Exterior Painting

Exterior renovation of an older home often gives o­ne of the most gratifying pay-offs that a do-it-yourself painter will ever experience. Everyone who looks at your home will see what you've done, so you want the result to be a good o­ne.

Two things that apply to every exterior repainting job are proper surface preparation and proper use of primer. The exact kind of preparation and primer will depend upon what kind of surface you are renovating. Wood, metal, masonry, and synthetics all require their own method of preparation. For some surfaces this may be as simple as cleaning, but others may require sanding, patching and other techniques. Check with a professional where you buy your paint to learn exactly how to prepare your home's exterior surface.

One of the big decisions you will make is color selection. There are many ways to approach this, but the best way is to begin by looking at the parts of the house you will not paint. This includes the roof and possibly brick or stone accents and other ornamental features. You need to consider these fixed colors and plan the paint color to complement them.

Other factors to consider when choosing paint colors are whether your colors will blend with the neighborhood and look natural for your home's setting. o­ne trend in color selection is to return to the home's original colors or colors that were popular at the time the home was built. Remember that dark colors o­n a wide area tend to make a house look smaller, but light colors add size. Contrasting colors make architectural details pop out.

Finally, consider the choice between glossy enamel or flat paint. A high sheen exterior surface is easier to keep clean, but a flat or matte finish is better at hiding imperfections.