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Step By Step, Techniques for Painting Outdoors : For your own comfort and to help paint dry better, work in the shade if possible.

July 16, 1989|READERS DIGEST | For The Associated Press

The warm days of spring and fall are ideal for exterior painting.

Work in the shade if possible. The paint will dry better and you'll be more comfortable. Wait for clear, dry weather and let at least two days pass after the last rain.

PAINTING SEQUENCE: Begin by laying drop cloths to protect walks, shrubs and other areas. Start painting the main parts of the structure first: siding, shingles and other large areas. Then do the trim--windows, doors, cornices and so on. Next, paint decks, porches and patios.

Start at the top and work across in horizontal stretches. Paint gables before painting the eave lines. Paint dormers before painting lower sections. Use a clean drop cloth to protect roofing that's beneath the area you're painting.

SIDING: Clapboard siding should be painted with a brush. Load the brush by dipping a third to a half of the bristle length into the paint. Gently tap the brush on the can sides to dislodge extra paint. Do not wipe it against the can's edge.

Paint the bottom edge of the board, working the paint into the crevice. Next, apply paint in short strokes across the face of the siding and spread it with smooth, even strokes. Paint an area about 3 feet wide and five boards deep. After one section is completed, move to the next one and work from the dry area toward the area just painted. If the siding has grooves, paint them first.

Paint vertical siding from top to bottom. On flat surfaces, a roller speeds applications.

TRIM: On the eaves, brush a 2-inch paint band to separate them from the siding. Then finish them with a roller. Use small brushes, 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches wide for other trim.

WINDOWS, DOORS, STAIRS: On windows, paint horizontal dividers, then vertical dividers, then the sides of the surrounding wall trim.

On doors, begin with the panels. Then, paint the horizontal and vertical boards. Paint across the top of flush doors, and then down.

When painting stairs, paint alternate steps so you can use the steps while the paint dries.

SPRAY PAINTING: Paint for spraying must be thinned to spraying consistency and strained through a filter to remove lumps and dirt. Spray outdoors on a calm day. Protect surroundings from the spray. Adjust the spray pattern to suit the surface being painted. Use a narrow fan pattern for small areas and full width pattern for large areas such as walls.

Keep the gun about 6 to 8 inches from the surface. Move the gun parallel to the work surface and overlap each stroke by one-half.

Clean equipment thoroughly after use.

Need help on a home repair or improvement project? Write Reader's Digest, P.O. Box 700, Pleasantville, NY 10570-7000. Suggestions and tips will be offered in future columns.

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