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."
Susan Williams, an interior designer at Siren Betty Design, first used Gentleman's Gray (2062-20), a dark blue by Benjamin Moore when designing rooms for a local bed-and-breakfast. Shortly after, everyone at her company fell heads over heels for the shade. "We loved it so much that we painted our office wall the same color. We think it looks especially great in a gloss finish—the way the light reflects off it is gorgeous and gives any room a lot of character." A blueish gray this deep gives a serene, comforting vibe, which works well in a bedroom. House Painting
The Cutters. Someone with meticulous attention to detail and a steady hand should be assigned the job of "cutting in," or painting a straight edge where needed, such as along a wall where the ceiling does not get painted. Many products are available to assist, but none work as well as a person who's good at doing it freehand. Ensure this person is skilled (ask them to show you). A poor, jagged, wavy or splotched cutting-in job will jump out at you every time you walk by it. Why more than one cutter? This job is nerve-wracking and painful to hands and arms after a few days. You'll want to give this person a break after a few walls. House Painting
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
Paintzen color expert Kristen Chuber shares her top paint color, which is a dusty Chalky Blue (PPG1153-5) by PPG Porter Paints. "Somewhere between blue and gray, this velvety shade can actually be used as a neutral. It looks beautiful with bright white trim, but maybe even more impactful with rich, black accents. We have also seen this shade used beautifully in a monochromatic palette, alongside other shades of blue-gray, both on the lighter and darker side of the spectrum." Try using this hue in your kitchen, one of your bathrooms, or in the bedroom. House Painting
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