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Exterior Painting

Trim Technique For Exterior Painting

The trim is also important because it helps tie your exterior look together and typically provides an eye-catching contrast with the siding color. If you're planning to paint your trim, the proper techniques are key to getting the best look possible.

Prepare Surface

If the trim has previously been painted, scrape off the old coats. Follow up by sanding the trim to create a smooth surface for the paint. Because the exterior of your home is exposed to the elements, make sure that the trim is clean before painting.

Don't Skip Primer

If there are any areas of bare wood on your trim, you must prime the surface before painting. Start by coating the trim with a paintable water repellent that helps preserve the wood and prevents it from contracting or shrinking when exposed to moisture and cracking the paint.

Choose the Right Finish

While the trim may only make up a small portion of your home's exterior surface, its paint job can affect the overall look of your home. For the most attractive look, opt for paint with a higher sheen finish so that it stands out from the siding. Gloss and semigloss finishes are both good options. In addition, oil-based paint typically offers a higher sheen than latex paint-- and it takes longer to dry, so you have more time to smooth out brush marks.

Choose the Right Tools

While using the right paint is important when painting exterior trim, so is using the right tools. Because the trim is usually composed of relatively small, narrow areas, you can't really use a paint roller or sprayer for the job. When choosing a brush, however, opt for the largest size that will fit your trim. Using the largest possible brush helps cut down on lap marks since you can cover the area in a smooth, continuous stroke.

Start at Top

For the best results when painting exterior trim, start at the top of your home so you can avoid smudging or imprinting areas that you've already painted. In an area like the porch, which features vertical and horizontal areas, paint vertical pieces such as the spindles first and leave the horizontal portions such as the handrail for last.

Start by coating the trim with a paintable water repellent that helps preserve the wood and prevents it from shrinking or contracting when exposed to moisture and cracking the paint. While the trim may only make up a small portion of your home's exterior surface, its paint job can affect the overall look of your home. While using the right paint is important when painting exterior trim, so is using the right tools. Because the trim is usually composed of relatively small, narrow areas, you can't really use a paint roller or sprayer for the job. For the best results when painting exterior trim, start at the top of your home so you can avoid smudging or imprinting areas that you've already painted.

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