7 Tips for Repainting Your House

Summer is the perfect time to repaint your home's exterior. These seven steps will make your work easier, safer, and more likely to produce pride-inspiring results.

Are you ready to do it yourself?
Only a moderate level of skill and a few basic tools are required for painting. Doing the work yourself can usually save more than half the cost of the job. But should you do the work yourself? That depends upon a number of factors, including your experience, fitness, available time, and the difficulty of working on your home's exterior walls. For help making this decision, see
Should You Do It Yourself?

Buy quality paint
Top-notch paint is critical to a long-lasting paint job--ood paint will weather the years durably. It also can make your work far easier: Quality paint covers the walls more quickly and easily and is easier to maintain. Just think about the effort and expense of painting your house--you don't want to have to do that again in four or five years. For help choosing the right paint, buy the Hometips Paint Update: What Are Your Options? It'll save you considerable headaches and expense later.

Repair and prepare
Guarantee a lasting paint job by starting with properly prepared surfaces. First, repair damaged areas with the advice in Siding. Also see Exterior paint, which discusses such common problems as peeling, blistering, and wrinkling, as well as proper preparation methods. Preparation can be difficult, tiring work and must be done carefully so as not to gouge the wood. Always protect yourself by wearing a dust mask, gloves, and goggles. And be sure to exercise ladder safety.

Mask off
Avoid accidental painting of roofing and other surfaces by masking with plastic sheeting and 3-inch masking tape. Use drop cloths to protect walkways, shrubs, and other surfaces from dripping paint. Paint the siding first, and then the trim; after the siding is painted and has dried, mask the siding around the trim. Be sure to remove the masking tape immediately after painting, before it forms a stubborn bond.

Paint surfaces from the top down
Begin with the gutters, fascia, and eaves, and work your way down the main surfaces, painting in 3- to 4-foot-square sections. Use a high-quality 4-inch brush. If your home has lap siding, first draw the bristles along the bottom edges of 3 or 4 boards, then paint the surfaces in line with the boards. Regularly check for and correct drips and streaks; they are much more difficult to clear up after the paint dries.

Paint trim in proper order
Use a 2-inch angled trim brush to paint trim, always working in line with the wood's grain. With a window, begin with muntins, and then paint stiles, rails, the head casing, side casings, and the sill. (See Window frames for definitions.) For doors, it may be easiest to remove it and paint it on sawhorses. Otherwise just paint it in place, over a drop cloth. Start with inset panels, panel moldings and recesses, horizontal rails, then vertical stiles and mullion. (See Doors for definitions.) When painting along glass, don't bother to mask it if you have a steady hand. Just let the paint lap onto the glass by about 1/16 inch, and then remove the wet paint from the glass with a rag wrapped around the end of a putty knife. Use a razor blade to remove any residual paint after it dries. See more about
Painting trim.

Clean up properly
Use soap and water for latex paints or paint thinner for alkyd paints to thoroughly clean your brushes and gear right after painting. Don't pour paint thinner or excess paint down the drain or onto the ground--this is a serious source of ground water pollution. Keep it in an old sealed paint can and dispose of it at a toxic waste collection site.

--Don Vandervort

Source: hometips.com