Are you thinking of putting your house on the market this year? Selling your house is much like a job interview: first impressions are important, and those first impressions can happen very quickly. Even if your house's interior is beautifully decorated and designed, sometimes it's what's on the outside that counts. One of the best fixes you can make to preserve your house's curb appeal is to add a coat of fresh paint. If a potential buyer drives up and sees faded, discolored, or peeling paint on the outside of your home, they may have already decided against buying before they even walk up the path.
Paint's Power to Protect
The power of a good paint job is not purely aesthetic, either. Like many homes, if yours has wooden siding, that wood is at risk of wear and tear from rain, storms, and even sun. A good quality coat of paint protects wooden siding from damage caused by the elements. The same goes for stucco siding – if it’s peeling or cracking, water can seep into the cracks and damage the structure of your home. Smart homebuyers will know that a badly peeling coat of paint may be a sign of exposed wood that hasn't been well maintained and has possibly suffered damage as a result.
Preparing for the Paint Job
And speaking of the weather, if you're scheduling a paint job, check the long-range forecast. If it's excessively hot or humid, paint is harder to work with and it will be more difficult for your new paint to dry evenly. The ideal weather for painting your house is between 50 and 85 degrees with low humidity, and with little chance of rain. Cover windows, vents and any other part of the house you don't want to be painted with newspaper or protective sheeting and tape it securely down. Remove screens, storm windows, awnings, etc. Lay drop cloths around the house to protect lawns, shrubs, flower beds and your driveway surface from accidental splashes. If you hire professional painters, they will normally carry out these protective steps.
Before painting, the house is washed down and allowed to dry. Loose or peeling paint is then scraped off. The exterior is then sanded down and cracks or dents should be repaired. Any gaps between the house and the trim around windows and doors should be caulked. It's at this point that a coat of primer is applied before painting. To prevent streaking, it's advisable to paint from the top down. And to avoid the appearance of seam marks, paint from one side of the wall to another and blend the painted sections together before they can dry.
If painting your house sounds like a complicated process that may take more spare time than you have, don't despair. Use our Service Directory to find top painters who will get the job done for you. And use our system of reviews to evaluate the work of your contractors after the project is finished.