A fresh paint job on the outside makes your house look nicer and last longer. Follow these quick tips to get a nice, even look.
Few home-maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow, and ice. And a nice paint job will enhance the curb appeal and resale value of your home, too.
You want to repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister, and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive—and expensive— job. Below are seven exterior painting tips every homeowner should know, whether you’re planning to paint the house yourself or hire a pro.
There are two basic types of exterior paint: water-based latex and oil-based alkyd. Latex cleans up with soap and water, dries quickly, has low odor, and remains flexible longer so it’s less likely to crack. The best quality latex paints contain 100 percent acrylic resins.
Alkyd paints require mineral spirits (paint thinner) for cleanup as opposed to just soap and water. But many professional painters prefer alkyd paint because it’s durable, stain-resistant, flows very smoothly, and dries with fewer brush marks. But alkyds have a strong solvent smell and dry very slowly.
The one you choose is up to you. Just remember that if you’re applying latex paint over an existing alkyd paint, you must first prime the surface to ensure the new topcoat will adhere to the old oil-based paint.
There’s no absolute formula for picking the best paint for your home. Most paint manufacturers offer a wide variety of paints ranging from good to better to best. As a general rule, budget how much you want to spend on the project and then buy the best paint you can reasonably afford, because cost is an excellent indication of quality. Expensive paints contain more pigments than bargain paints, so they produce a thicker, longer-lasting, more protective coating.
Read the Label
Few homeowners bother reading the tiny print on the paint can label, but they should. There’s a wealth of information printed right on the can that can help you produce a beautiful paint job. Pay particular attention to the instructions about prepping the surface and outdoor air temperature. Most paints shouldn’t be applied when the temperature is 50 degrees F or colder. But some paints are specially formulated for application when the temperature is as low as 35. Just take the time to read the label before you start painting and before the label becomes smeared with paint and impossible to decipher.