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How to Paint the Exterior of a House: Additional Tips

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This article is the last part of the series of articles on painting the exterior of a house. The preceding sections discuss preparation, priming, and painting. The following are a series of tips that address some common issues and may help when painting a house.

Safety

  • Safety is important, and no one should work alone on ladders and scaffolds, should an emergency arise.
  • A safety harness should be used when working on two-story structures.
  • No one should work underneath scaffolds.

Time Saving Tips

If a scaffold or ladder is being used in a spot that is difficult to access, it is possible to finish all of the painting in one pass. Depending on the drying time, this can be accomplished in a relatively short time. Painting the soffit, then the fascia, and finally the wall, in that particular order, and repeating the process for the second coat is one way to keep consistently working on a section while waiting for the paint to dry in other sections. In this manner, the scaffold does not have to be moved back and forth multiple times.

If time is of the essence, then with a steady hand, trim can be painted when the wall paint is dry to the touch. If a spot is particularly difficult to get to, this may be the best option. It is, however, preferable to wait until the wall paint is completely dry.

Touch-up Tips

When touching up the final coat, a brush can be used to fade the edges out to a thin featheredge, which will prevent highly visible spots of lighter or darker paint shades, as paint can sometimes appear lighter or darker in places with multiple coats. Even relatively large areas can be faded in this manner, if necessary, such as when paint was not mixed properly and there is a slight variation in color or shade.

Painters tape can be used to clean up trim if freehand efforts have failed.

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Brushes and Rolls

Brushes should be kept in a bucket of water when not in use. This will prevent the bristles from clumping together. If they are allowed to dry with paint on them, they will be next to useless. However, they should be dried well before painting.

At the end of the day, rinse the paint rolls and brushes quickly, and leave them in a bucket of clean water overnight. If they are not going to be used for several days, wash them carefully until the water runs clear and leave them to dry.

Paint rolls can also be kept in a plastic bag, even overnight. A paint roll holds a large quantity of paint, and washing it unnecessarily consumes both time and paint.

Miscellaneous Tips

Always mix your paints well before application to maintain a uniform color. A small paint mixer bit on a drill works best for this purpose.

The weather plays an important role. It is not a good idea to start a painting project when rain is expected. Most paints should not be exposed to water within the first 24 hours from the application.

Any sprinklers that spray the wall should be turned off.

Although painting is rather easy, it can also be slow and tedious as there is usually quite a bit of surface to cover. Any homeowner can manage the project and it is certainly worth the effort, but it will not be extremely fast. Multiple days should be reserved for the project, and finding extra help is definitely a good idea.

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