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. Thornton House Painting
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O'Neil patches shallow holes and divots with Ready Patch because it dries fast, sands smooth, and stays flexible. Deep cracks and rotten spots are best repaired with two-step epoxies, such as those made by Advanced Repair Technology. (For a step-by-step instructions, see Repairing Rot with Epoxy.) The days of using polyester auto-body fillers on wood are over. "They cure too hard," says Portland, Oregon–based painting contractor Kathleen George. "They look good at first, but then they peel away." House Painting Thornton
Paint Guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with your interior and exterior liquid paint purchase (excludes stains and resurfacers), simply return it in its original container to any US Lowe’s store along with your receipt within 30 days of purchase. We will replace it with a can of comparable paint or refund your money based on our return policy (Lowes.com/return). Lowe’s reserves the right in its discretion to limit this pledge in the event of suspected fraud or abuse. US only. Thornton House Painters
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