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Exterior Surface Preparation

Exterior painting jobs are often large and demand efficient application methods. Exterior painting also happens in less predictable conditions than interior, and outdoor situations are also harder on coatings.

How to get the best possible painting results, Exterior paint should always be 100% acrylic. Today’s acrylic products have great colour retention and are very durable.

On bare wood you need to block tannins with a primer. Our BeautiTone BlockiT, a water-based epoxy resin primer, seals out most stains including tannins and knots. All latex primers do raise wood grain a bit, requiring a quick sand between coats. Got a problem with poor painting results? Check out the online exterior troubleshooting guide at https://www.homehardware.ca/exterior

TIP #1: Brush & roller can be faster than spray (and better)
Spraying paint certainly has its place, but the old ways aren’t necessarily as slow as they seem. There are professional painters who efficiently use brush and roller on large exterior jobs and swear they can out-paint anyone with spray equipment when masking, scaffolding and cleanup time are taken into account. Apart from speed, there’s also the issue of durability. All else being equal, brush-applied paint will typically last longer outdoors than spray applied because the action of the brush drives paint deeper into the wood fibres. When it comes to exterior painting, absorption is key.

Tip #2: Do not apply a colour darker than original to vinyl siding.
Beware repainting with a colour darker than the original colour, you could find warping or buckling of vinyl siding panels might occur. Dark paint tends to absorb the heat of the sun, transferring it to the substrate. When vinyl siding expands dramatically, it is not able to contract to its original dimensions. Paint vinyl siding in a shade no darker than the original. Whites, off-whites, pastels and other very light colours are good choices. Top quality 100% acrylic latex paint is the best type of paint to use on vinyl siding, because the superior flexibility of the paint film enables it to withstand the stress of expansion and contraction cycles caused by outdoor temperature changes. SIDING/ALUMINUM & VINYL: Prime with BeautiTone Stick iT Primer or paint with a 100% acrylic paint.

TIP #3: Use Good Caulking
Check and replace old caulking. It will improve appearance and save energy. The best exterior caulking is our 35 year Home Builders Acrylic caulking. It remains flexible forever, it’s amazingly paintable and it’s easily cleaned up with soap and water.

TIP #4: Treat Lead with Respect
Lead was a part of house paints until it was banned in 1978, meaning you may be dealing with exterior projects that contain at least some level of lead below the surface. Sanding lead paint releases airborne lead that’s dangerous to inhale, so protect yourself accordingly.

TIP #5: The Most Important Tip Is Surface Preparation
Prep’s three little words: clean, dry and dull. No doubt, prep work can be tedious. But, in the end, it’s worth every second! Here are the proper prep steps:​


Clean vinyl or aluminum siding with Heavy Duty Siding Cleaner (4520-988). Remove old, damaged or peeling paint and stain by scraping or sanding.

Banish the grey! Remove grey (deadwood fibres) with Wood Prep (1874-400) or Wood Restorer (1874-207)

Mild...eww! Get rid of mildew with Natura Mildew Off (1874-401)​


It’s good to be dull. Scuff glossy surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper.


Select appropriate primer if required then choose a superior quality exterior paint.
Beauti-Tone Designer or Signature are formulated to withstand the extremes of the Canadian climate.​

MARSELLES D35-5-0525-0​
FELICITY D35-7-0523-0​
DAY SPA C7-1-0634-3​
FELICITY D35-7-0523-0​

When choosing colours, take it outside! Colours will appear much lighter outdoors so that is where you should be making your final choices.

Want to make your home your castle? Light colours will make a house look larger.

More minimalist? Your home will appear smaller and blend into the landscape if you choose dark colours.

Want an instant WOW with just a litre of paint? That’s all it takes to transform your front door with a gorgeous colour that commands attention.

Your aluminum storm door should stop weather, not traffic. Instead of making it the centre of attention, make a strong colour statement by using Beauti-Tone latex Rust Coat to paint storm doors to match entry doors.

Speaking of attention seeking, don’t let your garage door take top billing over your front door. If painted the same colour, your eye is drawn to the larger block of colour, the garage! Instead, try painting the garage doors in a similar colour as the surrounding exterior wall for a more cohesive look.​