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How to Paint

It’s that time of year again.

Time to assess the situation of your exterior paint.  If it is indeed time to paint the outside of your home, here is a post borrowed from Color Guild, one of our partners in crime in the color biz!

How to paint your home exterior.

What is any color imaginable, has the ability to transform, and the power to protect from sun, wind, and rain? No, it’s not Superman. Just a fresh coat of exterior paint for your home! Give your home a second lease on life by painting the exterior. The average house takes about 60 hours to paint, but the impression will last years. The exterior of your home delivers first impressions. Bring the personality of your home from the inside to the out by showing it some tender loving care. Here’s what you need to know to paint the exterior of your home with precision and quality.

Steps to a First Class Paint Job

  1. Wash. Scrub-a-dub-dub! A thorough washing is necessary to ensure a finished product you’re proud of. Wet the walls then begin scrubbing in sections from bottom to top to avoid streaks. Use a solution of one gallon of water mixed with one cup chlorine bleach and one cup of either a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute, or Jomax House Cleaner. Rinse the walls again before the solution dries. Wood siding and paneling should take a day or two to fully dry before you can begin painting.
  2. Scrape. If it has flaked, peeled, bubbled, or blistered it is time to go. Confirm your paint is lead-free and protect yourself with a dust mask. If scraping by hand, it will be a time consuming process, but remember, the tortoise wins the race. This is the least damaging way to remove layers. Make it a little less painful by using a heating gun to soften paint. For safety, use a respirator and cover plants and shrubs with a tarp.
  3. Sand. Pat yourself on the back, it’s time to assess what’s left. The boundary between the paint and the bare wood can be smoothed with 50- or 80-grit sandpaper if most of the paint still adheres well and it’s not too bumpy. Make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. Follow up with 100- or 120-grit sandpaper to erase scratches.
  4. Patch. Put that caulk down. Wait to cover cracks with caulk until you have primed. You should however repair rot and fill in dents with two-step epoxies.
  5. Prime. Penetrate, seal, and protect with a primer. Acrylic primers can be used on most surfaces, but oil-based coatings must be used on cedar or redwood. Tint the primer a contrasting color to the top coat. This will allow you to see the color coming through, a sure sign you need to apply more paint.
  6. Caulk. Caulk all small joints less than 1/4 inch wide once the primer is dry. Don’t skip this step! If your joints fail, you’re back to the beginning.
  7. Paint. Time for the main event! Acrylic paints reign supreme as they don’t mildew readily, move and breath without blistering, emit fewer VOCs, and work well over oil or water based primers. Follow the pros and use a paint sprayer, but be cautious of drips or thin coats. Cover EVERYTHING that you don’t want to get sprayed. Use a brush if you’re a newbie. Always start at the top and work your way down and work in the shade away from the sun’s glare. Simultaneously be wary of those clouds though. Rain can wash away freshly applied paint.
  8. Bonus Tip. Spray paint nailheads with a metal primer to prevent rust.



~This post inspired/contributed by ColorGuild. ColorGuild, the global paint and color authority, is a member based organization serves as a definitive resource on color and coatings.  As a member of ColorGuild, we welcome their contributions and appreciate their opinions.



When you decide to take on an easy and dramatic room make over this are some keys to success that will ensure you will have the result you are desiring..

Running out of supplies or not having the correct supplies is the last thing you need when knee deep in a color upgrade or an attitude change, whichever you prefer to call it.

Here is a list of recommended supplies that are easily forgotten or overlooked, what they are for, how to use them and the impact they will have on your project.

First of all, make sure you have the correct color.  You can consult your color expert in your neighborhood Miller Paint location and we can recommend a color sample to help see more accurately how that color will look and most importantly how that color will feel in your home. ( Read “Bring the Outdoors in This Season” posted 10’14/2011) Sheen selection is also important in the color decision process as higher sheens could affect the colors overall appearance ( Read” Is That a winning sheen? How to select paint sheen” posted 9/29/2011 )

Recommended Supplies For Your Next Painting Project

After you select the correct color and sheen, you will need the following supplies

  • Brushes: A high quality 2 to 2 ½-angled sash brush Miller Brand or Purdy
  • Roller covers: One per each color and one for primer 3/8ths or ½ inch shed resistant covers are the best. Miller Brand or Purdy
  • Roller cage: A good wooden handled
  • Sand Paper:150 and 220 grit or a sanding sponge
  • Spackle: Light weight and regular
  • Putty Knife: 1 inch will be adequate
  • Tape: 2 to 3 rolls of 1 ½ inch Frog tape or Scotch brand with edge lock technology
  • Spray texture: One can, will usually be enough for most repairs
  • Drop Cloth: 4 x 15 leak proof is recommended.

Make sure that you are aware of any wall repairs that you may need to make Nail Holes, scratches in the drywall, any texture issues. The items you’ll need to fix any repairs are

For Nail Holes and Scratches You will need some lightweight spackle and putty knife, quart of primer and some 150 to 220 grit sand paper. All of which your friendly Miller paint consultant can assist you in locating the right products. (Note: Even though our high quality paints are thick and cover exceptionally well they will not fill nail holes)

Step one: Locate all the nail holes around the room and take your lightweight spackle and 1 inch putty knife and lightly fill each hole by smearing some spackle over the hole from roughly ½ inch from the top to ½ inch past the hole. Wipe off excess with putty knife

Let completely dry roughly 30 minutes and see if any needs any additional attention.

Step two: Take your sand paper and gently sand over area to smooth out the roughness of the spackle and to feather out the edges.

Step three: Assess whether some light texturing is required,  (Note: This will depend on the severity of the wall repair and weather the area repaired blends with the surrounding walls ) If needed, lightly spray some of the spray texture on the repaired area.( Note: Please take some time to practice on some card board as to get yourself the proper technique and texture)

Step four: Let texture Dry,  Then follow behind and spot prime all those areas you have spackles.  All of these steps with help assure that you will not see any repairs you made.

For larger repairs (Door Knob size) you will need a drywall repair screen and instead of lightweight spackle, a heavier grade spackle. This spackle requires some additional dry time so make sure you allow this to dry properly. Then all of the above repair supplies and techniques still apply.

After you finish all your repairs, texturing and priming then it is time to start painting. You should start with the ceiling first. Cause sometimes after you finish painting the ceiling could appear dingy

Make sure to tape all the walls and fixtures with a good tape that will protect the other substrates. The type of tape I would recommend would be either the 1 ½ inch Frog tape or the 1 ½ inch Scotch brand blue tape with “Edge Lock technology”. These technologies’ stops the paint from flowing under the tape and on to the areas that you are trying to protect.

You will need a High quality cut in brush for the edges. A 2 to 2 ½-tapered sash brush, either, Miller brand Silver series or Purdy brand Latex brushes are highly recommended.

Once you have Taped the area look at the ceiling and determine if priming is necessary any dark areas, smoke stains water stains all need to be covered up before painting. Ask your Miller paint consultant to direct you to the proper primer for your particular problem.

For heavier textured ceilings (Popcorn) I would recommend at least a ¾ inch roller cover.

After you have completed the Ceiling, you are ready to move to the walls. Make sure you tape off any trim door window and floor, Ceiling and any outlets or switches.

For dramatic color changes priming may be required ( ask your Miller consultant for help)

Start by cutting in around the edges and switches. Work in a small are so the product retains its wet edge.  So that the paint will level correctly and blend properly so you get the finish and result you want. (Note: Do not cut in the entire room this could lead to an uneven finish in those areas)

Then paint the area that was cut in working while the product is wet.

Once you have completed the wall take a look at the trim the same principal could apply as the ceiling.

Congratulations! Your Project has turned out amazing! Please feel free to bring in pictures of your project and share with your Miller Paint consultant.

- Lake Oswego Location