Exterior Home Makeover Tips
Hosts Amanda Rosseter and Pat Simpson demonstrate how painting the shutters, door, and trim can give your entire home a facelift in just one weekend.
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The main points to consider before taking on an exterior painting project are the following:
1. paint selection
3. surface preparation
4. weather and temperature condition
6. painting technique
- There are two main types of paints; oil and latex based paints.
- According to Rea, latex paint is more user friendly because it's easy to clean up with soap and water, and it's more durable. The flexibility of latex paint allows it to hold up better against the changing conditions of weather. Latex paint is also colorfast, meaning it retains its original color longer than oil based paint.
- Paints range in costs depending of the level of quality. Starting at around $6.99 to $7.99 a gallon, inexpensive paint options may save you a few dollars in the beginning, but chances are you will have to apply additional coats costing more money in the long run. The $15 to $20 a gallon paints should last around 10 to 15 years, providing the best product quality for your money.
- Choosing a paint color can feel overwhelming because of the endless options. Experts suggest searching your surroundings for colors that move you. Another idea is to drive through your neighborhood and take note of any color combinations that you dislike or enjoy.
- When painting select portions of your house, choose color groupings that compliment the overall color of the exterior. For example, the homeowners of this light peach, stucco house chose shades of blue-green for a vibrant contrast.
- Always prepare the surface of your house for painting by removing the dirt build up and mildew spots. Make sure to clean areas like window frames and doorways that collect dirt. Use a pressure washer to clean those hard to reach spots like under the eaves as well as the overall exterior surface. Also, wash in between the slats of the shutters.
- The exterior needs to be clean, dull and dry before painting.
- Cover any landscaping that borders the house with plastic to protect it from paint spills.
- As you clean, look for any areas of peeling paint. If you find peeling paint, apply an oil based primer to seal the surface before painting.
Weather and Temperature Condition
- Consider the time of day and temperature before starting your project.
- The best temperature for painting outdoors is between 70 to 85 degrees. Avoid painting in temperatures below 55 degrees.
- Follow the movement of the sun by painting on the shaded portions of the house. Painting in the direct sunlight can lead to paint heat blisters.
- Low humidity is also an ideal painting condition. Choose a time when no rain is predicted for about 12 to 24 hours after application.
- If you spend the extra money for the best quality paints, spend the extra money for the best applicators, too.
- Choose brushes that feature a blend of nylon and polyester for latex paints.
- Natural bristle bushes like hog's hair should be used with oil paints.
- Check to make sure your ladder and scaffolding system is in good order if you have to paint any high areas.
- Hold the paint brush with your fingers along the ferrule. This technique allows the paint to flow more evenly. Use the handle of the brush for balance, and operate your wrist to keep the coats even.
- Practice applying the paint with the proper brush strokes on scrap wood before starting on your home.
- Make sure to read the manufacturer's directions carefully before starting your project because many paints differ in procedure.
- Start painting at the top of an area, and work your way down from there.
- Try to keep a "wet edge" by avoiding the temptation to back brush over previously painted areas. Remember that paints are designed to cover between 400 to 450 square feet per gallon, so never back brush into a drying surface.
- Apply an oil based primer coat to a metal door for extra protection, especially if there is no storm door. Exterior doors often take the brunt of the weather conditions; so once the primer has dried completely for about 24 to 48 hours, apply two coats of latex paint.
- The easiest way to paint shutters is to remove them from the house, and apply spray paint. If the shutters are nailed to the house, paint them by hand using a 2" angled brush.
- If the surface you're painting is plastic or vinyl, choose lighter colors. Dark colors absorb heat and can cause synthetic materials to warp under warm conditions.
- Remember that anytime you're covering white with a dark color, you need two coats of the darker color to make a true even hue.
A family gets help with an exterior home makeover and decorating for the Christmas season.