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Helpful Tips on Painting Exterior Trim

Jan 23, 2008
Out of all the exterior painting jobs, painting the exterior trim is one of the most difficult. More preparation is required along with greater care. However it can also be very satisfying to see your house stand out and looking great.

Preparation

As with other painting jobs, preparation is a must if you want an excellent finish. You will need to mask the trim to prevent paint from ending up in places you don't want. If for instance you are painting the exterior wall first you can end up getting unwanted paint on your trim which could cause difficulties when painting over it. When painting trim you'll also need to mask to keep paint from getting on the walls. Although you may use paint which is the same colour, they might be different shades.

Windows can be fairly difficult because you can easily get paint on the glass. The question is, do you mask the glass before painting or do you simply wipe or scrape the unwanted paint off later? If you are looking for a great finish and don't want to damage the glass, then masking is the option to choose.

Conditions

Dry Surface - Like other exterior paint jobs, make sure that the surface is dry. This is especially true with trim. It's not so important for large wall areas because the sun will dry the area quickly. However sections of trim have more angles that can trap moisture.

Moisture - If it has been raining, wait a couple of days before you start work. Also, if you start the job a bit later in the day you'll find that the morning dew has evaporated. Also make sure you've finished working by the evening because evening moisture can interfere with your good work.

Temperature - Moisture isn't your only consideration either, temperature is important too. The problem is that paint dries much slower in the cold than it does when it's warm. Temperatures much below 50F/10C can even cause the paint to wrinkle.

In saying that however, high temperatures have its problems too. If the temperature is too high the paint will dry too quickly potentially cause blistering.

Technique

Like other paint jobs, it's always good practice to start from the top down. After you have dipped your brush into the paint, wipe the brush against the rim to remove any excess.

For the first few strokes work your brush perpendicular to the grain. This will help get the paint into the groves of the wood. After that you should make brush stokes that work with the grain.

Make sure that the size of brush you use is appropriate for the size of area you are working. For larger areas you can use a larger brush whilst on smaller more intricate areas use a smaller brush.

If you have a thick area of trim to paint you can use a roller. For instance, on a six inch area of trim using a four inch wide roller is ideal. Just make sure you don't go too fast as this can cause paint to splatter.
About the Author
April often writes articles for home and garden site which also has articles relating to how to paint a ceiling and paint wood floors.
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