Angie's List: Exterior Painting

Over time, our home's exterior takes a beating from weather and moisture, but an inexpensive fix could increase your curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint can do just that and it doesn't have to cost a lot.

If you're looking to save a little money on the project, there are some things you can do on your own. The consumer review website Angie's List says that the biggest mistake homeowners make when painting is not properly prepping before you paint.

"And a lot of times, consumers underestimate the true work involved in prepping properly - scrapping and getting the surface clean is really important to a lasting paint job," says Angie Hicks, creator of Angie's List.

Hicks also recommends sanding the bare area until it's smooth. You should also protect the surrounding areas from paint splatter by covering them with blankets or drop cloths. If you aren't able to do the prep work by yourself, hire someone who can do it for you. Otherwise you're investing time and money into a paint job that won't last.

If painting your whole house isn't in your budget, there are smaller changes you can tackle.

"Instead, consider painting the trim on your house, as well as the front door and the entry way. It's going to give your house a fresh look while being able to put off the big project for a little bit," says Hicks.

Angie's List says a good paint job should last 5 to 10 years.