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5 Tips for Exterior Painting

Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, says that if your house paint is near the end of its life expectancy, you're taking a chance by postponing repainting. It doesn't take long for exposed wood to begin to rot, and other types of exteriors also suffer when the paint wears off. Wait too long and you may have to make repairs before starting to paint.

1. Paint when it's warm.
Exterior latex paint forms the most durable, protective finish when the weather is mild. "It's always best to do exterior painting when the temperature is above 50 degrees F., but not too hot," says Zimmer. By painting in moderate weather, you'll likely get a longer-lasting paint job."

2. Watch out for wind.
When painting, pick a day that isn't too windy. Like the heat of the sun, wind can cause latex paint to dry too quickly and prevent optimal paint film formation. Plus, wind can stir up dust and other contaminants that can embed in the paint to create an inviting surface for mildew, which feeds on such matter.

3. Wait for great weather.
You should also try to avoid "weather events" that could affect the paint, waiting for another day if it has rained within the last 24 hours, or postponing the job if several days of rain are expected right after you finish painting.

4. Prepare the surface.
That includes applying a coat of primer to any new surface that has never been painted, or spot-priming previously painted surfaces where the paint is worn away.

5. Quality makes it last.
To extend the life of your paint job, Zimmer recommends that you apply the very highest quality 100% acrylic latex paint, which is especially durable, flexible and colorfast. Top quality paint often lasts 10 years or more, compared to about four years for ordinary paint, saving you time, work, and money in the long run. For the longest-lasting paint job, always apply at least two coats—either a coat of primer and a coat of paint, or two coats of house paint.

Courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute. For more information on exterior painting, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.