When all the prep and priming is done it's time to apply the finish paint to the siding and trim. In most cases you will want to paint the siding on your house first and then paint the trim. After the siding is dry you can come back and paint windows, shutters and any corner moldings.
An exception to this would be the case of wide overhangs or soffits. These should be painted first and then the siding should be done. This will prevent splatters on your newly painted surfaces.
The type of siding you have will determine the painting technique to use. For most houses some type of horizontal siding will be the case. This can include old lap type siding where boards are nailed, one overlapping the one below, horizontally across the side of a house.
It can also include new aluminum and vinyl siding that is molded to look like old lap siding. These surfaces are best painted using a wide brush about 2½ inches or wider, to coat the horizontal runs. This will produce a nice, smooth paint finish if done right.
Start at the top of the siding and brush the horizontal boards, a few at a time, all the way across the side of the house. Use an extension ladder with rags or rubber bumpers wrapped over the end to protect the siding from marks and gouges. Set the ladder just under the last board you intend to paint on the first pass.
Start at the corner and brush the siding toward the other end of the house. Brush the top board as far as you can reach, letting the paint overlap onto the next board a little. Paint each individual siding board like this down to the one the ladder rests on. Let the paint overlap the board a little so you can more easily blend the finish when you return to paint the second run.
Reach as far as you can with the brush with each new section to minimize the number of times you have to move the ladder. When you're done as far as you can reach, move the ladder over to do a new section.
Start the new section at the farthest point and brush back into the first section of wet paint to blend the coat. Work across the house like this, a little at a time, until you reach the next corner and complete the run.
Work quickly when moving the ladder so the paint doesn't dry before you can joint it with the new section. When you've completed the run to the next corner, lower the ladder a little, move back to your starting point and paint another few boards across the house. Follow this porcedure to paint all the siding on one side of the house, down to the bottom, before moving on to the next side.
A second, not as common type of house siding is plywood sheeting. Of the plywood manufactured for siding, T1-11 plywood is probably the most common. These are sheets of exterior grade plywood in thicknesses of 3|8th, 1|2, 5|8ths and 3|4 inch. A vertical groove is cut into the surface of the sheet for decorative effect.
This type of siding is usually finished with an opaque stain or sealer but may also be primed and painted with latex or alkyd paint.
Opaque stains seal and protect the wood while adding some color to the finish. These stains are semi-clear so they will also hide smudges and other discoloration on the wood. They come in a variety of colors so you can decorate the siding to complement the paint color on the trim molding.
Stains can sometimes be sprayed on with a compression sprayer if the existing finish is in good condition to start with. If the plywood is bare or the old finish is damaged or degraded however, the new coating will have to be rolled and brushed on to ensure good penetration.
To paint or stain plywood siding, work on a manageable 3 or 4 foot swath at a time and work from the top to the bottom of the house before moving on to the next swath. Roll the finish coating on with a thick roller and then brush it into the grooves, etc. if necessary to get good coverage. Some oil stains may require wiping with a rag just after rolling or spraying to remove excess coating for a consistent color in the finish.
With the siding done it's time to paint the trim moldings. This includes the doors, windows, overhangs, shutters, gables and other architectural features that are usually done in an accent color to compliment the siding color. See painting raised-panel doors for help painting doors.
Use an extension ladder and make sure the siding is dry before setting it against the house. Be sure to pad the ends of the ladder where it makes contacts to prevent damage to the new paint. Start at the top and work your way down.
If you didn't paint the soffit overhang first, use a 2½ sash brush to coat it now. While you're up there do any gutters and down spouts and corner molding that you plan to paint, at the same time. Work from an extension ladder using the same technique of moving across the house as with painting horizontal siding described above. Paint corner moldings, etc., down to the ground before moving on.
Paint a section of the overhang as far as you can reach and then move the ladder to do the next section. Start each new section at the farthest point and brush back into the fresh paint to blend it. Paint the whole overhang from one corner to the next before stopping to avoid brush marks and ensure a smooth finish.
With the overhang done, move down to the next piece of trim, usually second story windows. Paint the windows starting at the top, inner most parts. For the window pictured here that would be the mullion molding around the glass in the upper sash. Work your way out to finish painting the window, doing the sash frame, case molding and finally the sill.
Apply the paint with back and forth strokes to cover the surface well and then immediately brush it out along the length of the molding. Brush from one end of a piece of molding the the next, without stopping, to leave a smooth coat. Let the paint overlap onto adjoining moldings a little and paint them next, to blending the finish together.
If you're painting window shutters, try to remove them to work and then hang them back up when you're done. If you're working with the shutters off the house, set them on a couple blocks of wood to keep them off the floor.
Use a brush to push paint into the joint between the louvers and the shutter frame, starting at the top. Go from top to bottom of one section of louvers and coat the corners with plenty of paint before going back to catch any dripping or running paint with the brush. Turn the shutter around if you can and catch any drips running down the other side. If you're painting the other side, coat those louver corners too. With the corners done, go back to the top and brush out the louver fins, working back and forth out from each corner.
When all the louvers are done, paint the rails and stiles of the shutter frame. Start with the rails, letting the paint overlap the stiles a bit. Paint around the edges of the shutter next and then do the stiles to finish the job.