How To Paint Your House
Learn how to paint your house. Every home will need a face lift from time to time, both on the exterior and interior.
Every home will need a face lift from time to time, both on the exterior and interior. The best way to give your home that just-bought appearance is to give it a good quality paint job. These tips will show you what you need to do this job and the best way to get it done quickly.
As with any painting job, good quality paint brushes make the paint go on smoothly with less effort. Since the brush should fit the job, be sure you get the right brushes for the surface you are planning to paint. For interior and clapboard choose a brush that is 3 to 4 inches. Trim should be painted with a 1 to 2 1\2 sash brush. If you are using a water based latex use a brush with synthetic bristles since latex tends to swell natural bristles. If you are using a solvent thinned paint either natural or synthetic will work well. Be sure you check the brush you are buying to insure that the bristles do not come out easily and that they are finely split at the ends to carry more paint.
If you are painting the exterior of your house, plan to paint in the spring or fall when the sun is not so hot. Exterior painting should not be started until two days after it has rained. Using a latex paint is the simplest but be sure it is compatible with the paint already on your house. Siding will need a flat paint and semi gloss or gloss should be used for trim. The dealer at your local paint store can help you determine the amount of paint you will need if you bring the dimensions of the walls and the number of windows and doors. In most cases a house will only require one coat but if your house is badly weathered, it might need two. Brushes can be used to paint the exterior of your house but the best thing to use is a roller with a 1\2 inch nap that covers masonry. Prepare the house by replacing any damaged siding, hammering in any protruding nails and repair the caulking. You will need to remove any loose paint and scrub grimy areas with detergent. When this has dried, fill in any holes, cracks and scraped areas with an exterior spackling compound. Be sure that you sand and coat these areas with primer when they are dry.
The best time to begin your painting is during a time of day when your house is most shaded. If this is not possible try to work around the house in the shade so the paint will dry better. Shrubs, steps, porches and walk ways should be covered with drop cloths to protect them from stains, then remove the screens from all the windows. The paint should be stirred thoroughly before you start and you should work with a half can at a time. If you are using a brush, immerse about one third of its bristles' length in the paint then tap both sides gently on the cans edge to remove the excess. Always start at the top and work down keeping your work area to between three and four square feet at a time. Work across the walls and paint from one dry area to the area you have just painted. If you are painting siding, paint the lower edges of lapped pieces first and work up. With clapboard you should apply three or four dabs of paint and then spread the paint with a smooth stroke. Exterior trim is best painted with a brush. On windows paint horizontal dividers, vertical dividers then sides and surround wall trim. Start door trim at the top and work down.
When you are painting the interior of your house you should use a latex paint. Most are odorless, clean up with water and dry within a few hours. Walls and ceilings in most cases will need a flat paint but in areas where moisture and dirt resistance are important a gloss or semi-gloss are best. You will need approximately one gallon of paint for every 450 square feet of wall. Prepare the room by removing all light weight furniture and covering the heavier pieces with plastic or canvas. Be sure you move heavy pieces away from the walls to make room for a work area. Cover the floor and any built-ins with plastic or a drop cloth and make paper paths going into other rooms. Remove door and window hardware, remove pictures from the walls, and remove any picture hooks or nails. You may also want to tape around the edges of your windows to make painting these areas easier. Turn off the power to the room and remove all the switch plates then loosen the canopy of ceiling and wall fixtures. Cover these with plastic and if you will need light, run it from another room. Using plaster, fix any cracks, scrapes or holes. Remove any loose paint with a paint scraper and coat any water stained areas with an alcohol based stain killer. Dust down the walls and ceilings then vacuum up all the debris. Start with the ceiling by brushing a narrow strip of paint around the edge. Use a roller to cover in the area working in 3 to 4 square feet areas one at a time. This should be done in a zigzag fashion. Always paint toward your light source, starting in a dry area and working toward the one you have just completed. Once you have completed several squares, roll back over them to pick up any drips. Start the walls by painting a narrow strip around the walls, windows and doors. Then begin at the top and work you way down using the squares in the same zigzag fashion as the ceiling. Paint the trim with brushes, painting an 18 inch strip then skipping ahead and working back to where you have already painted. Windows and doors should be painted in the same manner as was done one the exterior.