"There's no better time than now to treat your home's exterior to a makeover and take steps to guard your property against next winter's elements," explains Kevin Skelly, marketing manager of PARA Paints and Chairholder of the international colour forecaster Color Marketing Group.
"And, once the initial paint job is done, if you paint every five years or less, you can use your existing paint as a base coat and avoid the hassle of major repairs and seemingly endless scraping and sanding in the future."
To get started, know the basics: The first step to any successful painting project is proper preparation. Clean the area thoroughly using a solution of trisodium phosphate, a garden hose or pressure washer, and scrub with a brush to remove dirt and grime that may keep new paint from adhering.
Once your surface is clean and dry, patch any holes with wood filler, caulk loose joints using a high-quality exterior latex caulk, and re-glaze any windows where the old putty is cracked or shrunken.
Begin painting on the side of your house that remains in the shade the longest since painting in direct sunlight can cause dry blisters and lapmarks (spots where fresh paint overlaps with dry paint).
Always work from the top down, painting gutters and eaves first, and leave trim for last.
Shutters should be removed, painted and rehung when your job is complete.
For best results, paint on a mildly warm day with no rain in the forecast.
Your choice of paint will depend on the surface you're painting
. While latex paints can cover almost any exterior, are easy to apply and will dry quickly, oil-based paints are recommended for surfaces that have heavy chalking or are poorly prepared.
When it comes to selecting a brush, choose synthetic bristles for latex paints and natural bristles for oil.
A four-inch straight-edged brush is best for broad surfaces like siding, while a two-inch brush is suggested for trim.