Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

Open your door to colour
Stroke-by-stroke tips for painting the exterior of your home

Shown on the front door of this home is CIL’s Midnite Hour grey.

Changing the paint colour of your front door is the simplest way to open your home to a new look, say the experts at CIL Paints.

“Maintaining the exterior of a house is just as important as the interior, if not more important, since the outside is what makes the first and often lasting impression,” says Martin Tustin-Fuchs, marketing manager for CIL.

Adding a punch of colour to the front door will instantly brighten up a house at little cost.

“To choose the right colour for your front entrance,” advises Tustin-Fuchs, “take into account the colours of your roof, brick, siding and landscaping, and the homes around you.”

Then, apply a lighter shade of the front door colour, or a neutral hue, to your window frames, trim, eaves troughs, siding and garage door(s) to complete your exterior makeover. Vinyl siding should only be painted in light colours and never in a colour darker than the original, as this may cause warping, Tustin-Fuchs says.

CIL offers these tips to ensure a fail-proof exterior paint job:

Get ready to prepare: Canadian homes take a beating from harsh winters and the damaging ultraviolet rays of summer, leaving painted surfaces faded, peeling and blistering.

Before painting, clean the area with a phosphate-free cleaning solution, then rinse with a garden hose or pressure washer. Scrape peeling or flaking surfaces with a scraper, putty knife or wire brush. Fill holes, cracks and seams with an acrylic based caulking. If necessary, smooth surfaces using 120-grit sandpaper. Even the highest-quality paint won’t adhere properly if the surface is not well prepared.

Priming is prime step: Priming the exterior of your home is key for several reasons. It seals new or bare surfaces, increases adhesion of the paint and prevents it from blistering, cracking and peeling, improves colour retention and fade resistance, controls growth of new mildew and covers chalky or weathered surfaces. There are paints available today that contain built-in primer, saving DIYers both time and money.

Order on the house: When painting the outside of a house, always follow a plan. Work from the top down, painting fascia boards, gutters and eaves troughs first, then the walls and downspouts. Leave the trim for last.

If painting boards or siding, focus on one or two boards at a time, going from one end to the other – rather than working in sections – to avoid overlapping. Use a good-quality wide brush (instead of a roller) that is slightly narrower than the board itself. Using a brush speeds up a paint project, does a better job of filling seams and cracks for maximum protection and produces better-looking results.

When painting doors, start with the doorjambs and casing, then paint the panels and cross-boards, starting at the top on the inside corner and working your way down. Finish with the outer vertical boards, leaving the door open to dry. For best results with doors, wait a full day between coats to allow for proper hardening.

Curb the number of coats: The notion of “more is better” may be true in certain circumstances, but not when it comes to painting. There’s a limit to the number of coats of paint that a surface can support. As paint ages and thickens over time, it loses its flexibility and ability to expand and contract, causing premature cracking or flaking. For long-lasting results, apply a maximum of two even coats of paint to achieve the desired colour appearance and surface protection.

Weather makes a difference: The ideal environment for exterior painting is one that is shady and dry for 24 hours before and after application. Temperatures for painting should range from 10 to 32 C, with the ideal temperature being between 15 and 25 C. An ideal painting day would have low or moderate humidity, little or no wind, and no fog, drizzle, rain or dew present. 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 lap marks.

“Following these basic guidelines, and applying a fresh coat of paint every five years or so, will help protect a home from the elements and ensure your exterior maintains its curb appeal and value,” says Tustin-Fuchs.

Courtesy of CIL Paints.

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