A thorough scrubbing is a must before painting any exterior surface. It removes the dirt and broken-down paint residues that keep fresh coats from adhering and gets rid of mildew that grows on paint in all but the most arid climates. Most contractors clean with pressure washers, but in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the equipment, these can gouge wood, shatter glass, and drive water behind siding and trim. Using a hose, a pump sprayer, and a scrub brush is slower but safer, and just as effective. House Painting Thornton

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." House Painting Thornton
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"Father son, Leonardo and Michelangelo as I would like to call them (Rick & Richard in fact). Did the interior trim of myn1,600 unit, master bathroom some ceilings and loads of touch up in all rooms. Professional, no mess, great advice on what made sense, timely and efficient. They took 2 days to do a job that I though would take longer - done really well and done to the budget. I would recommend them and will be using them again for another paint job I have coming up." Thornton House Painters
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