ARA Nothing protects a home's exterior like a new coat of paint. Why then do so many of us put off this task? What seems complicated can be easy with a little planning and the right tools.
"Keeping the outside of your home looking clean and new is the best way to increase curb appeal as well as your own enjoyment outdoors," says Tom Gessner, product manager for Wagner Spray Tech, an industry leader in painting technology. "Don't be intimidated; plan ahead and do-it-yourselfers will be painting like pros in no time."
Keep these steps in mind while painting your house:
Remove peeling paint and dirt by sanding, scraping or pressure washing the surface. Patch small cracks and seams with caulk and add primer to any bare wood. Remove shutters and cover windows, doors, the ground around the house, bushes, flowers, trees, deck etc.
When selecting primer, choose a breathable oil primer to allow moisture buildup from inside the house to escape.
Choose a color that will compliment the existing features in your yard such as the roof, doors, railings, brick or other surfaces that will not be painted.
Dark colors require more maintenance because they fade quicker and are more difficult to touch up. Remember that light colors will make objects seem larger while dark colors will make them seem smaller, but can be used to draw attention to detail.
In terms of sheen, glossy surfaces are easier to clean, however, the glossier the surface, the more likely it is to show imperfections.
Don't forget to test your color in a small area before you paint -- colors will almost always look different on the surface than what you imagine.
Cover the primer with two coats of 100 percent acrylic latex paint to resist mildew and hold color best. Avoid painting if rain or very high humidity is predicted within 24 hours and be sure to finish early enough for the surface to dry before evening dew sets in.
Use a paint sprayer to get the job done in a few easy strokes. Spraying paint provides a high quality finish and saves a great deal of time. You might want try the Wagner Paint Crew, a piston pump sprayer with the performance of a contractor sprayer that is designed for the homeowner. The Paint Crew uses standard reversible spray tips and comes complete with a 25-foot hose, tip and metal spray gun, making the job fast and easy.
Practice on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard before you spray to test your spray pattern. Start painting from top to bottom in back and forth or up and down motions that are slightly overlapping.
Keep your arm moving at a constant speed and keep the sprayer at a constant distance from the surface -- between 10 and 14 inches is recommended. Be sure to stop the flow of paint at the end of each stroke before moving to the next stroke -- this will help you avoid an uneven finish.
If you are going to be painting a surface with detail, spray the base (or dominant) coat and paint the details with a brush.
Allow proper time to dry and enjoy a home that is protected from winter's harsh elements.