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Published: 4/15/2004

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Does the exterior of your house have a bad case of chipping or peeling? Tired of thinking how great your white house would look if it were painted yellow? Would you love to stain the wood exterior of your home a darker color?

Painting or staining the exterior of your house will not only make you feel better about your home, but will also protect it from Mother Nature.Home owners should re-paint the exterior of their home every six to eight years depending on the color and how much air pollution is in their area.

The first step in painting the exterior of your home is to determine what type of material is under the existing paint. Is it aluminum siding, vinyl siding, wood, brick or stucco? Do you want to paint it the same color? If so, is it a common or custom color?

It's nearly impossible to match a custom mixed color. If you saved a sample, you may be able to come close, however, no two batches of mixed color will be exactly the same. If you are re-staining, using the same brand will make things easier.

The best time of year to paint is on a dry day in early spring, since the temperature should be above 40 degrees. Also, it won't be nearly as arduous a task as painting on a hot summer day.

Be sure to cover any plants, mailboxes outdoor meters and faucets near the house with drop cloths. Use masking tape to keep them in place. Nothing ruins the effect of a nice paint job more than paint splotches on your shrubbery, or on a lower roof..

The surface of the house needs to be prepared for the new coat of paint. For aluminum siding or vinyl siding, sponge wash with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. On stucco surfaces, remove powdery dust and chalk with a brush and rinse again. Put masking tape around glass before painting and be sure to remove it before the paint dries.

Primer is needed when painting bare wood. If you are staining the wood, don't prime it, stain is supposed to soak into the wood. It's a good idea to check with your paint supplier on the best type of paint for your home.

Before you purchase the paint, find out if the paint supplier will buy back any unused paint. If the paint was unopened and factory-mixed instead of custom-mixed, most suppliers will give you a refund.

There are several options in choosing what tool you use to apply the paint. Rollers use more paint than brushes and brushes use more than sprayers. However, brushes are best for exterior painting, especially if the surface is textured.

When painting a wall, it is extremely important that you not paint in the middle of the day, since you don't want the paint to dry too quickly. Also, when using brushes, always brush in the direction of wet paint into the unpainted surface. This ensures that you will have an even stroke throughout the wall.

Don't stop painting in the middle of a wall. If you do, you won't be able to cover the marks. After you paint the walls, continue on to paint trim, windows and doors. When finished, let the paint dry undisturbed for several days.

Many people think that when the paint on their home peels after only a year that it is due to faulty or poor quality paint. More often than not, the cause is moisture. To ensure that your home will not need a new coat of paint every year, check your home for sources of moisture.

Painting or staining the exterior of your home has many advantages. Not only will it improve the look of your home, but experimenting with bright colors on trim and window frames can really make your home stand out.

The Toledo Board/Association of REALTORS is one of more than 1,800 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS. As the nations's largest trade association, NAR is "The Voice for Real Estate," representing nearly 1 million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.



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