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Twelve Steps for Easy Home Painting

(ARA) – Nothing freshens a home’s exterior appearance like a fresh coat of paint. Why then do so many of us put off this task? What seems complicated can be easy with a little planning and the right tools.

“Keeping the outside of your home looking clean and new is the best way to increase curb appeal as well as your own enjoyment outdoors,” says Tom Gessner, product manager for Wagner Spray Tech, an industry leader in painting technology. “Don’t be intimidated; plan ahead and do-it-yourselfers will be painting like pros in no time.”

Keep these steps in mind while painting your house:

* Remove peeling paint and dirt by sanding, scraping or pressure washing the surface. Patch small cracks and seams with caulk and add primer to any bare wood. Remove shutters and cover windows, doors, the ground around the house, bushes, flowers, trees, deck etc.

* When selecting primer, choose a breathable oil primer to allow moisture buildup from inside the house to escape.

* Choose a color that will compliment the existing features in your yard such as the roof, doors, railings, brick or other surfaces that will not be painted.

* Dark colors require more maintenance because they fade quicker and are more difficult to touch up. Remember that light colors will make objects seem larger while dark colors will make them seem smaller, but can be used to draw attention to detail.

* In terms of sheen, glossy surfaces are easier to clean, however, the glossier the surface, the more likely it is to show imperfections.

* Don’t forget to test your color in a small area before you paint -- colors will almost always look different on the surface than what you imagine.

* Cover the primer with two coats of 100 percent acrylic latex paint to resist mildew and hold color best. Avoid painting if rain or very high humidity is predicted within 24 hours and be sure to finish early enough for the surface to dry before evening dew sets in.

* Use a paint sprayer to get the job done in a few easy strokes. Spraying paint provides a high quality finish and saves a great deal of time. You might want try the Wagner Paint Crew, a piston pump sprayer with the performance of a contractor sprayer that is designed for the homeowner. The Paint Crew uses standard reversible spray tips and comes complete with a 25-foot hose, tip and metal spray gun, making the job fast and easy.

* Practice on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard before you spray to test your spray pattern. Start painting from top to bottom in back and forth or up and down motions that are slightly overlapping.

* Keep your arm moving at a constant speed and keep the sprayer at a constant distance from the surface -- between 10 and 14 inches is recommended. Be sure to stop the flow of paint at the end of each stroke before moving to the next stroke -- this will help you avoid an uneven finish.

* If you are going to be painting a surface with detail, spray the base (or dominant) coat and paint the details with a brush.

* Allow proper time to dry and enjoy!

For more information about paint projects and tools to get the job done faster, visit Wagner at or y

The Jaques Handyman’s top 5 do-it-yourself ways to add value to your home

1. Change your window frames.

Window frames show their age and are often overlooked by home do-it-yourselfers — new timber skirting can update the look of your home. Remove existing skirting surrounding each frame using a hammer. Use a tape measure to determine exactly how much timber you will need on each window frame; purchase this from your local hardwarestore. Saw each skirting board to the appropriate length using a 45 degree cut. The skirting can be attached by hammering it in place with 2-inch nails, wood glue or screws. If the window frame is in a awkward spot, a hammer with a curved handle will allow access to hard-to-reach spaces. Approximate cost: Under $50 per window.

2. Paint or replace your front door.

The entrance of a house can really influence someone’s perception. When people approach a particularly nice front door, they really do notice it. If your current door is out-of-date or weathered, you can do one of two things.

Renovate: Sand the existing door and give it a fresh coat of paint using a nice, bright color. This will create a warm, welcoming feeling.

Replace: Remove the door and get its dimensions with a tape measure. Take these to a hardware store to ensure you get the same sized door (under $100).

Have a friend hold the door in place while you screw the new door in place using a screwdriver. Note: Installing a new lock can be tricky so it’s best to hire a locksmith.

3. Improve the entrance area to your home.

The entrance to your home should be eye-catching — for the right reasons!

Ensure it is clean and accessible. Try lining the walkway to your front door with new shrubs or pot plants, or if you’re really game, pave a concrete walkway.

4. Wash away grime and mold.

We wash our cars regularly, so why not our homes?

A high-pressure water cleaner from a hardware store won’t cost much to rent for a day. Attach it to your existing garden hose and the high-pressure cleaner will remove mold, cobwebs and dirt off timber, concrete and paving. You will be amazed at the improvement.

5. Cover up stained pavement or driveway.

Unsightly oil stains or tire marks are easily covered up with a concrete color or stain available from any hardware store.

Thoroughly clean the surface you want to color — a high-pressure water cleaner is perfect for this.

Follow the instructions on the product carefully and use the recommended safety gear and protective clothing.

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