Summertime is often when we decide to spruce up our homes, and nothing can give your home’s exterior better curb appeal than a fresh coat of paint. Whether you decide to tackle the outside of your home or just an interior room that needs a makeover, painting is an easy DIY project.
Preparation Pays Off
There is only one word to remember in painting: “prep”. The key to any successful painting job, whether it is the exterior of your home or an accent wall in your den, is preparation. To achieve a professional paint project, follow a few key steps.
Prepping an Exterior Paint Job:
- Pressure wash your house – Removing the dirt and debris will make sure the paint adheres correctly. Learn more about it in our blog, How to Pressure Wash Your Home’s Exterior for Paint.
- Remove add-ons – Take down storm windows, screens, shutters, awnings, wall-mounted light fixtures and even downspouts.
- Scrape loose paint – Remove cracking, peeling paint and sand smooth before painting. If paint is intact, don’t scrape to the bare wood.
- Repair surface flaws – Use a repair compound that is rated for exterior use. Sand after it dries.
- Remove old caulk – Re-caulk around door trim, windowsills and other areas with paintable exterior caulk.
- Repair and re-putty windows – Remove old putty and apply new glazing. Let dry before painting. Don’t forget to check under eaves and doors for any damage that needs to be repaired.
- Use drop cloths to protect flowerbeds and lawns – Gently tie up shrubs or small trees to keep them from rubbing up against wet paint.
- Prime bare wood or anywhere repairs are made – The primer will help the paint adhere to the wood or newly repaired area. The primer you use depends on the paint you are going to use.
The average paint job on the exterior of a home can last from five to eight years if the proper preparations are done.
Why Not Paint the Shutters?
Since you have removed your storm windows, screens and shutters, now is the perfect time to repair or paint them. A paint sprayer makes an easy job of painting shutters. (Check out our blog post on Airless Sprayers to see how they can make quick work of your painting jobs.)
Here are a few guidelines for painting shutters with a paint sprayer:
- Clean the shutters to remove grime and mildew.
- Scrape off loose or flaking paint.
- Lightly feather sand the shutters.
- Prime any bare spots.
- Starting with the back, paint all the shutters on the same side, let dry and then flip them over to paint the other side. This will keep the painting uniform.
- Spray at a slight upward angle so that you can paint the upper portion of each slat.
- Spray the entire face including the frame.
- Use a dry brush to eliminate drips and runs.
- Avoid drips and runs by painting two or three light coats rather than one heavy coat.
- Paint the metal hinges that hold the shutters in place.
The Inside Scoop on Interior Painting
Painting the interior of your home is similar to what we’ve discussed for the exterior. Preparation is still the most important part. Though time consuming, prepping your walls the right way will give you professional results. Here are some steps for guaranteeing success:
- Remove as much furniture as possible – Cover the remaining pieces with plastic to protect against accidental spills.
- Clean the walls – After vacuuming or dusting, wipe them down with a damp cloth. When washing down kitchen walls, use a mixture of 3 tsp of laundry detergent to a gallon of warm water to eliminate grease build-up.
- Tape trim, windows and door frames – No matter how steady your hands are they will get tired. Stay on the straight and narrow by putting blue painters tape down. Remove immediately after painting (before the paint dries) to avoid peeling off any with it.
- Prime walls – Some say a wall with multiple coats of paint doesn’t need it. However, if you want a uniform look to your color choice, don’t take the chance – prime.
- Use a brush where you can’t use a roller – Use a paint brush to get around trim and in the corners of walls.
- Use the “W” technique – Paint a 3 x 3 foot “W” pattern on the wall and then fill it in without lifting the roller. It helps hide seams where you picked up the roller and put it back down.
- Paint the trim – Once the walls are dry, tape where the walls meet the molding and door frames. Straight edges give you a crisp, professional look.
Find out more tips for painting the interiors in our blog, Painting Walls in Your Dream Home Made Easy.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your DIY painting projects. From pressure washers to paint sprayers, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.