When preparing to paint the exterior of the home it’s important right from the beginning to mix the paint well. Stir each can thoroughly and then pour the contents from one container to another in order to ensure the proper mixing of the paint pigment with the liquid portion of the paint.
Be sure to paint from a can that is one-half full. Dip the brush into the paint approximately two-inches and then tap off the excess on both sides of the paint can. Avoid dragging the brush over the edge of the can as this practice may damage the bristles of the paint brush.
If the house has not been painted before, any bare wood must be covered with a quality primer first. If the house is being re-painted, priming any areas that have become bare from scraping will be necessary. If the type of paint on the house is not known, use an alkyd primer as it will adhere to oil-base paint as well as latex paint.
Weathered wood will not hold paint and requires sanding and treating with a combination of two parts linseed oil to one part turpentine, or other pre-mixed quality wood preservative. To prime weathered wood, the primer should be an oil-alkyd type that does not contain zinc oxide. Any knots in the wood should be thoroughly sealed to prevent them from leaking through the finished coat of the paint.
After the house has been primed is a good time to do any necessary caulking. Make sure all areas to be caulked are clean and dry allowing good adhesion of the caulk. Silicone and butyl types of caulk are good, but polyurethane, while more costly, is known to be a superior, long-lasting all-weather caulk. Use caulk in any areas where water may penetrate the home.
When painting the house, it’s best to start at the top and work down. Paint the siding first and then do the trim. Paint the porches and decks last. Any metal surfaces that require painting should be wire brushed and sanded with a #360 grade of sandpaper to remove any loose paint and corrosion. It’s best to avoid spot-priming the metal and prime the entire surface area.
Concerning the number of coats to paint, two coats may cost more, but will last much longer. Too many paint layers may seal the house to the point where moisture can not escape. Good priming and one coat with quality paint is sufficient for most homes. Windowsills, porches, and other areas of the home that are exposed to a lot of water should be given two coats of paint.
Ask the paint representative at the local hardware, paint, or home center store for any specific information regarding special applications.
Remember, always work safely.