Exterior Painting - Before You Begin

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Exterior Painting - Before You Begin
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Several things should be taken into consideration before painting the exterior of your home. You need to carefully analyze the areas that need to be painted, figure out how much paint and what kind of paint will be needed, consider the type of materials that make up the exterior of your home and the condition they are in, and lastly make sure your home is ready for a professional painter to perform the job.

Prior to painting the exterior of your home, you should take the time to walk around your house and write down everything that needs to be done. You may find that certain repairs need to be made or that certain materials require special attention. Perhaps the caulking on your house is peeling and particular areas are being invested by mildew. These are areas that need your attention before you begin to paint.

Make sure you know what type of materials make up your home's exterior. Generally the exterior of a home will be made from wood, stucco, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, metal, or brick. Often times, your exterior will consist of more than just one of these materials. Before painting, take note of the condition of these materials and make any necessary repairs.

Once you have made repairs and analyzed everything that needs to be done, you should begin by power washing your home. Cleaning the house with a power wash will ensure good adhesion for the new paint and remove and loose materials and old paint. During this time, it is also a good idea to apply a prime coat to any raw wood areas.

Last but not least, you will need to purchase the right kind of paint and the proper amount of paint. Manufacturers realize that oil based paints don't work as well as they once did, and technologies have developed new latex paints to make up for what oil based paints lack. Low-sheen or semi-gloss enamels are popular these days because they are easier to keep clean. Keep in mind; paint will cover between 200-350 square feet per gallon.

When painting the exterior of your home, it is extremely important to take into consideration the environment which surrounds you. Consider trees, shrubs, and the color schemes of your neighbor's homes. Everything surrounding your home will have an affect on how well your color scheme works for you.

Also, don't forget to consider the fixed colors of your home such as the roof, stonework and brick. You want to choose a color that enhances theses fixed elements. Also, take into consideration the architecture of your home when picking out colors.

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