Painting a house is one of those jobs that seems easier than it is. You might think to yourself, ‘all I have to do is buy enough paint, get a ladder for the hard-to-reach places, and bam, I’m done,’ but as anyone who has painted houses before will tell you, it’s more difficult than it looks. Sure, you might be able to scrape, prime, and paint your house in one day, but there could be problems lurking after the job is done that could come back to bite you.

Exterior paint is made to adhere to the outside of your house, but being exposed to the elements can cause problems that may not be obvious at first glance, or when you’re slathering your exterior with that bright pink trim. Many homeowners run into issues with their paint that can cause more serious problems if they’re not fixed properly.

Let’s take a look at three common exterior painting problems and how to avoid or fix them:

Mold stains and discoloration

First of all, if you notice a mold spot on your home’s exterior, don’t throw a fit. It happens to the best of us, especially if you live in a particularly humid or wet environment. Mold spores are constantly looking for a delicious place to settle and grow. They love damp, warm areas especially. If they find a damp part of your exterior and settle in, they can form unsightly spots. Mold can spread and cause more damage if left untreated. It’s possible that mold appears on your beautiful paint job because of condensation, as well.

The best way to solve this frustrating problem is to buy yourself a good fungicide, one that will not only treat the affected area but also help prevent mold from reappearing as well. Apply the fungicide as instructed by the manufacturer, wash the surface clean, then make sure the area is completely dry before repainting.

Dark patches of painted wood showing through

This problem is difficult to notice as you’re painting a wooden surface. You probably noticed knots in the wood as you’re moving your paint brush over them, adding more paint to those areas to blot them out. No big deal, right? Well…. Sometimes, if the knots have not been sealed properly with primer and exterior paint, they can ooze resin when warmed by the sun. This is especially common with exteriors that get an unduly amount of daylight every day, particularly afternoon daylight.

You’ll have to scrape off the paint and primer over the knot, reseal it with a stain or some kind of wood finish or primer, and repaint it. A bummer but usually not difficult to fix


Stains in the paint are usually caused by water activating impurities on the surface. For example, if you used a rusty brush to scrape a section of wall, rust stains could appear after you’re done painting. Usually, this is avoided with a good aluminum-based primer-sealer coat before painting over it.

If you didn’t prime or still find stains in spite of your priming, you’ll have to paint the area with primer (right over the stained exterior paint), let it dry properly and ensure that the stain is completely covered, then paint over it again.

Painting over imperfections is not the end-all, be-all solution to all common exterior paint problems, but it can solve many frustrating issues. If you’re patient and take the time to prime and scrape the exterior of your home, you’ll head off most of these issues before the paint dries.


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