Exterior Painting

By D.Cummings

How hard can it be to paint the outside of a house? Well, a bit harder than you might think. Especially if you have not mastered cutting in or do not know about painting into a wet edge. Which, of course, we did not. The project was our family home and the painters were myself and my brother. We did not know what we were getting ourselves into.

The color had already been chosen, the painting tools purchased and all that was left was to begin. We had already agreed that my brother would do the top part of the house since I have a tendency to get shaky knees when climbing ladders. Height and I do not get along. So, off we go to our different areas and begin painting. After a few hours, it was time for a short break to stand up straight for a few minutes.

Standing back to look at the job we had done so far, we noticed the paint did not quite look the same color. We both had opened our own paint so it would be near the area we were painting. Maybe it was just because it was still wet was what we decided, but as it began to dry it still did not look like the same color.

Investigating a little further, we discovered we were right. It was not the same color. One of the buckets of paint was close to the color we had chosen but not close enough. We must have accidentally picked up a different one that was sitting by the color we had chosen. What to do? There was no choice but to repaint the odd color since the rest of the paint was the same. We checked. Who do you think had to repaint?

Grabbing another bucket of paint and a new brush, I began to paint over the wrong color. Another few hours of painting went by and I was ready for another break. Of course, I did not have nearly as much painted as my brother did because of the repainting. But this was when I learned another valuable lesson that goes a long way when painting something as large as a house exterior.

If you paint over dried paint, you will get lap marks. This can be avoided when you begin painting by working in small sections. The paint that you just brushed on is still wet so you work the new into it when you start the next section. But I had lap marks because the paint I was painting over was already dry. So here goes another coat. By this time I was getting tired of painting the same section over and over. This was not as much fun as I thought it would be.

Of course another thing you want to do when tackling this project is check the weather. You can’t paint when it is too sunny or too cloudy or too windy or if there is a chance of rain or if the temperature is below 50 degrees unless you have the right kind of paint. You also cannot paint when you have become disgusted with the whole project. That is the best time to stop, get away from it and come back when you are in better spirits.

However, I am not a quitter and if I tackle a project I have a stubborn streak that makes me see it through to the end. It took us a whole summer to paint the house and we made mistakes because this was the first time either of us had ever painted a house.

Although we do not consider ourselves professional by any means, we now know what you can and cannot do when tackling a job such as this. The finished look turned out great after learning through trial and error. If I had it to do over again, I would have researched this a little before beginning. It would have saved some frayed nerves. One thing I know is I will never again buy paint without checking to make sure it is all the same color.

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One Comment

  1. Joanie

    It’s a good idea to mix all of your paint cans together in a 5 gallon bucket or two before you use it. Even paints marked or even mixed as the same color will often differ slightly. This can happen for many reasons, from production methods to having a previous customer’s color still on the mixer. Then, if there are any anomalies in your result- paint can be eliminate as the cause immediately.

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