PICTURE PERFECT

Whether you are preparing your home for sale or simply want to spruce up your house for the summer, the experts at the Paint Quality Institute (www.paintquality.com) suggest following several simple rules to make the exterior of your home look its best.

First, prepare the surface properly. Use a long-handled brush and soap and water to scrub the surface, then use a scraper or wire brush to remove any loose, flaky or peeling paint. Sand down any rough edges and brush off any remaining dust and particles left behind. 

Use top quality paint for your project. For most wood and other exterior surfaces, 100 percent acrylic latex works best because it provides a thicker, more durable film and easily conceals old paint color. And since acrylic latex lasts up to 10 years or longer, you won’t have to repaint unless you decide to change the color scheme.

Using quality brushes and equipment for the project will make the job easier and produce a more even coat and color. When working with latex paints, use brushes with synthetic bristles, ideally polyester. Brushes should be springy and well-balanced, with multiple lengths of split bristles packed tightly in a three-quarter to one-inch thickness on a standard four-inch brush.

You should also take care to paint in the right weather conditions. Choose a day with mild temperatures, ideally above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and when the winds are light. If you must paint on a warm day, work on the shady side of the house.

With a little common sense and self-discipline, you’ll reward yourself with a beautiful, professional-looking paint job that will last for years.

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