Painting Exterior Surfaces

I'm planning to paint the outside of my home, in the near future.  I've never done it before, but I can not afford to pay to have it done, therefore I'm planning to do it myself can you give me some steps to follow? Here are some specifics to help guide me:

-The outside of the home is of a stucco surface
-The last paint is approximately 6yrs or more
-There are a couple cracks & scratches
-On the backside of the house has some dark coloring (like mold)
-The present color is white
-I'm thinking of painting it almond color with white trimmings
-I want to use Benjamin & Moor paint.

Thank you for your time, looking forward to your reply.
marmelyaam  1-13-07 9:21

Painting your house is a totally do-able home improvement project, even for a first timer!  While I can't give you all the details here, I'm happy to provide an overview.

Since the last paint job you have now lasted just 6 years, I think a bit more preparation will be needed this time.  To start, you need to make sure the exterior surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.  This can be accomplished with a solution of bleach and water, TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) or a commercial house cleaning product like Jomax.  A pressure washer is also a very handy tool to get this done.  It is important that you remove all loose, flaking, paint by sanding, wire brushing or pressure washing.  Adhesion is the key to making sure the paint job lasts. Good paint stuck to bad paint makes worse paint! 

As for your cracks, they can be filled with latex patching compound or latex caulk.  Just make sure the product you use is paint-able.

Next, I suggest you apply an alkali-resistant primer.  Primers have different qualities than house paint.  They are designed to adhere to the surface of whatever you are painting and make the top coat sticks!  They also make sure the top coat flows nicely so that the finished paint job looks great!

For more tips see my column Picture Perfect Painting.  Benjamin Moore also has some great how-to painting advice on their website.

Reaching Tom:  If you have a home improvement question or comment on this topic, please post it here.  For answers to other home improvement questions, please email Tom at tomsmoneypit@aol.com so your question can be used in future blog entries.

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