Paints and Finishes, Part I: Painting Exteriors

MOTHER's Handbook part I of the paints and finishes series, painting exteriors. Includes tips and information on painting the exterior of your home.

| March/April 1988

MOTHER's Handbook: Making sense of the homeowner's most misunderstood cover-up, painting exteriors of homes. (See the home exterior painting diagrams in the image gallery.)

Paints and Finishes, Part I: Painting Exteriors

Take this simple test: When it comes to home maintenance, do you wish to devote little time to a project but want maximum results? Do you keep your eyes peeled for wonder products that save time, money and effort? Would you like to fly through a job to be done with it once and for all?

If your answers to those questions are yes, you'd better look for a professional contractor when the time comes to paint your house, because you'll probably be the most disappointed do-it-yourselfer on the face of this earth if you tackle the job on your own.

Why? Because, as easy as painting appears, painting exteriors is actually more involved than many other skills that look considerably more complicated. And because the answers to problems aren't always obvious, a lot of time can be just flat wasted doing work that may only last in terms of months, not the hoped-for years.

The Home Painting Decision

Believe it or not, a good many people don't really know when their house needs a paint job. Only a procrastinator could overlook a badly weather-beaten finish—in which there's more wood showing than paint—but there are a number of other clearly visible signs that point out when it's time to shed the old coat for a new one.

Unfortunately, age is only one source of sorrow for a painted surface. Moisture, poor preparation, faulty painting techniques and just plain bad paint can reduce the life of a finish drastically—sometimes to as little as one season. If the problem is not corrected before the repainting's done, it will invariably show up again to ruin the job a second time around. Here, then, are some symptoms to look out for when evaluating your home as a candidate for a repaint job:

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