One of the nicest things you can do for your home is attend to the exterior interest. And a new coat of paint does so much, including adding to your curb appeal.
Start by paying a visit to your nearest hardware or home improvement center for paint swatches. By choosing a color that is close to the existing one you'll save time and money. Or check the brochures that suggest wonderful color combinations and types of paint. Take your swatches and brochures home and look at them in the light of day. Lighting makes a big difference in how a color looks. Also, look at your neighbor's homes. What colors do they have? If the house next door is taupe, you may want to go with a different, but complimentary hue. If in doubt, think about resale values. Neutrals work on the outside as well as inside.
Once you've chosen the perfect color, it's time to get down to business. You'll want to keep in mind that time spent in preparation saves time later and makes the job look professional. First, give the house a good cleaning with a power wash. You can rent everything inexpensively. Then scrape the loose paint. At this stage, you may want to caulk around windows and doors and look for areas that may need extra attention.
Now, you're ready to paint. Take a moment to read the instructions on the can. It's usually not a good idea to paint when the weather is too cold or moist. If you have clapboard, you can paint the large part of the board with a roller and save considerable time. Use the brush to paint those hard to reach areas as well as underneath.
If you're not ready to tackle the whole house, perhaps you could get by with freshening up the front door and any trim areas such as shutters. While you're there, take the time to polish the hardware. Make it gleam! And add a new welcome mat that makes your guests feel at home.
Painting your home can be hard work, so you may opt to hire professional painters. Be sure to get several bids from different contractors, and check each of them through the Better Business Bureau. Also ensure they're licensed and insured before signing any contracts. Conversely, if you choose to do the work yourself, you can save a lot on labor costs. Either way, keeping your home looking great inside and out maintains its value to you, your neighbors, and even potential buyers down the road.
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