Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Tips for Painting Home Exteriors

How many of you have heard of Zillow?  I discovered this website a few years ago when we were house hunting, and I have been a regular reader ever since.  One of my favorite parts of the site is the "Zestimate"- where they give an estimate of the home's actual value.  Another feature this nosy neighbor likes is that you can go back and look at the home even after it sells, and it will tell you what it sold for!  So, if you have ever wondered how much a house down the street sells for, this is the perfect website for you! Zillow sends me a weekly newsletter of the homes in my neighborhood for sale, and I always love to sit and browse around at the local homes.  

So, when I received an email from Jennifer at Zillow offering to do a guest post on my blog, I immediately said yes!  Zillow has a feature called Digs that I have just started using.  You can look at different images of homes, and save them to boards that you create.  They also have a blog that has loads of good content, I have to admit, I became a little addicted once I started reading it.  Please welcome Jennifer Riner of Zillow with a guest post about Painting home exteriors. I thought the topic was fitting for the beginning of spring.

DIY Tips for Painting Home Exteriors By Jennifer Riner of Zillow Painting a house can seem like a tough job, but with the proper tools and knowledge, it can be a fun and rewarding project. Exterior paint jobs require extra care because homes are exposed to harsh conditions on a daily basis. Follow these 8 steps to guarantee successful exterior paint application that can bolster curb appeal and homeowner pride.
  1. Check the Forecast
This step may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Exterior paint takes longer to dry in high humidity locations and rain can completely damage a wet paint job. Allow at least 24 hours for the paint to fully dry – even if that means pushing the project back a few days.  
  1. Remove and Clean
If mildew is not properly addressed prior to painting, the paint does not set correctly and the mold eventually breaks the surface. Use a mixture of bleach and water (1:3) to remove all mildew from the outside of a home. Let it sit for a half hour, and then rinse with a garden hose or power washer. Make sure to use proper eye and skin protection when working with chlorine bleach and cover nearby shrubs and plants. After cleaning, wait for the home to dry before painting.  
  1. Sand and Fill
Hand scraping and sanding is important to remove any loose paint. If the house has wood siding, be careful as to not damage or gouge the surface. Seal any existing cracks and holes with wood filler so the paint will apply smoothly.  
  1. Protect
Painter’s tape is essential for masking off trim, windows and door frames. To avoid unsightly drip marks, tape plastic over windows, porches and nearby sidewalks.  
  1. Prime
Primers help the paint accurately adhere to surfaces. Priming is required for initial paint jobs of new homes and for old, dilapidated homes with uneven paint. While it may be tempting to skip this step, omitting primer results in an amateur paint job.  
  1. Choose the Right Paint
Don’t skimp on the quality of the paint just to save a few dollars. Using higher quality paint ensures better damage protection from the elements and wildlife. Aside from avoiding general wear and tear, professional grade paint tends to last longer and look better. Can’t decide which tint to choose? Walk around the neighborhood or check out Zillow for ideas on which color best suits the design of the house and community.  
  1. Mix Paint Together
Also called “boxing the paint,” this step is important for color consistency. Paint is manufactured in batches, and the shade isn’t going to be exactly uniform across every can. Variations in color are especially noticeable on the outside of a home, so combine all cans in one large container (gallon size depending on the amount of paint needed). The mixture can be poured back into smaller cans for easier application.  
  1. Top to Bottom
Don’t ruin a freshly painted wall by painting the bottom first. Drips are hard to avoid, but if they are quickly brushed out it’s simple to correct. Start from the roof and work down to the base of the home, brushing out any accidental drips along the way.

Painting the exterior of a home isn’t a difficult task. Don’t pay for a professional when the resources and information are widely available. Enlist the family or a few friends to help and reinvigorate the home with a do-it-yourself paint project.  

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