5 Tips to Know Before Painting Your House

Photo: Paul Warchol

Painting the exterior of your home is a huge undertaking. The most common dilemma is choosing the right colors. However, there are other important issues to consider. Should you try your hand at a brush? What do you need to know about proper preparation or is a primer really necessary? Understanding the pros and cons will pave the way to a successful exterior paint job. We asked Carl Minchew, Vice President, Color Innovation and Design at Benjamin Moore, and Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, for their top tips. Bottom line: painting is the most cost effective way to add appeal to your home and protect the exterior. So it’s worth getting it right.

Start with a clean board.Surface preparation is key to a successful painting project. “Use putty and sealant to level out any imperfections so that they are smooth and free of cracks. You need to dull shiny or shiny areas by lightly sanding, ”says Minchew. “A tool like a paint scraper or pressure washer removes contaminants like oil, mold, or rust,” adds Wadden.

Identify your pallet.Take into account the materials of your home such as roofs, brick, stone, or stucco. Earthy tones complement stone materials, while cooler hues go well with wooden surfaces. “Consider playing architectural details. A house with vertical and horizontal cladding can be painted in two shades, ”says Wadden. “Or for a neutral house, coat doors, panels and window posts with bold colors.” Think about your surroundings, Minchew adds, “Are you in a wooded area or outdoors? What did the neighbors do? “

Choose the right color.First, run a test patch. Prime and paint a small inconspicuous area to see if there are adhesion or compatibility issues. “Priming is important. It sticks well to the paint and prevents it from peeling. It also gives the color its truest color in the smallest amount of layers, ”notes Wadden. “If this is a home improvement job, invest in premium paint and painting tools,” says Minchew. “The two go hand in hand and will help make the job last longer.”

Check the weather forecast.The weather affects how well the paint adheres to the surface. Minchew and Wadden agree that you shouldn’t paint your house if the temperature is below 50 degrees or if it’s foggy outside. Also reschedule if it just rained or if showers are in the forecast.

Perform annual maintenance.To extend the life between repaints, both experts agree that washing the house carefully – or washing with force – and removing dust and cobwebs at least once a year will lighten the appearance.

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