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Exterior Painting

Painting the outside of your home can be an expensive and messy task, but it you apply some of these tips to your painting project the job can be done more efficiently.

The first thing you'll need to do is figure how much paint you will need. You can measure the size of your house by wrapping twine around it and then measuring the twine. After that measure the height of your house, including the gables. Then multiply the length of the house by its height. Keep in ming that corners and bumpy surfaces can use almost twice as much paint than flat surfaces.

Now you'll need to choose what type of paint works best for you. There are several types of exterior paints, but what they all have in common is that they contain more resin for moisture resistance and durability, as well as containing more pigment. There are two types of exterior paints to choose from, latex and alkyd. Latex paints are good because they dry easily and is a long lasting paint. Alkyd paint or chalking paint is best for hot dry areas. They come in a variety of water thinned or solvent thinned mixtures called flat, gloss, and semi gloss. Also keep in mind that you should always use the same paint that was used before. (For example paint alkyd paint over alkyd paint.)

Next you should commence preparing the surface. First protect perimeter of your home by covering plants and other items that could be damaged during painting.

Then scrape and clean off dirt and debris using a metal scraper and bleach mixture, or power wash. Besides scraping there is the option of sanding and melting. When sanding use sandpaper and rub off loose paint and other debris as needed. In order to do melting you'll need an electric paint scraper, use only for especially tough paint deposits, which basically heats up the tough to remove paint and plucks it off gently. You could also use paint removers, however this method is not recommended because not only is it expensive, but it can get all over the place and possible remove good paint.

After cleaning off the old paint apply fresh caulk where it is needed.

Apply prime anywhere there is bare wood for surface prepping. You may even want to consider applying a waterproof additive to increase paint performance. For example acquiring a waterproof primer you can shield latex paint from the rain, prevent paint from cracking under extreme freezing and heating, and keep the paint looking new.

Now that you are ready to paint the house here are a few tips to remember:

When painting siding you should paint perpendicular to the wood grain to be sure that the entire siding is painted.

When painting the exterior trim the trim should be a different color than the siding, but a color that complements the siding color.

When painting windows use masking tape to tape off the glass, and then using a small trim brush work inside out by first painting the windows and then painting the frame of the window.

When painting shutters the easiest way is to spray the paint, however working with a paint brush wil do as well; a 2 inch brush is preferred.

When you finish painting it's time to clean up. Cleaning up should begin at the start of your painting project by minimizing the amount of mess created by using drop clothes and taping off what you don't want to get painted. Canvas drop cloths are favored over plastic because of the durability. Paint shields are also good from preventing mess when painting around glass or woodwork, because it eliminates the hassle of having to remove paper and masking tape.

During your painting project you may see that there are some spills and spatter left over, the best thing to do is to clean up the mess immediately with a wet rag.

At the end of your painting project and there are some missed spots, say on a window, use a razor blade scraper and gently scrape away. If there are some spots on wood take a damp cloth, wrap it around the blade of the putty knife, scrape off paint gently, then clean with warm water and soap. You should avoid using solvent so to avoid ruining the finish.

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