Saturday, 26 January 2013

It starts with a brush stroke...

Dear Joe,

I have   a 1930s two storey home in dire need of a paint job.  It still has all the original wood siding and trim though the windows have been replaced.  What is my best course of action in preparing to repaint my beloved home.  I must admit I have procrastinated a bit in taking care of this and now, into the fall, am I too late to prepare such an undertaking?   Any advice you have regarding products and such would be greatly appreciated as well,





Thank you so much for your wonderful letter, and what a great question. 

I am glad to hear you have preserved the original architectural integrity of your home by continuing to maintain the original exterior. 

You are not too late, but your window of favourable weather is definitely shrinking.  If you are taking care of the job yourself, two people can typically paint a large old home in about a week, a professional painting crew, probably a couple days, weather permitting. 

Your preparation should include, having all your materials ready and on site, this includes brushes (a nice wide brush will speed things up considerably), paint (have your colors chosen and mixed in sufficient quantities beforehand), rags, buckets, and ladders and/or scaffolding.

Now if you’ve procrastinated to the point where the paint is flaking off the siding, you will require a lot more prep work then if you had repainted in time.  You don’t want to wait to the point that the paint is falling off or else you have to scrape, wire brush, and spot prime all the bare wood spots prior to applying paint to the siding.  You’ll need a good quality acrylic or shellac based primer to prime the bare wood. 

So now you’re ready to apply paint.  There have been great advances in paint coatings in recent years to the point that you can repaint anything and achieve a quality finish in just one coat.  Like anything, I advocate spending enough money to get a high quality product.  When it comes to building materials you get what you pay for almost invariably.  Superior quality paint and the appropriate brush for that paint will make a world of difference.  Don’t be afraid to spend $30 on a brush it’s well worth the money.
So keep it up.  There’s nothing more elegant than a well painted old home.  Colors can change with the times so your home is always in fashion.  Not to mention the fact that there is no better way to maintain an intimate knowledge of your home than by going over every square inch of it with a brush. 

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