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OVERVIEW

 

Nothing gives your home a fresh new look quite like painting. You can change the color, touch up the appearance, and protect your home from the elements. Painting also adds value to your home, and can make a great first impression -- what Realtors call "curb appeal" -- if you're planning to sell.

The best news is, painting is not a difficult project for a family to tackle. With a bit of color sense and some "elbow grease" you can get great-looking results that will last for years to come. Take a few minutes to read through the steps that follow. They'll save you time, money and frustration as you paint your exterior siding.

 

 

Skill Level & Time to Complete

  This project depends on the size of the house, the number of people and how many coats you apply. Two-story houses obviously take longer than single-story. For one coat on a typical ranch house, consider the following estimates as a starting point. Second coats generally take less time to apply.
  • Beginner - 16 to 20 hours 
  • Intermediate - 14 to 16 hours
  • Advanced - 12 to 14 hours
  - Oil-based paints contain higher levels of solvents, or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Check with your paint store or local government to see whether there are restrictions on using oil-based paints in your area. Avoid breathing oil-based paint fumes.
  - Many of the steps that follow may require a ladder. Use care, and be aware of where you are at all times. Follow all precautions on the ladder's warning labels.
  - Always match latex primer with latex topcoat, and oil-based primer with oil-based topcoat. It is possible to apply fresh latex topcoat over old oil-based topcoat if you sand the surface first, or use a dulling chemical.
  - When painting vinyl, always choose the same color or a lighter color. For aluminum, you can choose a slightly darker color if desired, but don't make dramatic changes to dark colors.
  - For vinyl siding, always use a 100% acrylic latex primer and topcoat; and for aluminum siding, always use an oil/alkyd primer and 100% acrylic latex topcoat.
  - You must apply a coat of primer to aluminum or vinyl siding before the topcoat(s). Using primer helps the topcoat stick and last much longer.
  - Always apply a coat of primer to areas of bare wood; this includes new construction, repaired areas, or areas where you've removed the paint. Using primer helps the topcoat stick better and last much longer.
  - Use eggshell or satin sheen paint for gables and siding; use semi-gloss or gloss paint for windows, trim and doors.
  - Never paint when it's raining. Let the house dry for 2-3 days if it has rained recently.
  - Don't paint in the direct sun; paint west and south sides in the morning, and east and north sides in the afternoon. This will be more comfortable, and prevent the paint from drying too quickly.
  - Nylon and polyester bristle brushes work better with latex paints. Natural bristles work better with oil-based. Flick loose bristles out of a new brush before you begin painting with it. You can size the brush to match the width of the siding, but remember: the larger the brush, the more strength it takes to use it, and the more tired you'll be as the project progresses.
  - Once you've calculated how much paint you'll need, you'll save money if you can buy paint in a 5-gallon pail rather than 1-gallon cans. Ask for some empty paint cans to pour the paint into when painting.
  - Always wait the number of hours recommended by the paint manufacturer before applying a second coat of paint. As a general rule-of-thumb, eight hours (or overnight) gives the first coat time to dry. Two layers of topcoat are usually preferred over one for optimum protection.



SHOPPING LIST


Materials List
   Exterior house paint
 
Tools List
   Stir sticks

 

1. You'll save time and work if you paint your house in the following order: 1) gables, 2) main siding, 3) windows, 4) trim, 5) doors. Always paint from the top down.
2. Make sure the paint is well stirred. Re-stir the paint periodically to keep it mixed.
3. Dip your brush in the paint 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the bristles. Wipe the underside gently on the rim of the paint can to minimize drips. Hold the brush bristle-end up as you move it toward the siding.
4. You might find it easier if you start on the right side if you're right-handed, and on the left side if you're left-handed.

First, paint the siding next to corner trim, window trim or door trim. Paint out about 2-3 inches from the edge.

5. Next, paint under the edge of clapboard siding on 3-4 boards, as far as you can safely reach. The idea is to do the more difficult areas first and "clear the way" to stroke paint out on the flat surfaces of the siding.

 

6. For wood shingles, paint around the perimeter or edge of several shingles, working the paint into seams and crevices.
7. Now, paint the flat surface of the siding. Use back-and-forth strokes to cover smoothly. Use enough hand pressure to "feather" or spread the paint out for maximum coverage. Apply a fresh brush full of paint to an unpainted area, and work back into painted areas. Repeat steps 4-7 as you work your way around the entire house.
8. Always apply paint in the direction of the siding. Stroke side-to-side on horizontal siding, up-and-down on vertical siding, and at a slant for angle-mounted siding. Wipe up any drips before they have time to dry.
9. Clean your brushes thoroughly at the end of each workday. Use soap and water for latex paint; oil-based paint requires turpentine or paint thinner for clean up. Dispose of used turpentine or paint thinner properly.
10. Once you've finished with the siding, you can go on to paint your windows, trim and doors.

Welcome to your "new" home!

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