any loose or peeling paint with a putty knife. This will help create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to.

3. Caulk any cracks or gaps. Inspect your home’s trim and caulk any cracks or gaps you see. This will help prevent moisture from seeping in and damaging the wood beneath the paint.

4. Protect your landscaping. Cover any plants or shrubs near your home with plastic sheeting to protect them from paint drips or overspray.

5. Prime bare wood areas. If there are any bare wood areas on your home’s exterior, be sure to apply a primer before painting. This will help the paint adhere better and last longer.