Removing Downspouts From Your Ann Arbor Home Before Painting

Thanks to for providing this video. 

Today we're going to go over step five in the painting process, and that is removing the downspouts and dismantling other things around and on the house that would get in the way when you're getting ready to paint, which is very soon.

Removing downspouts before painting your Ann Arbor home is very important.

Now you don't need a whole lot of equipment for this step and it doesn't usually take that long. You're going to want a screwdriver, and you're going to want the kind that will switch back and forth between Phillips and standard or flat head. You're going to want a roll of tape. This is inch and a half tape. You're going to want a sharpie, so you can write notes on the tape. Then of course you're going to want your one-inch putty knife and your five way. Probably won't need them but we feel kind of naked without them.

All right, so we're going to go outside. We're going to take down the downspouts. We're going to remove the address numbers. We're going to take down the thermometer on the side of the house. If there's any light fixtures that need to come off et cetera, et cetera. Let's go. 

Okay now there's no great mystery to taking off down spouts. Usually they'll have a screw somewhere up there that attaches them to the gutter, and then you'll have a couple of these brackets that attach it to the ... Usually to the corner board. Now if you have downspouts that need to be painted like these ... These are actually kind of strange looking downspouts. I think they're from the seventies, and they're going to be replaced eventually but not immediately so I'm going to paint them. I'm going to set them up against the saw horse in the garage and maybe do that on a rainy day.

Now if you have factory finished downspouts you're not going to paint them. You're going to want to set them far away from the house, under a hedge or something. Somewhere where you're not going to step on them as you're walking around painting, because I promise you if you put them anywhere near the house you're going to squash them.

Good chance to clean that stuff out. Now here's the most important thing to remember abour removing downspouts. Take those little screws, wrap them up in a piece of tape and then take another piece of tape and label it southwest, northwest, whichever corner of the house you took that downspout off. Then tape it all inside the downspout. That way after you bring them in the garage, maybe you move them around and paint them, you'll know where it goes and you'll know you have the screws.

It's always a little tricky to know exactly how to deal with these exterior light fixtures. Some people like to completely take them off the house, disconnect the wires. I always think that's kind of a hassle. At the end of the job you have to put them back up and connect the wires. Maybe because I'm a painter and not an electrician. Anyway, I like to remove what I can and then for the rest of it I'll just cover this with tape and paper. Now remember always take the bulb out before you put paper over this because the last thing you want is that bulb coming on and starting a fire against that paper. Again, any screws that you remove when you dismantle part of the light fixture, make sure you tape them to the fixture so that you can find them again later.

Now along with dismantling the downspouts and the light fixtures, et cetera, you want to be moving everything away from the house that might get in your way when you're trying to paint. That includes potted plants, barbecue grills, whatever. Hose holders and hoses, get them out of there. If you've got one of these downspouts that's actually cut right through the deck, usually you'll need to dismantle it down below, dismantle up above and then figure out a way to ... Sometimes you got to kind of bend it, kind of maneuver it to get it out of there. It can be a little tricky now. Don't do damage to the downspout. If you can't get it out of there just leave it in place. If it's a factor finished downspout you'll have to cover it with some tape and paper. If it's a painted downspout you'll just have to paint it in place.

Stuff like this, thermometers, bird feeders, whatever, take it off the house. Set it far away in a safe place. In the garage is a good spot.

Okay, so now you know what's involved in removing the downspouts and the light fixtures and getting all those other miscellaneous items out of the way so that they're not in the way when you're trying to paint. The next step is to drop and mask the house and that's the last step before painting. So see the video on dropping and masking on my website,, where you will find a lot of helpful information as well as a complete series of videos that I have created to help you paint your house right.