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Making Exterior Painting Projects Hassle-Free

Given the fairly high prices for professional painting services and the ease with which most exterior painting jobs can be done you might want to save a bundle and do it yourself. An average painting job can cost you several thousand dollars or more depending on the size of the project.

You can utilize computer software to determine how much paint you will require, to generate a materials list, and to help you track budget issues. If you have not painted your home before you may wish to pickup some samples (usually 1 pint containers) for the colors that you desire and give them a test run. Try these samples on small areas of your home that are out of the way.

Clean and sand the test area as if you were doing the actual project. Scrape off old chips and cracking sections, then clean the area, and finish it off with a light sanding. Before you begin painting the entire area you should also prepare the area by cleaning, sanding, and repairing other blemishes. Sand rusty nails, and patch cracks with putty followed by sanding.

Paint the test section with your test colors and let it dry thoroughly. Wait a few days or weeks and see how the paint looks in various weather and lighting conditions. You may wish to have two or three test areas in places that get differing amounts of sun light.

You may also wish to test various exterior paint types including oil-based and latex paints. Oil-based paints are very durable but require special cleanup procedures to be taken to meet city codes. Most cities require you to take oil-based paint cans to special disposal sites or to paint stores. Failure to observe the local codes could result in fines and legal troubles. Latex paints are easier to work with, and dry very rapidly but have a tendency to be less durable than oils. Latex paints require no special cleanup; water and dish soap should do in most situations.

When using latex paints you will achieve the best results by using applicators made of synthetic materials. Nylon rollers and synthetic brushes make the best choices. Brushes made with natural bristles are better suited to oil-based paints. Rollers used with oil-based paints should be constructed of natural materials such as lamb's wool.

One interesting technique to make working with oil-based paints easier is to place used applicators into bags and freezing; thaw these the next day and pickup where you left off. You can also use old newspapers for cheap improvised drop cloths. You should also check the weather forecast and try to choose days with mild weather and low humidity. Exterior paints and putties dry best when the temperatures are moderate and there's little moisture in the air.

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