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Paint your home like the pros

Paint your home like the pros

Posted: August 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 18, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Take empty wall space and paint to add design and color. Take empty wall space and paint to add design and color.
Take empty wall space and paint to add design and color.
Caulk surfaces after old paint has been removed for the smoothest, professional look. Caulk surfaces after old paint has been removed for the smoothest, professional look.
Caulk surfaces after old paint has been removed for the smoothest, professional look.
Paint that is badly peeling means moisture can get into the wood. Paint that is badly peeling means moisture can get into the wood.
Paint that is badly peeling means moisture can get into the wood.

Maybe you find yourself with some free time, as we move toward the end of summer.

Maybe you’ve come into a small sum of cash. Or maybe your wife has decided she can no longer live in a home where the exterior walls are peeling and the interior walls have huge, off-color rectangles where your “Rocky III” posters used to hang.

Whatever your motivation, if you can’t quite bring yourself to hire painters, then you’ve got to do it yourself — and with that, you might need a little advice.

The information we offer here is provided by Joshua Abramson, president of A. Allbright Painting in Valencia.

Exterior paint

“We all know that ultraviolet sun rays are harmful to the skin; thankfully, we have an array of sunscreens to keep us protected. In the same way, our homes need the same tender love and care when it comes to finding the right paint to protect them,” Abramson said.

The weather and environment are unpredictable factors. The sun, moisture and temperature fluctuations all affect the state of exterior paint.

“It’s important to review the condition of your home once a year, checking to see if any peeling paint is starting to appear,” he said. It’s important for no wood to be exposed and for it to be properly painted to avoid further damage.

Look out for fading paint, which usually means it’s not protecting the wood; furthermore, “alligatoring” is something you definitely want to avoid. It’s when the surface of the paint starts to look like the skin of an alligator.

“This also means that water is starting to penetrate the paint. This is usually a good sign that it’s time for a paint job,” Abramson said.

He noted there are a few things to consider to keep your home from “peeling into oblivion.”

Prep, prep, prep

The first and most important thing is the prep work. You want to make sure to pressure wash the areas that are going to be painted to remove all peeling paint, mildew and “yucky stuff.”

“You want to do this a few days in advance, to allow the wood plenty of time to dry,” Abramson said. Once that is complete, it’s time to prime.

Primers can be tinted to match the paint color. Depending on the surface, you can either use oil-based primers or acrylic-based primers.

“Once that stage is complete, you want to use two coats of top-quality, 100-percent acrylic latex paint,” he said. This type of paint is usually less impacted by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and tends to withstand its harmful bleaching effects. It also adheres well to painted surfaces and is less likely to blister under moist conditions.

Additionally, it contains more “mildewcide” than ordinary pant, which helps to prevent mildew from occurring on the surface.

And, finally, it’s a flexible paint that expands and contracts under temperature fluctuations to prevent cracking and peeling.

On a budget?

“It’s important to know that you don’t always have to paint all four sides of your home at the same time,” Abramson said.

It’s far better to repair and repaint the failing painted areas when you see the first signs of delaminating, than to wait until all four sides need it.

“Most of the time, it’s the southern and western exposures of the home that fail first and have most damage from the sun,” he said.

If you’re not going to be changing the color of the home, then consider scraping, sanding, caulking, priming and painting the sun-exposed wood surfaces before the repairs become more extensive.

“The other benefit of maintaining your home is that you get to drive up to a new-looking home all the time,” Abramson said.    

Painting a room

“Many people, thinking to themselves, ‘How hard could it be?’, take up a roller and brush and soon end up wondering instead, ‘How do I paint a room?’” Abramson said. “Painting is both an art and a science, requiring certain techniques and skills. One of the most important steps, though definitely not the most fun, is to protect your room and prepare your walls. Next, apply tape to all of the edges of your painting surface. Now, give your paint cans a quick shake and a good stir, dip your brush and you’re ready to begin.”

Cutting in

Using your brush, paint a frame around each surface you are painting, along the ceiling, floor and walls. Also paint a frame around the outside of the windows and doors. This frame should be four to five inches wide, with smooth, thorough coverage. This process is called cutting in, and it allows you to roll the rest of the wall and not have to roll too near adjacent surfaces. For best results, make sure there is not a ridge or bead of paint at the edge of your brushstroke.


Now it is time to use the roller on the large, open surfaces. Load the roller with paint, but not so it drips.

Begin in a top corner and roll your way carefully downward. Rolling too quickly will cause splatters. Work your way from top to bottom and from one end toward the other, always maintaining a wet edge.

This means that the most recently painted spot is nearest the unpainted area, and each new stroke of the roller overlaps wet paint, not dry.

This helps to avoid lap marks. Keep an eye out for drips and splatters, and use the roller to blend them back in while the paint is wet.

Step back and admire your work. If you see any trouble spots, try to deal with them quickly. “Don’t judge the results until the paint is fully dried and you see it in a variety of lightings,” Abramson said.

Remember to remove the tape while the paint is still wet, and don’t put tape on the painted surfaces until the paint is completely dry. Then you can tape-off and paint your trim or other surfaces.

Try a paint party

“Painting can be a very fun and exciting process, but it can also be a challenge to get results you will be happy with,” Abramson said.

Sometimes, for newlyweds or new home buyers, family and friends will volunteer to help. This can be a dilemma: You want the help, but you want to make sure the quality is excellent. If this is the case, a painting party is the answer, he said.

“We provide all paints, tools and drop cloths, and one of our expert painters will spend the day giving tips and supervising the work for excellent results. In fact, we’ll even bring pizza for lunch!”

A. Allbright Painting is located at 27903 Smyth Drive, Valencia, CA 91355. Call 661-294-1159 or go online to


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