Checking a Home’s Exterior Paint Condition

The fact is, not even a professional exterior painting contractor will find everything. Whether you’re selling or maintaining your home, don’t forget to look at the exterior’s condition. Check for damages and peeling paint. You don’t want these issues to arise if/ when someone is seriously considering purchasing your home.

In some cases, these damages could keep the buyer from closing the deal. Getting the exterior of your home ready for showing is a lot of work, especially if it needs painting. But what are the indicators? How do I know if the exterior of my home needs to be re-painted?

Then, to keep you busy, you must find a realtor, clean and stage it, and figure out a million other little things. Thankfully, we are here to help! Use this easy-to-follow checklist to learn when you may need the exterior of your home painted.

Exterior Painting Checklist

When you’re ready to sell your home, you should check your exterior house paint. Curb appeal is more important than you would believe. You want potential buyers to fall in love at first sight.


We’ve compiled a list of the most common trouble points on a home’s exterior and what to look for.

1) Shutters

    A good place to start is by checking your shutters. Shutters offer a small area to get used to looking for rot, cracking, fading, or peeling paint.

    Start by looking at the front of the home from a distance. You want to imagine you’re seeing them for the first time.

    If the paint seems faded from a distance, it’s time to paint. Continue approaching and see how you feel as you get closer.

    Look for any weather-related damages and check around the edges for any cracks. Once you know that the shutters are in good condition, see if there’s any blistering or peeling paint.

    If you notice any issues or want to spruce them up, scrape and/or sand the current paint off and apply a new coat or sometimes two coats.

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    2) Front Door and Porches

      The front door and porch are probably the most critical areas of your home’s exterior. They are the first thing prospective buyers see when they approach your home, so they need to be clean and look fresh and crisp.

      The front door of your home has to look impeccable. There shouldn’t be any marks or scuffs on it anywhere.

      If the paint has started to fade or peel, you must take care of it. Apply the same treatment to the rest of your porch that you did to your shutters.

      Walk around the whole area. Look for fading, damaged spots, peeling paint, and anything else that needs to be touched up or redone.

      If the paint is more than several years old, it’s a good idea to go ahead and have it repainted or at least cleaned.

      3) Exterior Siding

        Your siding is the largest painted area of your home. When inspecting it, you’ll need to be able to see everything up to your roof and gutters.

        This inspection isn’t as simple as looking for faded spots and peeling paint. However, you want all the siding on your home to look identical. This gives it a much more put-together look overall.

        One thing to remember is that a can of paint doesn’t last forever. The lifespan will depend on the kind of paint you bought and the surface it was applied to.

        You should expect to need a fresh coat every 5-10 years. However, this range heavily depends on the quality of the paint.

        You also want to consider what color it’s currently painted. The most popular colors ten years ago are entirely different from current trends. Make sure you present the best possible image of your home.

        4) Window and Door Trim

          Inspecting your window and door trim is another essential part of your walkthrough. It involves looking for actual structural damage as well as simple fading.

          If you have older wooden sills, brick molding, sashes, or noses on your windows, you must check for water damage signs. In many cases, the exterior paint could be intact. However, this is no indication that there’s no rot. Press on the areas to check for soft spots.

          Look for small cracks and shifts in the frame and trim. This can indicate that water has infiltrated the frame and is slowly rotting it out from the inside.

          Finger-jointed trim is very problematic. Over time, the joints will inevitably come apart. Don’t worry; it will be obvious when it happens.

          If you catch it early enough, the window can be sanded down and resealed. If the rot has advanced past a certain point, you’ll probably have to replace the window.

          5) Peeling Paint

            Peeling exterior house paint is one of many signs of exterior paint issues. It has several potential causes but is usually pretty easy to correct.

            One of the most common causes of peeling paint is a leaky gutter. As the water from your gutter goes down the side of the house, moisture can get behind the paint film.


            This is one of the reasons it’s so important to clean and inspect your gutters regularly. Even if you have gutter protection, you should check them for physical damage.

            Over time, this causes the paint to break away from the siding’s surface. Check for any signs of water damage or flow around your house.

            You should also look for broken or loose caulking, as it can allow water to get behind the paint.

            If it’s just a tiny area that’s dry and free from mold or mildew, you can scrape the paint off, sand it down, and paint the area. A primer is needed before painting if the area contains raw wood. Then, you can apply a generous application of caulking. Once the caulking is dry, you can apply a nice, even, heavy coat of paint.

            6) Deck Stain

              Decks are among homes’ most valuable outdoor features, but they require some upkeep. The stain on your deck helps protect the wood from water damage and makes it appear clean and natural.

              The first thing you should do is pressure wash your deck. This removes any debris, grime, mold, or mildew. If the deck is really dirty, it may require using a little more pressure or even blasting.

              If your deck looks weathered or the water is no longer beading up on the wood, it’s time to apply another coat of stain. But don’t be too alarmed; most deck lumber is pressure-treated. Therefore, the wood is durable enough to resist moisture to some degree, although we want it to look good!

              Properly staining your deck at regular intervals will strengthen its resistance to rot and damage for years to come.

              Invest In Your Home’s Beauty

              Sprucing up your home’s siding and trim is one of the best ways to add value when preparing to sell. Fresh exterior painting gives your home a newer, more modern look that shapes buyers’ expectations.

              If you’re selling or maintaining your Raleigh home and looking for premium service, contact us today for a free exterior paint quote.

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