If you're a home owner looking to sell, you've doubtless been a little discouraged by the recent downturn in the real estate market. These things happen, and it's nothing much that can't be undone when the market gets to it's next boom. In the mean time, improving your home is one of the best ways to compete on the real estate market. But doing so incurs additional costs that you can only hope to get back on the sale.
Painting your own home is one of the most economical improvements you can make. It's also one of the most visible improvements you can make, and at least prospective buyers can see the results even if only in the picture in the home-finders magazine. But exterior painting is a slightly more daunting task than interior painting. So hopefully this will help you through the hardest steps.
Your first task is to decide on the color scheme. Now maybe you have an artistic, vivid imagination and flawless taste in choosing a color palette. So good for you. If not, there is a new method that home owners are taking advantage of and that is digital imaging.
To do this, take a picture of the house with a digital camera, then load it into your computer and open it in a digital imaging program. You can then change the color of the house in the program by applying various color filters to it, using this to help you decide what color scheme to use. Commercial software is the first thing you might think of, but there are many freeware, shareware, and even Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) programs that are more than capable of handling this simple task. You should be able to find one for any computer platform.
Lacking that, you can either ask your computer savvy friend to do it for you, find a resource online that will image it for you, or try asking at the hardware store. Most paint and home improvement retailers now offer to do the same in the store, loading up a picture of your house which you provide and giving you a preview of different color schemes and palettes. Ain't modern technology wonderful?
A rule of thumb to know is that three-quarters of painting is good prep work. That is the labor-intensive part that makes the job so much work; actually slapping the paint on it is the easy part. Here's the least you need to do:
Start by thoroughly cleaning the outside of your house. Paint won't stick to dirt, grease, grime and dust. You may be able to get by just spraying the siding with a hose with a nozzle attachment. But you'll do a more thorough job and get better results with a brush attachment on your hose. These brushes often come with a reservoir for liquid soap which will clean better. You can also wash by hand with rags or sponges, but the rule with house painting is that you don't want to do anything by hand unless you absolutely have to - Karate Kid notwithstanding! If you do use soap, be sure to rinse the siding with pure water after you've washed it. Start at the top and work your way down the sides. If your siding has areas of mold, mildew or discoloration, wash it with an anti-fungal cleaner which will be available in most hardware and home center stores for a few dollars.
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