A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a wood-sided house. But its what's underneath the paint that can really count. Doing the right prep work will make your painting efforts last longer and look better. The prep work will help make your paint job a success and much easier to accomplish. And taking the time to do it will pay off in the end. The five steps to the painting prep process include: scraping, cleaning, patching, masking and priming.