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When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk." Home Painting


Interior house painting costs are calculated on a few key factors. Nationally, interior house painting projects range from $200 to $2,500. The wide price range indicates how much square footage, paint selection and labor can affect cost. One pro uses a laser to measure each room, subtracting the size of the doors and windows, and then bases the quote on the square footage of the actual surfaces to be painted. Painters may provide you with savings if you opt to paint your entire home rather than just having one room or an accent wall painted. For example, the average house painting cost for an 8x12 room with 8-foot ceilings is roughly $200, when contractor-grade paint is used. Painting ceilings, baseboards and frames can also affect cost. Pros may charge per linear foot to smooth and paint baseboards. In one area pros might charge 50 cents per linear foot to paint baseboards, while pros in another part of the country could charge $1.50 per linear foot for the same task. Painters may charge flat rates for painting door and window frames, with one charging $20-$25 and another $60 per door. Geography and regional costs to do business play a major role in the cost of interior painting. The same painter in a rural region has less to pay in taxes, transportation, insurance and overhead than they would in a major city like New York. Home Painting
Before the scrubdown, protect nearby plants by misting their leaves and saturating the surrounding soil with water, pulling them away from the house, and shrouding them in fabric drop cloths. (Plants will cook under plastic.) Lay more drop cloths along the base of the walls to collect any falling paint debris. Walls should be wet down before getting scrubbed, then washed with a gallon of water mixed with 1 cup chlorine bleach and 1 cup of either a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner, such as a trisodium phosphate (TSP) substitute, or Jomax House Cleaner. Working in sections, from the bottom to the top, will avoid streaks. Be sure to rinse walls well before the solution dries. Wood siding and trim should be ready to paint after a day or two of dry weather. House Painting
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Every painting job develops a unique choreography as ladders go up and come down and tarps are unrolled and folded up. But two basic principles remain: 1) Start at the top and work down. 2) Work in the shade, out of the sun's glare. As the dance proceeds, keep an eye on the weather. Rain can wash freshly applied latex right off the wall, and a temperature dip below 50 degrees F two days after application can interfere with adhesion and curing and dull the sheen of glossy paints. (Latexes like Sherwin-Williams's Duration and Benjamin Moore's MoorGard Low Lustre are formulated to tolerate temps as low as 35 and 40 degrees, respectively.) House Painting
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