1. Don’t wait for the cool days of fall to start your outside paint job. There may be too much rain then. The best time to paint is during a run of decent, hot weather — the heat dries out the wood, which is the way you want it for painting.
2. Before painting old concrete, clean it with vinegar on a rag. There’s no need to rinse.
3. Before you paint, ventilate. Keep a window or outside door open in the room you are painting to avoid breathing noxious fumes.
4. If you’re painting the walls of a room and can’t complete the job in one pass, be sure to stop at the end of a wall rather than in the middle. Paint dries differently at different times, so you risk leaving a visible line if you stop mid-wall.
5. Before painting aluminum, wipe it down with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to remove white oxidation and oil. Paint bonds best to a clean surface. The mixture will evaporate, so there’s no need to rinse it off before painting.
6. To clean metals (other than aluminum) before painting, wipe the metal with turpentine or paint thinner.
7. If you’re painting on metal, use a rust-inhibiting primer for the first coat. You can then use any good house paint or enamel for the finish coats.
8. Spread out your painting chores. Give the house one coat of paint now and the next coat in 2 or 3 years. Applying two coats in the same year doesn’t give the paint a chance to set and makes it more apt to peel.
9. Tapered brushes in small sizes are best for painting a window sash. The exact size is a matter of personal preference, but a 1-1/2-inch or 2-inch brush is comfortable for most people.
10. To clean ironwork before painting, apply a coat of white vinegar and let it dry. The mixture will evaporate, so you don’t need to rinse it off.
11. When painting on a hot day, stay in the shade as much as possible. It’s better for your paint job and easier on you.
12. When you’re painting stairs, paint every other one. Wait until those are completely dry, then paint the others. That way, you can use the steps more easily without injury before the whole job is dry.
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