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.)
Painters often tint primer close to the color of the top coat, but Wallis thinks that's a recipe for "holidays," or missed spots. Instead, he tints his primer a contrasting color. "If I can see the color coming through, I know I need to apply more paint," he says. On the cottage shown in this story, he chose a gray-blue primer to go under a peach top coat.
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Deciding which paint to use has gotten much easier now that acrylic latexes have pushed oil-based paints almost to extinction. The acrylics offer superior performance (they don't harden with age, the way oils do, so they move and breathe without blistering), they don't mildew as readily, and they emit fewer VOCs, so they comply with new air-quality regulations. They also work over both oil- and water-based primers.
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.
If you choose to paint your home yourself, you can save on the cost of labor. But if you don’t have the time or experience to tackle to job, it’s worth paying the going rate for painters in your area. If your home requires power washing prior to painting, and if it requires caulking for windows and doors, the cost will also rise. Whether paint is applied with a sprayer, brushed, or rolled on will also factor into the price. A painting pro can easily offer an estimate prior to undertaking an exterior painting job.
Over time, a home exterior is bound to require a fresh coat paint. There are lots of considerations when it comes to estimating the cost of an exterior paint job: the number of square feet to be covered, the level of complexity involved in terms of decorative details to work around, the type of paint you want to use, and whether your home will require one or two coats of paint are all key factors.