Before painting, a simple but important step is to wash the exterior of your house. According to Old House Online, wet paint won’t properly adhere to siding with dirt and mildew. In addition to providing a smoother, cleaner surface for paint, washing your home’s exterior can also help remove any surface stains — which aren’t always able to be covered completely with a fresh coat of paint, particularly if you’ve chosen a lighter color.
Though power washing your house is a quick, easy, and effective way to rid it of dirt, grime, and even old, chipped paint, Norton Saint-Gobain Abrasives warns that using one on a house with soft wood siding can easily cause damage. If your home’s exterior is made of soft wood such as cedar or redwood, it is best to stick to washing it by hand with water and dish soap. Though this might take longer than simply spraying the dirt and cobwebs away, taking the time to properly and safely clean your home’s exterior will not only provide a better, cleaner canvas for the paint but will also prevent costly repairs should you inadvertently damage the siding.
Additionally, Old House Online says that if you are handling a power washer as a novice, you run the risk of breaking windows and driving water underneath the siding of your house if you aren’t careful. If you don’t have prior experience with power washing, you might want to consider hand washing it.