Yes, you could indeed contract out your house painting job; exterior house painting is a major undertaking. But if you really want to be a do-it-yourselfer in your own home, and feel pride in a job you did well, here are some ideas to consider as you begin:
No matter what size the painting job - whether it's the entire house, a weathered edge of it, the place that gets the most sun or exposure, that one bare patch your wife keeps pointing out to you, the new porch you just installed, the storage shed - the process of exterior house painting is the same, and the house painting preparation ideas we are passing on here are time honored.
First, find the best painting time. Usually the best time for painting is late spring or early autumn. It should obviously be done on a dry, non-rainy day without too much sun, and moderate temperatures, since too much cold (below 40 degrees) and too much heat (direct sunlight) can ruin the job before it's even finished.
Next, decide on the paint. It should be latex primer and latex paint, particularly if your previous coat of paint is peeling, or if you live in an atmosphere with a good deal humidity. If the original house painters, for example, painted on wood that was fairly new and still retained a good deal of moisture, the resulting peeling was that moisture forcing its way out.
By the same token, you may have moisture within your house that exhaust fans, particularly in bathrooms and showers, cannot deal with adequately. Latex primer and paint are called for in that instance as well, because latex allows some moisture to pass through the paint and evaporate without undue harm to the painted surface. No matter what the paint, it should be non-tacky and dry quickly.
Next, thoroughly clean and prep the surface. By "prep" we mean to scrape off rough surface particles and paint flakes with a stiff wire brush. Then sand the entire area until smooth. Don’t skimp on this step - many a paint job looks terrible because this step was skipped over. If mildew is present, use chlorine bleach first.
If the job is too tough for your hands, use an electric orbital sander - it powers off old paint and surface irregularities in no time.
Now apply primer to the surfaces you’re painting, especially if there is wood or metal exposed. For latex paint, the primer is latex; for solvent-thinning paint, solvent-based primer. Use metal primer only for metals of course.
Now paint. Use a pre-mixed paint so that if you run out, more is readily available from your dealer. Work in the shade if possible; finish entire surfaces in one day if you can. As far as painting trim, dormers, window sills - well, that’s a whole other article. Just remember that painting trim means you’re nearly done.
Don't neglect any of these tasks, and the job should go well for you. And your house painting will give your home a winter and summer coat that will last for many years.