Spruce Up Your Home With a Fresh Coat of Paint Spruce Up Your Home With a Fresh Coat of Paint

There are few home improvements that can provide as big a bang for the buck, or as great a return on investment, as a fresh coat of paint. It is amazing the value a simple coat of paint can have, and painting your home is one of the simplest things you can do to improve its beauty, its charm or even its resale value.

As with any painting job, the right preparation is more than half the battle. It is important to properly prepare the surface to be painted, in order to achieve good coverage and good results. The exact preparation techniques will vary according to the surface to be painted, but in general the preparation will follow the steps listed below.

1. Replace or repair any surfaces that are damaged. This applies to all surfaces, including wood, metal, masonry and stucco.

2. Thoroughly clean and wash the surface to be painted. A garden hose can be used in a pinch, but it may be worth your while to rent a pressure washer for better results and a cleaner surface. Be sure to allow the surface to dry thoroughly before proceeding.

3. Use quality sandpaper or a paint scraper to carefully remove any chipped, cracked or blistered paint. If necessary continue scraping to the raw surface beneath. As you work, use a drop cloth to catch any loose pieces of paint and other debris.

4. Carefully patch up any nail or screw holes. Also look for any cracks or gouges, and patch them as well.

5. Use caulking at the seams and corners, above the doors and window trim, and any place where the trim and siding meet. A good rule of thumb is to apply caulking any place one material meets another kind of material, with the exception of where siding or shingles overlap between the shingles.

6. Use an epoxy filler such as Bondo to repair any major problems with the woodwork.

7. Use a stain blocking primer to cover dark stains, such as a knot in the wood, old paint or old wood stain. Mildewed areas can also be covered with this stain blocking primer. When using primer on mildew, be aware that there are special primers with additives specifically designed to treat mildew problems.

8. Carefully sand all glossy or smooth surfaces. In order for the paint to adhere properly, it will need a surface that has been slightly roughened. Be sure to remove any dust and debris after the sanding has been completed.

9. Be sure to remove or cover up light fixtures, electrical covers, plumbing outlets, house numbers, etc.

10. Remove all screens from the house before you start to paint. It is nearly impossible to remove paint stains from window screens.

11. Be sure to use a drop cloth to protect anything you do not plan to paint. Cover plants, cars, walkways and other items with a drop cloth before starting work.

12. Apply a quality primer to all raw surfaces. Be aware that paint, metal, wood and stucco require different types of primers.

13. Let the primer coat dry, then apply a minimum of two coats of quality exterior paint. When applying multiple coats of paint, be sure to allow each of the coats to dry before applying the next. Carefully follow the recommendations and instructions of the manufacturer when applying the paint. A brush should be used to paint all woodwork, and a sprayer or roller can be used for the rest.

14. Finally, allow that last coat of paint to dry, then stand back and admire your work. Painting is a job few homeowners look forward to, but the look of a freshly painted house is beautiful to behold.

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