Spring and fall are peak seasons for exterior painting, but it makes sense to tackle certain projects now. These midsummer tasks take little time and effort, but they can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Without further ado, here are five of the most important summer painting “face-savers” for your home:
1. Touch-up or re-paint the front door. Take a good look at the painted appearance and overall condition of your front door. It’s what creates the first impression of your home when family or friends drop by. Repair any damage you may see there, then apply primer and touch-up paint where needed. Even better, repaint the door with a coat or two of durable, top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. Your freshly painted entrance will elevate the appearance of your entire home and enhance the impression it makes on all who visit this summer.
2. Remove mildew from the exterior. Summer’s hot temperatures, high humidity, and rainy weather create a perfect environment for mold and mildew. As if that wasn’t enough, lawnmowers kick up dust and dirt that can stick to your siding and trim, providing nutrients for the funky fungi. Fight the problem by cutting back foliage near your home to let the sun shine in, and treat the affected area with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. After applying the solution, let it sit a few minutes, scrub away the dirt and mildew, then rinse the surface thoroughly. By doing this now, you’ll prevent mold and mildew from getting a firm foothold on your facade.
3. Clean or re-stain the deck. If your outdoor deck is the social hub of your home, you’ll want it to look its best at all times. Assuming that you didn’t re-do the deck this spring, then spring into action now. To restore a deck recently refurbished with stain or paint, use a commercial cleaner to remove any build-up of grime or mildew. If the finish on the deck is wearing away, then power-wash the surface, make any repairs that are needed, and apply two coats of a top-quality semi-transparent or solid color latex stain made with 100% acrylic to make it company-ready again.
4. Check the home exterior for damage from yard work or lawn equipment. While lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and the like help keep flora under control, these tools can also inflict damage on your home’s exterior. Carefully check the first floor to see if a careless pass has harmed the siding or trim (even a wayward weed whacker can chip away paint). Repair the surface as needed, then spot-prime and re-paint any areas where the contact has exposed bare wood or metal. By doing so, you’ll nip more serious problems in the bud!
5. Correct minor paint failures. Summer is a great time to do preventative maintenance on your exterior paint so that small issues don’t become big headaches later on. Do a walk-around inspection of your home and look for telltale signs of trouble like peeling, flaking, or blistering paint. If you identify a problem and it’s confined to a small area, you’ll likely be able to fix it easily (sealing off sources of moisture with caulk or flashing, scraping and sanding away the damaged finish, spot-priming, and re-painting). It’s a smart way to protect the investment in your paint job and, more importantly, your investment in your home.[One word of caution on summertime painting: Paints and other coatings should not be applied in extremely hot weather, so pick a moderate day to do your work. For more temperature advice, check the label on the specific product you’ll be applying.]
As you can see, most midsummer painting projects take only a few hours, leaving plenty of time still to crank up the grill. Devote the morning to one of these five simple projects, and your summertime living will still be easy!