Few things make an old house look better than a fresh paint job. Plus, painting your house has the added benefits of increasing your home’s curb appeal and resale value as well as helping it hold up to the elements better and last longer overall.

Below are seven quick tips on how to paint a house that will help just about anyone get that nice, even look when tackling the job themselves.

1. Repaint When You Notice Wear

It is generally pretty easy to tell when your house could use a new paint job. Your first clue is when the paint starts to crack, blister, or peel. Begin painting as quickly as you can after noticing these signs. Waiting for too long will lead to a much more expensive project.

2. Know Your Options

The two primary types of paint for a home’s exterior are water-based latex paint and oil-based alkyd paint. Both types of paint have their pros and cons.

Latex House Paint: This type of paint dries quickly, remains flexible longer (reducing the chance that it will crack), and has a low odor. It also cleans up easily with soap and water.

Alkyd House Paint: This type of paint is durable, stain-resistant, and flows very smoothly. It also dries with fewer brush strokes although it takes a long time to dry. It has a strong solvent smell and requires paint thinner for cleanup. Though alkyd is generally the top choice for professional painters, latex is often the better option for DIY projects.

3. Understand Paint Prices

Almost every paint manufacturer offers a range of paints from good to better to best with prices that reflect this. A good rule of thumb for selecting the right paint it to budget your project and then pick the absolute best paint you can afford. Cost is usually an excellent indication of the quality of exterior house paint.

4. Read the Label

Manufacturers put a label on their paint for a reason (even though most people tend not to read it). The label actually includes a wealth of information that can help you produce a more beautiful home paint job. Information includes instructions on proper preparation of the painting surface and outdoor air temperature.

5. Prepare the Surface

A beautiful paint job is all about prep work. Get the outside of your home ready for its new layer of paint by cleaning off all the dirt, grime, chalky residue, and mildew it has accumulated. A pressure washer is an easy way to do this but hand scrubbing is also a good, if time consuming, option.

6. Paintbrush or Roller?

There is no reason to choose between a paintbrush and a roller – your best bet is to use them both! Employing both tools is the fastest and most effective way to paint your entire house. The brush is great for narrow surfaces and edges while the roller is best for large and long surfaces.

7. Work Top Down

A top-down painting method if your best bet for a beautiful home paint job. Start painting from the top and work your way to the bottom. Always try to brush from one wet surface to another wet surface to avoid lap marks.

Painting the outside of your house yourself isn’t a walk in the park but it doesn’t have to be a hellish experience either. The top seven tips discussed above will teach you how to paint your house like a pro and produce a beautiful final project.