The easiest, least expensive, and most impactful way to change or update the look of your home is to give it a splash of colour with some fresh paint. The summer is the best time to do the job (or have the job done for you), and, with the 2012 Olympics upon us, what better time is there to show your true colours than now?
Think of your home as if it were your sports car; you wouldn’t let rust build up on the exterior, nor would you be satisfied with chipped paint, or flaking trim pieces. It needs to look sharp. Regular exterior maintenance, and upkeep is the perfect summer DIY project, and when all of the hard work is done, it will paint your neighbors green with envy.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
Take some time to evaluate the different architectural features of your home. The critical items are the window frames, the front door, the garage door, and the wall cladding material, but don’t forget the white picket fence. These various areas will require some different techniques, tools, and materials for successful exterior painting.
To save you from endless trips to the hardware store, we have created a checklist, opposide page, for you to use when evaluating your painting project.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
Pick your painting day carefully. Start early in the morning to leave yourself enough time to complete the stages necessary for a job well done. Days that are too hot and humid, or too cold and damp, are not ideal for painting. Wait for that warm weekend, in the mid 20 degree range, and get to work!
If the existing paint on your window frames is chipping and cracked, begin with a thorough scraping and sanding to remove all chipped or flaking paint. If necessary, apply some paintable wood filler to any gouges, scratches, or nail holes prior to your final sand.
Remove any dust or debris with a shop vacuum and a slightly damp rag. All of these tips are applicable to most surfaces, but it is critical to research the material that you are preparing to paint on. For example, if your garage door is steel, then you will need to adjust your sanding methods, and purchase a suitable paint for the metal surface. Consulting product manufacturers might be in order if you’re not sure.
Step 3: Start Painting
Start painting, and don’t stop! Determine areas that you can complete all in one go. This will avoid overlapping, awkward drying times, and patchy areas. Whether you’re using a roller, brush, or sprayer, it is important to remember that sometimes less is more. Rather than slathering the wall with too much paint, take your time and softly roll or apply the paint, over and over, being cautious of any drips, smudges, or inconsistencies.
Step 4: Finish the Job
If you’re using painter’s tape, remove it promptly after you’ve applied the final coat. This prevents the paint from drying over the tape, and will help you avoid accidentally peeling off your freshly applied coat.
Have your neighbor, friend, wife/husband, or whomever you have tricked into helping you, evaluate your work. A second set of eyes can be very helpful. Paint over any missed spots and call it a job well done.
Who to hire:
> A Designer
> A Contractor
> Painting Professionals
There are many paint contractors out there, and like with any trade, there are the good, the bad, and the ugly. Do your research. Look through the yellow pages, or work with your design professional to get some recommendations, and check for credentials. Any reputable painting professional should be able to produce a portfolio, or provide you with some references.
Using a company like College Pro (collegepro.com) can be a great way to save some money, whilst not compromising on quality. They will also be able to assist with any staining projects like your deck, fence, or pergola. Most competitive painting companies will offer you a free estimate. Compare your quotes (and don’t just choose the lowest), ensure that they are using reputable products from well known manufacturers, and hire away.
As with any job, have these painting professionals present you with their colour recommendations. Look at several different colour schemes to determine which will work best on your home. Don’t let the pros bully you into what they want to see, but be mindful that they do this every day, and they may be able to steer you away from any rash decisions.
Trends in Paint
A big trend these days is to use rich, saturated colours to show an impactful feature. Bold colours used in contrast of bright colours will give your home a very contemporary and modern look.
On the other end of the spectrum, you may prefer the monochromatic approach. This will lead to a more classic, subtle, and sophisticated look for your home. Monochromatic colour schemes use a layered approach, showing variations of shade within the same colour family.
Bottom line, the paint is an extension of the architecture of your home. Treat it with the respect it deserves and people will notice.