Painters often tint primer close to the color of the top coat, but Wallis thinks that's a recipe for "holidays," or missed spots. Instead, he tints his primer a contrasting color. "If I can see the color coming through, I know I need to apply more paint," he says. On the cottage shown in this story, he chose a gray-blue primer to go under a peach top coat.
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.
Start at the top of your house and work your way down. This serves two purposes. First, it allows you go down the ladder instead of up as you work, preventing potentially life threatening falls. Also, when prepping/scraping the paint off, you will have debris falling on the bottom areas that you just painted. Second, painting from top to bottom prevents messy drips and missed spots. Ideally, you should also start painting from the left side and work your way right because you are more likely to see any missed spots.
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