Please wait...

Curb Appeal: First Impressions

Curb Appeal: First Impressions

Curb Appeal: First Impressions

© Howard Hong ID 1306739 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Curb Appeal is an ongoing series to help buyers and sellers learn more about how to make the exterior of their property more marketable.

As the saying goes, first impressions last. This is true in all cases, whether on the first date, the test drive, the job interview: the first impression is usually key to how things develop in the long run. This is the same case in the real estate market.

As a franchise manager for a student painting company the past summer, I was able to paint all sorts of houses in the Brampton area. It ranged from the old 1940’s houses in downtown Brampton to the newly built townhomes “popping-up” in the northern part of the city.

One thing all these houses had in common was the desperate need of an exterior paint job. Either over time paint started to chip and peel, or because of lack of character due to generic builder colours, these houses required my services.

Image by: B&M Photography

One key thing to note: anything can be painted. From the wooded trim, to aluminum garage doors, to even vinyl siding, it can be livened up and improved by a fresh coat of paint. The important thing is to use the right product. From the primer to the finish coat, there are several choices that you will need to make to ensure that you get the most out of the paint. Luckily, paint store staff are very willing to answer any questions and make suggestions as long as you tell them the specifics of your project.
The most important thing in specifically exterior painting is not necessarily the paint product but surface preparation. House exteriors, especially here in North America, take brutal punishments over the course of the seasons. Here are the main steps that you should be doing BEFORE painting:

1.     Scrape all the peeling and chipping paint in the surface – as obviously painting over these will still just chip or peel off

2.     Sand the surface with the right grit sand paper – to ensure that the remaining paint (if there are any) is smooth enough to look seamless when painted over

3.     Wipe and dust off any residue in the surface – as these will cause bumps and inconsistencies to the surface

4.     Most importantly, PRIME the surface with the right primer – as most paints only stick to primer or paint, so painting directly to unpainted or unprimed surfaces will not last
After preparing the surface, you are now ready to start painting. A good, but most often underrated, investment when painting is a high quality paintbrush. These usually are more costly but are reusable and discount sales are a great time to purchase them. A good paintbrush makes application easy and when the paint dries, strokes are invisible.
Of course in larger areas, you always have the option of using a roller as well. Many people do not know that there are different size rollers to choose from for more specific areas. But before you get started painting, you have to choose your paint colours.
A way of helping your home stand out is by choosing colours that suit well with your neighborhood. For example, in a metropolitan area, you wouldn’t want to choose to paint your house gray. At the same time, use accent colours for window trims and door frames to have that “pop”. Some paint stores even have templates that have suggestions on which colour to choose based on your siding colour or material.
Remember, your best resource is the staff in the paint store, as they generally know what’s best. With the ever-changing products out there, they are able to suggest which product is appropriate – just remember to give them all the information they need.
All in all, painting is a straightforward way of improving your curb appeal. You do not really need any technical skills but rather a weekend or two, and a steady hand. Or like others who do not have the time, just hire somebody to do it. Either way, it is definitely worth the investment.
If you are a home seller looking for a good Real Estate Agent to work with that is educated, experienced and tech-savvy, let us help you. You can click here to Search for one and if you don’t find someone in your area, just send an email to and we will search someone out for you – absolutely free.
For more articles on preparing your home for sale go to our page on home staging and curb appeal here.

Leave a Reply