How to paint your home exterior; windows, siding and trim?

Plan to paint your house in spring or fall when the sun’s heat won’t cause problems. Wait at least 2 days after rain. Latex is the easiest paint to use, but make sure it’s compatible with the previous finish. Use flat paint for siding; gloss or semi-gloss for trim.

Your dealer can determine how much paint you need from the dimensions of the wood trim and the number of windows and doors. Most houses require only one coat; a badly weathered one may need two. You can paint most surfaces with a brush, pad applicator, or a roller, but a roller with 2-inch nap covers rough masonry best.

To prepare the house, replace any damaged siding, hammer in any protruding nails, and repair the caulking. Remove loose paint and repair paint flaws. Scrub grimy areas with detergent; then he well and let dry fully. Fill in holes, cracks, and scraped areas with an exterior spackling compound. If a scraped area is large, taper the compound along the edges-no need to cover the entire area. Sand all scraped and patched areas and coat them with the recommended primer.

To paint the siding try to work in the shade: the paint will dry better and you’ll be more comfortable. As you go, cover shrubs, steps, and walks with drop cloths; remove screens or tape newspaper over them. Stir the paint thoroughly and work out of a half-full can. To load a brush, immerse it about one-third its bristle length: then tap both sides gently on the can’s edge to remove excess paint.

Start painting at the top, doing dormer or gables.  Paint an area about 3 or 4 feet square at a time, working across a wall. Paint from a dry area toward one you just painted. On lapped siding, paint the lower edges first; then paint the surface, going horizontally or vertically with the grain. On clapboard, apply three or four short dabs across a board; then spread the paint with smooth, even strokes.

To painting the trim, wrap rags around the upper ends of the ladder to avoid marring the siding. On the eaves, carefully brush a 2inch paint band to separate them from the siding; then finish them with a roller. For other trim, use 1 to 2 1/2 inch brushes. Paint a 12 to 18 inch area; then skip ahead the same distance and paint back toward the wet edge. On windows, paint horizontal dividers, vertical dividers; then sides and surrounding wall trim. On doors, do the panels; then horizontal and vertical boards. On flush doors, go across the top first; then down.