Tips for painting your home in Thurston County


Thurston County Home InspectorSubmitted by: Dwayne Boggs (Dwayne is a home inspector serving the Thurston County area home inspection market)

OK, you have finished with your preparation and caulking now let’s get down to the business of protecting & making your home beautiful!

Refrain from painting when the temperature is below 50° F.

Avoid painting in threatening weather — a shower can ruin a fresh coat of paint.

Solvent-thinned paints should not be applied over damp surfaces.   This will lead to blistering and peeling.

Prior to painting make sure to have enough paint “boxed” (multiple cans mixed together to ensure color consistency) to complete an entire section. (use a 5 gallon pail)

Mix the paint thoroughly.  Always stir before and during use.

Begin painting on the side of the house that will remain in the shade until you have finished.  Direct sun causes rapid drying which interferes with the leveling qualities of the paint, and produces lapmarks, particularly with latex paints. Dry blisters will develop with oil-based paints, especially with dark colors, if the sun (or strong wind) causes the surface of the paint to dry too rapidly.

Work from the top down. If you did not remove the gutters and eaves, paint them first.

Finish with the trim. Paint trim area last. Shutters can be removed, painted, and re-hung when the job is completed.   Coat window sash and door panels first, then paint the window frames, sills and door trim.  Any paint on the putty line of the window will serve to protect the puttied surface from water: try to overlap onto the glass 1/16″ – 1/8″ or so. Excess paint can be scraped off with a razor blade to create a clean edge.

A vertical technique is appropriate for shingled surfaces.  The shingles provide natural breaking points, so painting in vertical sections is convenient.

On horizontal siding, work from side to side beginning at the top. Minimize lapmarks by painting four to five boards across the house until completed.

On clapboard siding, the first surface to paint is the area where two boards overlap.  Use the narrow side of the brush and force paint up under the lap.   Coat as much length of board as you can comfortably reach, then flip to the wider portion of the brush and coat the surface of the board.  When loading your brush with paint. Immerse the first 1/3 of the bristles into the paint and tap the brush lightly side-to-side against the inside of the can. Do not drag the bristles across the lip of the can; this will rob your brush of half its paint carrying capacity.

When applying with a brush, use long, smooth strokes.

Oil-based house paint should be brushed back and forth several times for a well spread, even coat.  If paint gathers along the horizontal edge of the clapboard, paint is being applied too heavily or is not being adequately brushed out.

Latex paints do not require much brushing.  These paints dry quickly, and excessive brushing will cut deep brush marks permanently into the paint film.  When using latex, apply paint generously, give it one or two back strokes and leave it to dry.

Paint will build up on the heel of the brush, where the bristles meet the ferrule.  To eliminate this excess, occasionally drag the heel of the brush over the lip of the can.

Roller application works well for porous surfaces such as masonry and stucco.  Dip the roller in the 5 gallon bucket and roll it up and down on the grid to remove excess paint.  If it drips when picked up, it is overloaded. Screw on a threaded pole 4′ or so and you can easily roll out walls.  A roller is ideal for flat surfaces, but will not fit into inside corners and will deposit too much paint on edges of outer corners.  Apply paint to those areas first, (cutting in) with a brush to ensure good coverage.

Use long even strokes, rolling in different directions to coat the entire surface.  Finish off with strokes in one direction.

PRO TIP-  When painting wood siding apply the paint with a roller then “lay it off” using a brush. This technique saves a lot of dipping with a brush. Rollers are available in various widths from 3″ to 12″ and a 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick nap is good.

When you take a break, wrap brushes and rollers with plastic to keep paint from hardening or developing a skin.  Replace the lids on open cans.

About the Author

Dwayne is the former past President of the  Washington Association of Property Inspectors, Dwayne is also a committee member for the Washington State Pest Management Association (WSPMA), Dwayne has been serving the Thurston County home inspection markets of Olympia home inspection , Lacey home inspection and Tumwater home inspection for many years. Boggs Inspection Services can be reached at 360-480-9602.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email