Exterior Trim Paint | Make Doors, Shutters & Railings Stand Out

Exterior Residential Paint JobHomeowners who may have moved to bigger or newer properties in the past are staying put, thanks to the still-unsteady housing market in certain areas of the country. They have chosen to reinvest in their current homes instead of buying new ones. Some owners add square footage, while others give the exterior of a home a facelift with new trim and a fresh coat of paint, complete with standout colors on accent features. Keep the following in mind when making your home look new once again.

The Condition
ProTect Painters expert quoting exterior home project
Before you start a painting project, inspect all trim and accent features on your home's exterior for warped, split or cracked boards. Water and termites prove the most common culprit in these cases, and you will want to fix the issue and replace damaged wood as necessary. If left as is, for example, dripping water can lead to mold and/or mildew problems that no amount of new paint can solve. A professional painter can help you with this inspection, as he will have the equipment necessary to reach all trim and the ability to spot issues you might not see.

If you do find damaged trim on an older home, consider replacing it all. In the past decade, new trim materials have hit the market. These engineered products have a much longer life span, as they resist moisture, rot, termites and temperature extremes better than traditional materials.

Base & Trim Colors
Consider the architectural style of your home, the color of its roof and any unchangeable architectural elements such as brick or stone, then choose a complementary color that will serve as the base for your home's exterior walls. You can then decide to go darker or lighter with trim. A darker color can lead to a "frame" effect, but a lighter color on trim will usually be a safe bet.

Accent Colors
White house with black shutters and red door 
Once you have chosen your base and trim colors, pick colors that pop for the accent features, such as the front door, any railings and window shutters. Your home's architectural style should continue to play an important role in your decision-making, but be willing to take a chance for greater effect. For example, a Colonial or Colonial Revival home may feature black window shutters and railings against a white base in the traditional two-color scheme, but a bright red door instead of black would make the perfect final touch.

The Process
While it may be tempting to tackle an exterior painting job yourself, this might not be a good idea if your home has a great number of accent features. While you can paint most trim in place, all doors, window shutters and their accompanying hardware must be removed before painting begins. You will need to label each item and piece of hardware with its location to make the replacement process as easy as possible. You will then need to prep and prime all removed accent features, just as you will the base and trim.

Window shutters also prove to be one of the most difficult accent features to paint on the exterior of a home. A brush will not allow you to neatly reach every surface, so you must use a paint sprayer for best results. A professional painter will have all of the necessary equipment to paint window shutters and the expertise to do so both correctly and in a timely manner.

Side note: If you have plantation shutters on the interior of your home, hire a professional to paint them, as well. Sloppy painting of plantation shutters can cause difficulty in being unable to open and close the slats.

When you're ready to paint your home-interior painting and/or exterior painting-be sure to contact your local ProTect Painters and click here for a free estimate.

This post is a part of our series on Exterior Painting tips.

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