Have you ever had one of those neighbors who thinks they are hilarious?
You know, the ones that love to make jokes at the expense of your home. Like when you’ve let your grass grow a little higher than normal, and your neighbor quips, “Hey! I think my refrigerator is hiding in your lawn!” Or peers at your struggling flowers and says, “My deceased grandmother looks more alive than those petunias.”
If this is familiar to you, then you can imagine all of the fun your neighbor will have if you don’t paint your house properly. After all, it can be difficult to hide exterior painting errors even from people who aren’t angling to provide you with “constructive criticism.”
With that in mind, here are several suggestions on painting your home properly so you won’t get any grief from your dear neighbor:
1. Tip: Remove all items from around your home’s exterior, like planters, patio chairs, shutters, and light fixtures. If they aren’t there, you can’t drip paint on them.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “Wow! Those green dots really make that wicker rocking chair pop!”
2. Tip: Use plastic sheeting, canvas tarps, or drop cloths to cover all shrubs, plants, and flower beds. In addition to causing discoloration, the paint could harm your flora.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “I wasn’t aware that brown-flecked hydrangea bushes grew in this part of the country.”
3. Tip: Clean the exterior of your home thoroughly before beginning to paint. If possible, get a power washer and remove all excess dirt from your siding, brick, and other surfaces.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “You must have used that brand new “dirt-shade gray” that I’ve read about in the home improvement magazines.”
4. Tip: Remove all loose paint before applying a new coat. Take a paint scraper or a sanding block (medium-grade) to remove chipped, flaked, or bubbly paint from your home; if you neglect this step, the new paint won’t coat the surface well enough and it will be more susceptible to failure.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “That was smart to leave the loose paint when you painted it. Now, you’ll know exactly where your new paint will start to deteriorate first. Well done!”
5. Tip: Make repairs before painting. Use caulk or epoxy to fill holes and cracks. Then caulk any gaps between the home and its door or window trim.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “I like the color you chose. It really brings out the cracks and holes in your front windowsill.”
6. Tip: When painting, be sure to apply the paint evenly. Use several long, smooth back-and-forth strokes to spread the new paint along your home. You’ll know that the spread rate is incorrect if paint starts gathering along a horizontal edge.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “I see that paint streak on that edge over there. What, were you in a hurry to finish and watch the game?”
7. Tip: Make sure the weather is ideal. Using latex paint when it’s too hot or too cold, or when rain falls within 24 hours of your painting project, can degrade the effectiveness of your paint and cause premature failure.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “It’s too bad that the rain fell on your freshly-painted house. If only there were people in this world whose job it was to predict the weather and inform you about it.”
8. Tip: Save the trim for last. Don’t paint the trim around your windows and doors until you are done with the rest of your home.
Otherwise, your neighbor might say, “Painting the trim before the walls, huh? I’ll bet you drain your spaghetti before you cook it, too.”
Taking the time to paint your home correctly will keep it looking bright and sharp for a long time. Making the right preparations will cut down on the total time of your project. And a long-lasting paint job will save you money in repair costs for years to come – money which you can use to pay the teens down the block to toilet-paper your neighbor’s home.
Written by Del Thebaud