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Get the Most Out of Your Exterior Paint

By Lauren Busser, Direct from the Designers Contributing Writer

Nothing adds to a home’s curb appeal like a fresh coat of paint. Even though we are now sliding into summer it is the perfect time for homeowners to start planning this big project. We understand that painting the outside of your home is a large task, so here are a few tips to make this job a bit easier.

Selecting a Color

In the past, shades of white and off-white were the dominant colors for a home’s exterior. Recently, people have been getting bolder with color and now there are a multitude of options when shopping for an exterior paint. Companies like Benjamin Moore® and Sherwin-Williams® offer thousands of options to help you select the right paint or combination of paints, perfect for your home.


In a Benjamin Moore® article on how to color your house for curb appeal, this country manor uses a buttery beige and off-white accents for a tasty color scheme. The door is painted a spicy orange which gives it a warm and inviting entrance. The colors used here are boardwalk, vivid white, and etruscan.


Benjamin Moore Country Manor

Regardless of what color scheme you go with, when selecting paint there is one very important thing to remember, which is that quality should always prevail over price. Paint is your first line of defense against weather and it is also one of the first things that people see when driving by your home. Lower quality paint can’t stand up to temperature and climate variations. Paints that resist sunlight well will have reduced color fading over time.

Before You Paint

When deciding when to paint your house, you must remember to work around Mother Nature. Since paint needs time to cure, rain can be one of your biggest enemies. Humidity may also work against you since high levels may get under the paint and cause it to bubble. For these reasons, Autumn is a great time to take on this project.

Like many other home maintenance jobs, painting your house is a process. Before applying color coats, you must wash and sand your siding in order to create a surface that promotes proper adhesion. Powerwashing is one of the most important parts of the painting process. The house must be free of dirt and mildew in order for the paint to adhere properly. Always wash the house before you sand it. Even if you're building a new home, you’ll want to wash it down first to remove dust and dirt that may have accumulated on your siding during construction.


Homes like this American Classic use Valspar Paint®. The heirloom red color works well for the architectural style and is complemented by the light colored trim with dark accents. Considering fixed color elements like shingles is another way to ensure a pleasing result when choosing a color for your house.


Valspar Paint American Classics palette

After you have washed and sanded your house there is still one more critical step to perform before you start applying color, and that’s applying a primer. Primer provides much better paint adhesion than paint alone. It is often recommended to use an oil primer and then top it off with latex or acrylic color coats for a better seal.

Tips on Applying Colors

Now that you have done all the powerwashing, sanding, priming and color selection, here are some tips on how to properly apply the new color to your home.

Whether spraying, rolling or brushing, always combine several gallons at a time into one larger container. Although they are meant to be the same shade, there may be small variations from batch to batch. Emptying all the cans into a large pail and mixing them will ensure uniform color. This is known as 'boxing' the paint. You can do this in a five gallon drum or a bigger bucket. It sounds like a chore but it’s well worth it.

Once the paint is boxed, start from the top and work your way down. Painting from top to bottom will help you resolve streaks, drips, and splatters. When painting, be sure to follow this order: ceilings (such as under eaves and porch ceilings), walls, trim and finally, floors (decks and porches).

If you follow these simple steps diligently and in order, when you are finished your house will be the envy of the neighborhood with its gorgeous new paint job. Although it might seem like a big job now, placing one foot ahead of the other and tackling one step at a time the job will be done before you know it, and will be a source of pride for years to come.

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8/1/2014 • 3568018 • 0