The 16 rules of house painting

3. Scrape all loose, peeling or blistered paint off the surface.

4. Be certain to sand all scraped areas. Start with extra coarse sandpaper, them medium, until the old paint blends into the bare wood.

5. Fill all holes and indentations in bare wood with exterior spackle. If holes are large, spackle in several steps and allow extra dry time. Sand spackled areas smooth.

6. Wash residue off all sanded areas with a sponge and a mild solution of tri-sodium phosphate and rinse well. Or dust off with a dry brush. (If washing, allow two days drying time.)

7. Caulk all joints between siding and window and door trim. (We recommend paintable "35-year caulk.") Allow sufficient drying time.

8. Prime all bare spots. Let dry overnight.

9. When your house and your primed areas are completely dry, apply your topcoat.

10. Be sure the paint you buy is of a high quality. Properly applied, a high quality paint will last up to twice as long as "bargain" paint. Also, be sure to read the directions on the can.

11. Use the correct type of brush. For siding, we usually recommend a 4-inch brush. For sashes we think that a 2"-3" angle brush works best.

12. If you thin your paint, be sure to follow the manufacturer's exact recommendations; do not over-thin.

13. In the hot summer, do not paint in the sun. Stay in the shade, if possible. In the cool spring or fall, do just the opposite. Work in the sun and follow it around.

14. Don't paint if the temperature is 50 degrees or less, unless you use paint which is good for temperatures down to 35 degrees. (Ask for assitance at the store.)

15. Rule of thumb. The best time to paint exteriors is starting the latter part of May up through the middle of October.

16. If you are in doubt about any portion of the job, ask directions from the paint experts.