Refresh Your Home’s Exterior
Karen Duggan - Bradford, PA

Hardwarian Karen Duggan

Horns True Value Hardware

Bradford, PA

Refresh Your Home’s Exterior

Level: Experienced

Over time, exposure to the elements can cause the exterior of your home to look worn and outdated. However, by adding a fresh coat of paint and refinishing your deck, you can give your home a striking new makeover.

Not only will painting and refinishing make your home and deck look like new, but you’ll also protect your investment for years to come.

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  • Paint the Exterior

    There are many stressors on your home’s exterior surfaces. Sunlight and ultra-violet radiation degrade pigments and binders in paint, resulting in chalking, erosion and color loss. Weather and moisture are always trying to penetrate the paint; while humidity from inside the house pushes outward, causing the paint to “push off” the surface. In addition, temperature fluctuations make the paint expand and contract, which causes it to peel and flake off.

    All of these factors can make your home’s exterior look shabby over the years. Follow the steps below to get your house looking great again.

    • Step 1: Choose the Right Paint for the Job
       
      paint

      The outside surface of your home will determine what kind of paint and primer to use. It is recommended that you use latex paints, which have higher durability on exterior surfaces than oil-based paints. Latex paint provides better fade resistance, flexibility, chalk resistance and adhesion. If your home is older, it may already have many layers of oil-based paint on its surface. If this is the case, use oil-based paint as your base coat, and then apply exterior latex paint over it.

      When painting aluminum or vinyl siding, use True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium aluminum/vinyl siding paint. If you will be painting masonry, such as brick, concrete or stucco, paint with True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium masonry/stucco paint. If you have wood siding on your home, use True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium exterior paint in your desired sheen.

      Flat and satin sheens are good for exterior siding because they have little reflection. Semi-gloss sheens are typically used for shutters and trim. Vinyl or aluminum siding that is slightly dented or worn looks best when repainted with a flat sheen because it camouflages imperfections more; a satin finish is a better choice when the siding is in good condition. In addition, semi-gloss finishes are durable, easier to clean and resistant to mildew and chalking.

    • Step 2: Buy the Right Amount of Paint
       
      house

      Once you’ve decided what colors to paint, you’ll need to know how much to buy. When estimating, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the length of each surface by its height and add ano ther 30 percent for good measure. Typically, one gallon of paint will cover 200 to 350 square feet. Buy more than you think you need, you can always use the extra for touch-ups.

      Helpful Tip

      Use the True Value paint calculator to estimate how much paint you need.

    • Step 3: Prepare for Painting
       

      Before painting, take precautions so that you don’t get paint on places that you don’t want it, including your neighbors’ property.

      Use drop cloths to cover cars, patio furniture, shrubs and anything else you don’t want spattered. Although you’re painting outside, it’s a good idea to cover the ground so you don’t get paint on walkways and the yard. Remove all screens, light fixtures, plumbing outlets, electrical covers, shutters and address numbers/placards or cover them with painter’s tape before you begin.

      Remove peeling or flaking paint by scraping and sanding it off. First use a large scraper to scrape off paint, then rent or buy a disc sander. Begin sanding with a coarse abrasive and then finish with a fine one. It’s particularly important to smooth the edges between the painted and scraped areas, as painting will accentuate any ridges and edges left behind.

      Safety Alerts!

      If your home was built before 1978, test the exterior with a lead testing kit to determine whether it contains any lead-based paint. Lead poses a serious health hazard, especially to children and pregnant women. To protect yourself and your family, avoid scraping or sanding lead-based paint.

      When using a ladder to reach high areas, invest in an adjustable ladder stabilizer that attaches to the ladder and braces onto the roof.

      Remove any dirt and eliminate mildew by washing surfaces with a mixture of water, trisodium phosphate (TSP) and bleach with a long-handled brush. Then thoroughly spray surfaces with a pressure washer loaded with a mild detergent. Let everything dry completely before you start painting. When cleaning stucco homes, or if the surface is chalky or crumbly after cleaning, also apply a masonry surface conditioner.

      Safety Alert!

      Use TSP as directed by the manufacturer. TSP can corrode metal and damage finished wood. Be sure to wear protective goggles, clothing and rubber gloves.

      Use an exterior spackling compound to repair any holes or damaged areas. With wood, it’s also important to caulk joints and cracks in areas such as trim and window frames using paintable caulk. Use an old screwdriver to scrape out any old caulk and clean the joint using a small brush. Apply paintable caulk with a caulking tool.

    • Step 4: Prime and Paint
       

      A paint roller is a great home exterior painting and priming tool, especially for stucco and brick, which can be difficult to paint over. If desired, use a sprayer but watch your surroundings to avoid spillage. Make sure to use a high-quality paint primer, such as True Value WeatherAll® Ultra Premium exterior primer/sealer, before you paint. This seals porous surface material so the topcoat won't soak in and dry unevenly, and helps prevent peeling, rusting and bleed-through (especially on wood and concrete). You can skip priming and save time by using True Value WeatherAll® Extreme paint and primer in-one.

      When you’re ready, pour True Value WeatherAll® paint into a paint tray and coat your roller. Follow the “top-down” rule — work from the top of your house to the bottom to get the most even coverage. Finish with the trim. Go over the paint surface with a roller when you’re done to balance coverage. Use paintbrushes for windows, trim, cracks and crevices. Use two coats for optimal results.

      Helpful Tips

      Use ladder mitts to prevent paint from scraping off. Another useful product is a pot hook, which allows you to hang the paint bucket from your ladder for easy access.

      Avoid ridges and lap marks on a flat surface by always stroking into the wet paint, never away from it. As you finish painting one area and move on to the next, blend each new stroke of the brush toward the wet paint previously applied so the layers blend evenly.

    • Step 5: Don't Forget the Front Door
       

      The outside of your front door is an opportunity to add contrast to the rest of your paint job. A new coat of glossy paint in a bold, cheerful color adds style and will make your home look attractive and unique. First, remove the door from the frame and remove the doorknob. Protect any hardware with painter’s tape. Prime all door surfaces completely, including the front, back and all four outside edges. Paint over the primer with an angled sash paintbrush, painting the corners of the raised panels first. Work from top to bottom and use at least two coats. Reinstall the door when you’re finished.

    • Step 6: Clean Up
       

      Thoroughly rinse roller covers and brushes in water (or paint thinner, if you’re using oil-based products) until it runs clear and squeeze them out to remove excess liquid. Store in plastic bags. Remove the drop cloths and pull off the painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any paint.

      Safety Alert!

      If you use paint thinner, make sure you find out where and how to dispose of paint thinner properly. Some states have laws that do not allow you to pour paint thinner down the drain.

    Stain Your Deck

    Staining your deck regularly will make it last longer by giving it a layer of protection. Check to see if it’s time to refinish it by applying a few drops of water. If the water beads up, there’s no need to add stain now. If the drops soak in, you need to refinish. Before you start, use drop cloths to cover anything you want to protect from accidental splatter or drips of stain.

     
    • Step 1: Clean the Surface and Remove Existing Finish
       

      Clean the surface using a power washer to remove dirt, debris and as much of the old stain as possible. Note: Avoid using pressure exceeding 1000 to 1200 psi, as to avoid damaging the surface. In addition, the nozzle should not be placed too close to the wood, as this also can damage the surface. Pressure washing does not necessarily remove the decaying wood fiber but only raises and loosens it.

      After cleaning the surface, remove all remaining stain using Woodsman® Wood Stripper. Apply with a large paint brush. Be sure to follow all label directions. Rinse the surface thoroughly after application.

      Safety Alert!

      The deck surface will be very slippery after it’s been stripped and rinsed. Be careful to avoid falls.

      Use Woodsman® Wood Brightener to neutralize the remaining stripper imbedded in the wood pores. This will also make the wood look like new. Follow all label instructions. Apply with a large paintbrush.

    • Step 2: Sand
       

      Sand the entire surface, using an orbital sander with a 60 to 80-grit sanding pad to remove the remaining dead wood fiber. This also will give the new stain a more adhesive surface to stick to. Afterwards, use Woodsman® Wood Cleaner to ensure that all of the stripper, brightener and any sanding dust have been removed from the surface. Then be sure to rinse the surface thoroughly and let it dry completely.

      Safety Alert!

      Strippers, cleaners and brighteners contain strong chemicals or bleaching agents, so wear protective clothing, safety goggles and rubber gloves.

    • Step 3: Apply Stain
       
      stain

      Choose a quality stain in a clear, natural, semi-transparent or solid-color finish from the Woodsman® line of products. Smoothly apply the stain using a paint brush, 2 to 3 boards at a time along the entire length of the boards. Avoid lap marks by keeping a leading wet edge. Brush wet stain into stain. Do not allow the stain to dry while applying as lap marks will appear. Do not over apply; more is not better. Only apply as much stain as the wood can absorb. If you over-apply, a film can form that no longer be breathable and you will end up with a beautiful shiny finish that will probably peel over time.

      Helpful Tips

      If working with more than one gallon, all gallons should be intermixed to assure uniform color.

      Stain should be applied when air and surface temperatures are between 50 to 90 degrees.

      Do not apply stain in direct sunlight.

      Use a small paintbrush to cover corners and other difficult areas such as steps, railings, board ends and cracks. Allow stain to dry completely before replacing furniture and potted plants. Wait a couple of days before using the deck.

    • Step 4: Clean Up
       

      Rinse your brushes and other equipment with water or paint thinner until the water or solvent runs clear. Store applicators in plastic bags or hang them on nails or hooks to dry. Pick up drop cloths.

    • Step 5: Maintain It
       

      A new deck needs to be refinished every six to twelve months. As your deck gets older, the stain lasts longer so you don’t have to refinish as often. Do the water test every year and remember that the best time to refinish your deck is in the fall or spring. Periodically cleaning your deck will keep your deck looking great and will maximize the life of the stain.

      Congratulations! You’re finished.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at TrueValue.com and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

    Paint the Exterior

    Stain Your Deck

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