🍁Ultimate Fall Guide🍁


Welcome to Exterior & Interior Painting Specialists blog! Today we are going to help you fall into the incoming season, Fall! We are going to share some tips that will help you protect your home and keep it stylish! Even though we have a few weeks before Fall is really here, it’s better to be prepared before it starts! You can fill out the form at the end of this blog or call our office today with any questions or for a free estimate! You can call or text our office phone, 309-349-7021! Check out our table of contents below to see everything we cover! 

There are three main categories, the exterior, interior, and garage/shed/storing.

Table of contents:

  • Exterior Maintenance
  • Why it’s important to protect your exterior
  • Our Exterior Process
  • Interior Maintenance
  • Garage Maintenance
  • Getting prepared for the winter
  • Fall decorations
  • Conclusion

Exterior Maintenance:

Do a roof check: You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.

Check the chimney and fireplace: If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.

Inspect siding:  Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional. If your siding is broken or exposed it will raise your electricity bill and open the window for insects and rodents to affect your home. Painting your home also adds and extra layer of protecting all around your home from the weather, sun, and insects.

Check water drainage: Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.

Reinforce windows and doors: Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.

Turn off faucets and store hoses: Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.

Service sprinklers and irrigation system: Depending on your climate, your irrigation system may need to be drained and checked. Have a professional perform any necessary repairs and mark sprinkler heads near snow removal areas.

Inspect trees: Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.

Trim landscaping: Cut back bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended for your climate zone.

Bring in flowerpots: If you keep plants or flower in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put away for next spring.

Leaf removal: Rake and remove leaves from the yard. Put into a compost pile if you have one. Alternatively, put into yard garbage bags and leave at the curb for community pick up. Check with your local city or town for requirements and pick up schedules.

Fertilize lawn: Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. If you have a lawn service, they should do this for you.

Put away seasonal furniture: Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Remove and clean cushions. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter.

Close the pool: If you have a pool and live in an area where temperatures dip, schedule a service to come and close it for the season or if you know how, buy the supplies and do it yourself.

Organize the shed: As your shed is filling up with summer items in storage it’s a good time to organize and clean out the shed. Move summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access. Also, remove any liquids that will freeze.

Clean the gutters: Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks. This is one of the most important things to make sure you do! If you don’t make sure your gutters are cleared and working properly without leaks. If it isn’t in the proper condition, then it can cause damage to your foundation and the ground around your home from the water just free falling.  

Why it’s important to protect the exterior:

After making sure the exterior of your home doesn’t have any physical issues wrong with it, painting or staining is the next best step. This will add an extra layer of protection between the house and the outdoors. It also gives you the opportunity to spruce up the outside of your home and give it your own personal look! Your home also tends to fade over time so this gives it a nice refreshing.

Pressure Washing:

The first step is going out to the home at least a  week before you begin painting to examine and pressure wash. Doing this takes off any build up that may be on your home, as well as chipping off any loose paint or any chalking that has happened over the years. Pressure washing helps ensure the surface is clean and the new paint will adhere.

**Make sure to take EXTRA CARE around all doors and windows** 

  • While pressure washing and again before you begin priming, scrape, any and all loose or chipping paint, sand and prime wood where necessary. 
  • Also look for any loose window putty before pressure washing and replace as necessary. 
  • Caulk windows and doors. A small, tedious task, however infinitely important when it comes to quality and lasting paint job. This prevents moisture from seeping behind the newly applied paint, additional protection. We do it right.
  • Loose trim will need to be re-nailed. While we are up there working on eaves and fascia we will re-nail any loose trim.
  • Rusted metal will need to be sanded and primed. Not only wire brushed but sanded too. You must remove all areas of rust to prevent it from reoccurring.
  • We also carefully cover all plants, bushes, concrete and asphalt surfaces. This again is just courteous and clean. We will leave your property as we found it.
  • Clean up at the end of each workday. We respect your Residents, Business or job site. We treat it as our own.


Next, we protect everything around the house.

We first lay drops clothes along the ground where the painting will be completed. We do this to make sure any paint doesn’t spill or stain anything.

We also lay drop clothes over any plants to protect them from any  over spray.

Next, we tape plastic over all the windows and lights. We do this so any over spray doesn’t go on the windows or lights.

Finally, we take off all the shutters and set them to the side. The shutters will be painted separately. We take them down so the whole body of the house is painted. If the shutters are being painted it is easier for them to be painted unattached. They can go on a stand and be sprayed with the airless sprayer.

Click here to read about painting and decorating your kitchen 


Now we begin the first coat, Primer. We use an airless sprayer that goes up to 3,000 psi. ALWAYS keep clean tips in an airless sprayer; this will help prevent any over over-spray and keep a constant amount of paint flowing out. If you do not change the tips often, old paint will get mixed in with the new paint and there will be issues with running. There could also be globs of old paint stuck in the sprayer and come out and ruin your project.

The primer takes at least 4 hours to dry before you can apply the first coat of paint. 

When using and airless sprayer there are multiple different steps to set it up, sanitizing the lines between products/colors, and shutting it down for the day. 

While the first coat dries, you can paint the shutters and anything else that is being painted (Ex: Any doors, metal awnings, or patio furniture)

Click here for help choosing colors

First Coat of paint:

After the primer is dry and four hours have passed we can paint the first coat. 

We always paint two coats on every project.

We have to wait at least 8 hours before we can apply the second coat so we will leave the first coat to dry over night.

Exterior Prepping
Exterior Prepping

Second Coat:

The second coat can be painted after 8 hours of dry time.

Detail Painting:

Most of the small detailed painting can’t be painted with the airless sprayer, so it will take some extra time and a brush or a roller.

Click here to read about getting your homes exterior ready for spring!

Clean Up:

Finally, after everything is painted and dried, we can clean things up!

*Remember, the cure time for most paint products are at least 30 days. Try not to attach or apply hard pressure on anything that has been painted within the last 30 days.*

We pick up the drop cloths and tools we used. We can take all of the blue tape and plastic off the windows and lights.

After we have picked everything up, removed the plastic and tape, and returned everything to its correct spot, we walk around the job site with the owner.


Click here to read our 3 day cabinet painting process!

Exterior Products:

For exterior there are a lot of different surfaces that you may encounter. Luckily, Sherwin-Williams paint lines are advanced enough that each product can be used on multiple products. Below show the different products that we use through our exterior process.

Super Paint:

Product Information:

  • Formulated with Advanced Resin Technology for outstanding adhesion, hide and color retention.
  • Outstanding coverage and durability. Provides a dirt-resistant and mildew-resistant coating.
  • Withstands the elements and resists frost, peeling, blistering, fading and cracking.
  • Low temperature application down to 35°F.
  • Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe® paint colors allow you the freedom to choose from 100 color options, including a limited selection of darker colors formulated to resist warping or buckling when applied to sound, stable vinyl siding.
  • Available in flat, satin, gloss and high-gloss sheens.
  • High-gloss is ideal for reducing sticking on doors, windows and trim.

As it says above, this paint is safe to paint on vinyl. It can also be used on all other materials, some of course may need to be primed first! It can withstand cold temperatures as well!


Product Information: 

  • Formulated with exclusive MoistureGuard™ Technology for excellent moisture resistance in half the time of traditional latex paints — paint later in the day with confidence and less concern about dew or impending rain.
  • A mildew resistant coating.
  • Outstanding hide, coverage, durability and dirt resistance.
  • Flows and levels for a smooth, uniform finish.
  • Low temperature application down to 35°F.
  • Can be tinted in VinylSafe® Paint Colors

This paint is critical to our exterior division here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists. This paint dries in half of the time, we use it at the beginning and end of our exterior session, just because the temperature and weather isn’t very stable here in central Illinois. Just like the super paint

Super Deck:

Product Information:

  • Protects the integrity of your wood deck for 3 years with fast, easy application.
  • Penetrates bare wood, giving properly prepared decks excellent protection from sun and premature weathering.
  • Contains agents which inhibit the growth of mildew on the surface of this paint film.
  • Technologically advanced formula weathers similarly to oil-based stains. It wears away gradually rather than peeling and blistering at the end of its lifecycle.
  • Can be applied on damp wood, so most jobs can be finished in a single day.

Super deck, as I’m sure you have guessed by the name is for wood decks.


Product Information:

  • Enhances appearance and texture for great curb appeal.
  • Penetrates for exceptional protection and resistance to peeling.
  • Thick formula for uniform finish with great coverage.
  • Excellent color retention provides a mildew resistance coating.
  • Low temperature application to 35° F

Woodscapes is great for staining wood on your home. Stains can come in a solid, semi-solid or translucent. You of course can use paint on your wood as well. 

Now, we are going to share some things to check on the inside of your home before Fall is in full swing!

Interior Maintenance:

Check for drafts: Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lit candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.

Have your furnace inspected: Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.

Winterize air conditioning: If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.

Programmable thermostat: Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.

Test home safety devices: Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.

Clean humidifiers: Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.

Click here to see what products we use all through-out your home when we paint!

Now, we are going to go over what to check on the inside of the garage.

In the Garage:

  1. Service summer power equipment: Empty fuel and clean lawnmower and trimmer. Have lawnmower blades sharpened and oil changed. Have any necessary repairs done now, so that you’re ready come spring. You will want to do this will all electric tools you have.
  2. Store summer vehicles: If you have a motorcycle, summer car, ATV or other type of seasonal vehicle, now’s a good time to have that serviced as well so you don’t have to worry about come Spring time.
  3. Get winter equipment ready: Service snow blower and make sure it is ready to go, especially if you live in an unpredictable climate. You won’t be mad once snow comes if it’s all ready, but you will be if it’s not!
  4. Test the generator: If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order. Make sure everything is as it should be and have extra fuel on hand.
  5. Buy extra gasoline: Purchase extra gas to have on hand for use in your snow blower or generator, so you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure you store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s/animals reaches.
  6. Clean the garage: Since you’re in the garage prepping for fall, you might as well purge, organize and clean it while you’re there! Let’s face it, when it’s 10 degree’s outside and you’re looking for something or didn’t clean the garage before winter, you won’t want to clean it in that weather condition.

Being prepared for the winter:

  1. Stock up on firewood and starter logs. Its best to accomplish this now before the cold weather really hits and you find yourself scrambling to stock up. You can gather your own and store it in a dry area away from the house – or call a local service to have it delivered.
  2. Check for critters. When performing the various maintenance tasks above you will have the opportunity to explore areas of your home – both inside and out – that are not often explored. Take this chance to look for signs of life from rodents and any other critter that could be coming in from the outside. Look for any broken windows or any other signs of animal activity.
  3. Communicate with your neighbors. Besides your homes own care and upkeep, you should pay attention to your neighbors yard and observe anything like overhanging trees or weeds that might fall and break off into your yard.

     4. Freeze proof  outdoor faucets yourself. When checking outdoor faucets, hoses, and irrigation systems you may need to reinforce them so they withstand the winter weather – especially if it is a faucet that is connected directly to the exterior of your home. They can easily be bought and replaced yourself in a matter of hours.

Fall decor:

Use Natural Foliage

You might not realize it but the leaves that collect in the yard provide endless opportunities for do-it-yourself projects as well as simple craft projects for anyone in the family. Not only do they make our surroundings feel cozier but they provide an infinite resource for decorating the front of the home. From garlands to wreaths, these natural autumn decorations give the perfect touch and ambiance of the season to the front of the home.

Decorate With Pillows and Rugs

You would be surprised how a few deliberately chosen accessories can give a unique look to the front of your home. Get inspired by the fall season and add a few comfortable pillows and an outdoor rug or two for a variety of fall colors. Outdoor pillows can be found fairly cheap and provide the perfect pop of oranges, deep reds, dark blues and black that will look perfect on your porch. And think about using an old rug from the basement or your garage to place on your porch as a fall decoration that will provide even more fall color to the front of the home.

Add A Scarecrow!

It might seem an obvious decoration for the fall but it is a cheap option and can also be done yourself with leaves found in the front yard. But a scarecrow creates a whimsical (or scary!) mood to any front porch display. You can build a traditional scarecrow by stuffing old clothing with straw and leaves or you can purchase a ready-to-display scarecrow in stores or online. Just a reminder: make sure your display won’t frighten younger children before investing any time or money in creating a more elaborate display. 

Take Advantage of Antiques

Not only do antiques look lovely but they can connect us to a forgotten piece of history, a lost loved one, or simply just remind us that its fall. Rummage through your garage and basement as antiques can provide a great personal touch to the front porch of a home. Make sure it is nothing valuable – anything you place out front will be exposed to the elements, etc. – but you can usually find plenty of old trinkets just looking through your house. But if you don’t have any tools getting rusty in the back of your garage or an old metal wreath in your basement then you can buy antiques rather inexpensively at a thrift store or at a swap meet in your area.

Now when decorating with natural foliage from your yard you should always be aware of possible dirt and critters that could be found in the leaves. Always check the leaves you choose to use and never bring any of the decorations inside to avoid any dirt or bugs. As always thank you for reading these decorating tips! Be sure to come back and visit the blog at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists for more fall tips and tricks, painting ideas, cabinet design, and more!

Click here for home painting tips!

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On estimates over $2,000.00 we offer FREE, NO INTEREST financing. We take 50% when we begin the project and split the remaining balance into 4 easy payments. CALL Now: 309-349-7021


Thank you for reading our blog today! We went over some basic steps and tips to help you get ready for this Fall! We also shared our entire exterior painting process here at Exterior & Interior Painting Specialists! Hopefully, we were able to solve all of your needs this coming season, for any questions please call at 309-349-7021!

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Call or Text Skylar at 309-349-7021

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