🤔Where to start with my Exterior?🤔


Welcome to Exterior & Interior Painting Specialists blog! We know when it comes to the exterior of your home, it can feel a little overwhelming. Today we are going to go over the different types of siding that may be on your home and how you can tell if you need to replace or repaint it! I’m sure we don’t have to tell you how big the price difference can be between the two! We are also going to share our exterior process! You can call and schedule a free estimate to see what it would cost the professionals to protect your home, or if you’re a professional DIY-er, you may be able to tackle it with our process! Check out our complete table of contents below! 

Table of Contents:

  • General Tips
  • Different types of siding
  • Log Cabin
  • Wood Shake
  • Vinyl
  • Metal
  • Brick
  • Stucco
  • What needs replaced?
  • Pictures of damaged siding
  • Pressure Wash
  • Preparation
  • Primer
  • First Coat
  • Second Coat
  • Detail Painting
  • Clean Up
  • What products we use
  • Conclusion

General Tips:

  • Check for any obvious exterior rotting, cracking or gaps. Repair any of these before washing or painting your home. 
  • If you find any moisture or mold on the inside of your home, check the same spot on the exterior of your home.
  • If your heating/cooling bill keeps increasing exponentially, that may be a sign. Sometimes there is no obvious physical exterior damage.
  • With vinyl siding be sure to check from every angle to see if there is any bulging.
  • Keeping up on the basics helps your home last longer and keeps your bills lower.

Different Types of siding:


The most common profiles for wood include:

  • Board and Batten: One of the classic exteriors, board and batten or barn siding is made of wide boards joined together and a batten, which is a thin piece of wood put at the joint of two boards to cover the gap, creating a vertical design.
  • Shingles – Also known as shakes, these are thin, lightweight pieces of wood with a tapered shape.
  • Clapboards – Also known as bevel, lap, or weatherboarding, these are long, thin boards installed horizontally with a slight overlap.
  • Drop Siding – Similar to clapboards, the top of each horizontally-placed board is fitted into a groove in the lower edge of the board on top of it.
  • Vertical Boards – A series of wide boards are placed vertically with a series of narrow boards in between them.
  • Wooden Sheet Siding – Simple sheets of plywood are installed for exterior walls, commonly used on inexpensive buildings.
  • Log: Built with logs so exterior is logs stacked on top of one another in an interlocking design.

Replace or Repaint?

For most wood exteriors you can tell if you need to replace it by  just pushing on the siding with your fingers to find rotted / soft areas. If you want to look and feel a little bit more official, you could go poking around with a rot detection device (aka “awl”).

To keep up on maintenance, look for areas with missing or dried out caulking and address them.

If everything is dry and solid, it can just be repainted! The paint will help protect the wood from weather and bugs!

Log Cabins:

Cost: The cost generally ranges from $3 to $8 per sq ft.


  • It gives the home a rustic look.
  • The log exterior is long lasting if done using high quality wood and given proper maintenance.


  • The initial cost is high because it requires a professional or knowledgeable experience for a DIY and so is the cost of maintenance.
  • It requires regular treatment to prevent insect infestation and the cracks in logs need to be sealed to prevent decay.

Replace or Repaint?

When checking for log rot, your best bet is to go around the home with a rubber mallet or hammer, tapping on each log (not the chinking between logs). You’ll know when you hit a spot that has damage, as it will be soft, and will make a different sound than the hollow ringing sound of solid logs. 

If all of the logs sound normal and there is no water or bug damage, then there is no need to replace any of the logs! If the previous stain or paint is faded or chipping and peeling, all you need is a repaint!

Click here to read about our entire exterior painting process!  

Wood shake siding:

Cost: The average cost is $7,200 per 2000 sq ft. The cost depends on the location and size of the home as well.


  • Shingles gives a home a natural look that blends well with surroundings such as waterfronts and woodlands.
  • They cost less in comparison to sidings using materials such as bricks and stones, while they can last as long given proper maintenance. They need staining after every 3 years and need to be painted after every 6 years. Mildew repellents should be used if the area has a lot of moisture.


  • Shingles need regular maintenance involving caulking and painting so that they do not get damaged by weather.
  • They are affected by moisture and can grow mold and algae if not properly maintained. Insects and wind can also damage the wood; it can warp, curl, fade and crack.
  • Shingles may loosen with time.

Vinyl siding:

Cost: The cost ranges from $.65 to $2.00 per sq ft.


  • It is low maintenance and only requires washing every now and then.
  • Vinyl does not require to be installed by a professional and a DIY can manage, which reduces the cost of installation.
  • It can be customized into different designs and colors.
  • The color does not fade.


  • It has a synthetic look that may be a discouraging factor to natural enthusiasts. To reduce the plastic effect, homeowners can use vinyl with long siding so that seams do not appear between panels.
  • Vinyl degrades the environment after disposal because it is not biodegradable and ends up in landfills for a very long time unless recycled.
  • It can be damaged by extreme weather conditions such a winds and high temperatures causing cracks, rot and mold.

Replace or Repaint?

Vinyl siding is manufactured to last a very long time. Warranties for vinyl siding can range from 20-40 years depending on the thickness. Unless you have a damaged panel with cracks or holes, it won’t need replaced.

Previously, it was very difficult to successfully paint vinyl because of how versatile it is. Now there is a special product of vinyl paint that allows you to choose from hundreds of different colors to update and change the look of your home!

Click here for help choosing your colors!

Metal Siding:

Cost: The cost depends on the materials used and the cost of labor ranging from $4 to $8 per square foot.


  • Metal is long lasting and durable, a feature that makes it outlive most of the other home exterior materials. It does not rot or mold due to water damage though some types of metal may rust if not well finished and maintained.
  • It retains color without fading and it can be painted.
  • It is not prone to pest attack, does not warp or buckle.
  • Metal is fire resistant.
  • It keeps the home cool during summer by reflecting sunlight.


  • Some of the metals such as weathering steel and copper may change due to exposure to weather.
  • Aluminum is soft and may dent if hit by rocks or hail while it may also fade.
  • Steel is heavy and may take time to install thereby increasing the cost.
  • It does not retain warmth in winter and so it increases heating bills.
  • Metal needs to be repainted after a few years when the paint wears off.

Replace or Repaint?

More times than not, you won’t need to replace your metal siding, it will need to be routinely painted to prevent any rust. If it has already rusted through and created a hole, then you will need to replace that area. 

Brick Siding:

Cost: Full brick cost ranges from $6 to $10 per square foot but it can go up to $12 while a brick veneer can range from $4 to $6. The cost of installation is not incorporated which can be high, especially for full brick exterior because it requires specialized skills.


  • A brick exterior does not need a lot of maintenance and can do with occasional washing.
  • The exterior can last even more than 100 years with proper maintenance.


  • The cost of materials and installation are high. One of the cost contributors is the labor-intensive process of installation. In this case, you may consider a brick veneer.

Replace or Repaint:

You will only need to replace any bricks in your brick home if they are damaged, cracked or crumbling. Painting your brick also is not necessary, but it will help protect it. Painting your bricks also help you decorate and make your home feel and look more like yours!

Stucco Siding:

Cost: $6 to $9 per sq ft


  • It is long lasting if there is proper installation and maintenance.
  • Due to the casing it provides, stucco insulates the home, reducing the need for cooling or heating thereby saving energy costs.
  • It is resistant to fire and so there is no need to add fire retardants.


  • Stucco does not do well in areas with excess moisture and therefore not suitable for use in humid areas.
  • It is expensive to install with a high initial cost.

Replace or Repaint?

If your stucco is stained or discolored, it could be a sign of trouble. Moisture and leakage causes this discoloration and if you can see visible stains, there could be mold or water damage lurking below the surface. Pay particular attention to the edges and corners of windows and doors and to the areas directly below the roof line as you look for damage. If there is no damage, you can just repaint it. The paint will help protect it, and let you personalize your home! 

Now that we have gone over whether or not you need to replace your siding, we are going to share our exterior process what we are painting or staining the exterior of someones home or outdoor surface.

General Tips:

  • Before doing anything to your home or garage, check for any obvious exterior rotting, cracking or gaps.
  • If you find any moisture or mold on the inside of your home, check the same spot on the exterior of your home.
  • If your heating/cooling bill keeps increasing exponentially, that may be a sign there is a gap. Sometimes there is no obvious physical exterior damage to be seen, only felt or heard.
  • With vinyl siding be sure to check from every angle to see if there is any bulging. This could mean it is warped or there could even be a wasp/bee nest!

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. This is also the time to make sure the siding is in good condition and doesn’t have any holes or cracks that need filled, and nothing is rotted or ruined in any way. Check all of the window puddy and all of the caulk.

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

Other things to watch for:

  • 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 we are going to 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 it’s not supposed to.

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

Now, we tape plastic over all the windows and lights. We do this so any over spray doesn’t go on the windows or lights. We also put it over any doors that aren’t being painted.

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 

Above is a picture of 6 windows taped up


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-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. 

Make sure to put a thin, even amount of primer so it doesn’t make the paint sag and to also ensure it actually adheres. 

Any surface that is bare will need to be primed. If you are staining the wood you do not want to prime it! 

Come back next week to get the rest of the details when painting! We will help you with the best tips! 

First Coat of paint:

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

We always paint two coats on every project that we do, this ensures an equal amount is put everywhere on the home and it has a nice look at the end.

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.

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

Exterior Prepping
Exterior Prepping

Second Coat:

The second coat can be painted after 8 hours of dry time. It’s best to cut in the edges first then do the main spraying or rolling on the second coat. If you cut in last the lines may show through once it is all dry.

Click here to read about our kitchen process  

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. Be careful in small areas with a brush not to get it on anything else! 

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 That we use:

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. 

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. 


Thank you for reading our blog here at Exterior & Interior Painting Specialists! Today we went over different types of siding, how to know if it needs to be replaced or if you can go ahead and protect the surface that is already there, and our multi-step process when it comes to painting the exterior of your home! We went over the different ways to see the damage in your siding! We also went over all of the Sherwin-Williams products we use! We hope you enjoyed the blog! If you have any questions, are curious about other processes, or would like to set up a free estimate, fill out the form below!

Click here for help choosing colors!

For a FREE estimate, please fill out the form below

Call or Text 309-363-3449

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