Painting the Exterior of a House

Learn how to choose and apply paint to the exterior of your home.

| September/October 1972

  • painting
    Careful attention to detail will give the best results when painting your home.

  • painting

Ken Kern, author of THE OWNER-BUILT HOME and THE OWNER-BUILT HOMESTEAD, is an amazing fellow and everyone interested in decentralist, back-to-the-land, rational living should know of his work. Back in 1948 he began collecting information on low-cost, simple and natural construction materials and techniques. He combed the world for ideas, tried them and started writing about his experiments. 

Eventually, Mildred Loomis started publishing Kern's articles in THE INTERPRETER, WAY OUT and GREEN REVOLUTION. Ken has also issued a three-year series of pieces (called TECHNIC) on his own and a greenhouse-sun pit design of his has been featured in ORGANIC GARDENING. 

This series of Ken Kern's work is being taken both from OWNER-BUILT HOME and OWNER-BUILT HOMESTEAD. 

If nothing else is learned from studying the series of chapters in this volume, it is hoped that the amateur home builder will at least be in position to ridicule the main slogan of the organized trades: "Relax-let an expert do it." We should not think of an expert builder as a special kind of man. We should rather think of every man as a special kind of builder, planning and working, perhaps with his wife, to meet the unique needs of the growing family. A certain romance surrounds the home building efforts of a congenial and loving husband-wife team. 

It must be confessed that, from correspondence here, it appears that many amateur building attempts met with dismal failure; the owner-builder suffered a major disability owing to careless accident; or he was sidetracked by divorce arising from strained family relations; or he grew weary of well-doing, and relinquished his builder role to the ever-ready vulture-like subcontractor. 

Such owner-builder experiences appear tragic to outsiders and humorous to those inside the building field. Yet any amateur building experience is the growing edge of the fundamental relationship among builder, tools, materials, and home that makes a man a man, homus faber. The successful amateur builders do not send woeful letters here; they build. Those of us who have had experience within the fold of the "expert" building industry realize that the only expertise offered is what stems from the grasping of as much monetary return as the traffic will bear. The commercial builder is not, of course, a bad man at heart; but, in addition to the profit motive, he is encumbered with tedious distractions and involvements; unfair competition, unions, estimates, insurance, loans, taxes, contracts, licenses, permits, office overhead, memberships, and dues. But these are only the surface requirements that have to be met before the contractor can start a project: The really vicious aspects of conventional building construction are far more subtle-especially as the building specialists themselves are seldom aware of the corruptions within their own field. This general observation can best be illustrated, perhaps, by a brief historical account of the painting art in reference to building. 

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