Spring is the perfect time for fresh paint

INLAND EMPIRE – As the days get longer and the weather warmer, a homeowner’s thoughts turn naturally to… painting! Yes, as the spring maintenance season arrives, to-do lists start being made and projects are planned. But when it comes to home painting, what to do first?

One of the best ways to begin is to thoroughly assess the painted condition of the entire property, both inside and out. Take a slow walk through and around a home, with pad and pencil in hand. Check out everything. Take notes. And for couples, it should be done together – not only because two sets of eyes are better than one, but to get buy-in as well.

Inside the home, the desire for a more attractive appearance may take precedence over maintenance needs. Do room colors look “tired”? Is it time for a change? Look at the condition of the paint. Have the painted walls seen better days? Is the trim banged up? How do the baseboards look? And don’t fail to assess the condition of the ceilings; most people paint them far less frequently than the walls… and they often look that way.

Outside the home, one should start their inspection at the front door, which gives friends and visitors the all-important first impression of someone’s home. Make sure it’s in tip-top shape.

Next, look for signs of paint failure on exterior walls – check for bare wood, peeling, or flaking paint, mildew, or mold. If any masonry work is present on the home (on walls, foundation, or a fireplace), check for white, crusty efflorescence. Aluminum siding? Look for vulnerable bare metal and unsightly white oxidation, an indication that corrosion has set in.

Check all the areas where two different surfaces come together. Make sure they are properly caulked and that the caulk is in good condition. If one notices a problem, make a note of it.

Naturally, it’s smart to inspect exterior trim, windows, shutters, and doors, but don’t forget to also look at the garage door, gutters, downspouts, railings, and decks. A fresh coat of paint can help maintain them all, not to mention metal light fixtures and lamps, outdoor furniture, swing sets, picnic tables, and fencing.

With an inventory of the painting needs, categorize the projects in terms of their urgency or desirability. It’s wise to assign every job a numerical or alphabetical rating, indicating which ones to do first.

Next, check if new brushes, tools, or other accessories are needed for the most urgent projects. That way, they can be purchased in one trip to the hardware or home maintenance store, saving valuable time that can be used painting.

Generally speaking, it’s better to get to the exterior paint jobs first, starting with the areas of greatest need. One should respect Mother Nature since delaying urgent outdoor painting projects can lead to the home sustaining more damage from inclement weather. If there are multiple exterior paint jobs on the “urgent” list, it might be possible to bunch similar projects together, saving a lot of time and effort. For example, if metal railings, metal furniture, and a metal lamppost are all badly in need of painting, it would be more efficient to do them all as one project.

Watch the weather for ideal days to paint outside areas. Especially wet, cold or windy days may interfere with good paint film formation. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, move indoors.

Follow the same procedure with interior painting that was used to do the outdoor work. Start with the most urgent projects.

Since spring has sprung, one can comfortably work with windows open so as to keep rooms well-ventilated as paint is applied.

Information courtesy of Paint Quality Institute.

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