How to Pressure Wash a House Before Painting It


A pressure washer comes with four color-coded spray tips, each for spraying specific surfaces. The red tip is for spraying concrete and is best used to spray the house's concrete foundation. This tip sprays a direct stream of water. The yellow tip is for heavy-duty cleaning and stripping. This tip is best used if the house is covered with peeling and flaking paint. The green and white tips are for general cleaning and have the widest spray fans of the four tips. A combination of all four tips might be used, depending on the condition of the home you're pressure washing.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Water source
  • Pressure wash
  • Pressure washer hose
  • Pressure washer spray gun
  • Red, yellow, green and white spray tips
  • Telescoping wand (optional)
  • Boom lift with basket (optional)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Pair of waterproof shoes
  • Attach one end of a garden hose to a water source and the other end to the pressure washer water house coupling. Attach the pressure washer hose to the pressure washer and then to the pressure washer gun. These are attached by locking couplers.

  • Close all windows, vents and doors on the house. Identify problem ares where you feel the pressure washer will do more damage than good and then make a mental note to avoid them. These areas may include electrical outlets, shingles, hardware, light fixtures and planters.

  • Stick the green tip in the end of the pressure washing gun. Turn on the water to garden hose.

  • Plug the pressure washer into an electrical outlet if it's electric or pull-start the pressure washer if it's gas powered. Flip the pressure washer's ON/OFF switch to the ON position.

  • Stand six feet back from the house's surface and pull the trigger. Walk toward the surface to be sprayed until you notice the pressure washer is doing its job. If you're not getting the results you desire then switch to the yellow tip, but stand back from the surface at least 6 feet before pulling the trigger. Walk toward the surface again until the washer achieves the cleaning effect you desire.

  • Angle the stream of water downward while spraying the house's many surfaces. Spray back and forth around the house's walls, trim work, eaves, soffits, doors, gutters and foundation. Use a telescoping wand to reach the high areas of the home. The white tip can be used to rinse windows. Work from top to bottom so that the dirt and debris is always traveling down the house.

Tips & Warnings

  • A 1,000 to 2,000 PSI pressure washer is recommended for vinyl and wood siding.
  • A 1,500 to 2,500 PSI pressure washer is recommended for stucco.
  • A 500 to 1,200 PSI pressure washer is recommended for brick.
  • Rent a boom lift with a basket if you're pressure washing extremely tall houses.
  • Wear waterproof pants, waterproof jacket, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a pair of waterproof shoes to protect your body from getting wet.
  • Never use a pressure washer on a ladder as the recoil can cause you to lose your balance and fall.
  • Pressure washing windows can break the glass and void manufacturer warranties.
  • Never spray upward into siding as water can penetrate beneath the siding and cause water damage and warping to siding and underlayment.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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