If less than half the old paint is left, however, it may be worth stripping it all off. Guertin gets rid of stubborn remnants using shrouded grinders (like the PaintShaver), infrared paint strippers (such as the Speedheater), or chemical strippers (like Multi-Strip), then smooths the wood with a course or two of sanding. When siding (or bank accounts) can't take the shock of a total strip job, Rich O'Neil, of Masterwork Painting in Bedford, Massachusetts, has successfully hidden rough, well-adhered paint under Peel Bond, a thick primer.
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As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.)
A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective.
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Generally speaking, a gallon of paint will cover about 350 square feet. If this is the first time drywall is painted, it will soak up more paint. And remember to factor in whether your job will require one or two coats of paint. Dark and bright colors will require more coats of paint, as will painting a lighter color over an existing darker color. Divide the paintable wall surface by 350 to determine how many gallons of paint you will need to buy. If there’s an odd number with less than .5 leftover, round down, if it’s over .5 round up.
Before you start a painting job either on the interior your home, or the exterior, you’ll need to estimate how much paint to buy. There are various factors to take into consideration when deciding how many gallons of paint to buy for your project. You’ll need the square footage of the area that needs to be painted, while keeping in mind that doors and windows require a different type of paint from the walls.

Small random-orbit or pad sanders make this job go faster. (Wallis first covers these boundaries with Synkoloid patching compound so no edge is visible after sanding.) As shown, you want to make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that might get close scrutiny, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to erase any scratches.
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