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Don’t Fall Behind on Exterior Painting

Don’t Fall Behind on Exterior Painting

Certain types of home maintenance can be put off for a while, but it’s dangerous to delay exterior painting. With autumn upon us, this is the last chance to put things right before winter sets in. So, if your home needs some work, it’s time to get to it.

Start by assessing what needs to be done by conducting a walk-around inspection of your home exterior, looking for areas where the paint may be flaking, peeling off, or simply wearing away. Keep an eye out for rotting wood. And note the condition of your caulk, especially where different surfaces meet (wood and stone, for example).

If the state of your paint job — or the siding itself — is woeful, call a contractor right away and hope that he can fit you into his schedule. (You won’t be the only one scrambling for last minute help.) But if most of the siding, paint, and caulk look okay, save for a few trouble spots, you may want to tackle the upkeep yourself.

Should you find small areas of suspect wood on the siding or trim, investigate further by poking them with a screwdriver to test for weakness or rotting. If the screwdriver goes in with little resistance, replace the weakened wood and follow the painting instructions below.

It’s also important to shore up your home exterior by replacing caulk that is either missing or in any way deteriorated. Start by scraping off any damaged caulk, clean dirt and mildew from adjacent surfaces, then apply a paintable, top quality siliconized acrylic caulk, making sure to create a tight seal. This will help prevent water from undermining your paint finish, or even damaging the structure below.

If your paint is suffering here and there, scrape off any that is loose or adhering poorly, and sand the remaining paint edges to a smooth finish. Prime any areas where bare wood is exposed (including any replacement wood you installed as part of your maintenance).

Finally, apply a thick coat of top quality 100% acrylic paint. After it dries, apply a second coat to provide added protection for your home exterior. Top quality acrylic paint has great adhesion and great flexibility, making it much more durable than other types of paint.

When it comes to maintenance of your home exterior, timing is everything. By keeping up with things – including repairs, re-caulking, and repainting where necessary — your home will look much more attractive and provide you and your family better protection against any type of weather that may be in store.

What is your fall painting project? Mailbox, shutters, decks? Share your story!

Paint Quality Institute

Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She's a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorative painting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.