One of the surest ways to increase curb appeal is to give your home a fresh coat of paint. Not only will this improve the value of your home, but it will also help protect your home from weather damage.
The most efficient way to paint the exterior of your house is to use a paint sprayer. It helps the paint go on your house smoothly and evenly, and it covers a lot of ground (err… wall) in a short amount of time. One of the big challenges of working with a paint sprayer, however, is keeping the windows clean. How can you protect your home’s windows when you’re spraying paint at high-speed right near them?
There’s more than one way.
Mask Windows and Doors
- First, determine which tape to use. White tape is best for windows on the shady side of the house. Blue paint is best on the sunny side of the house, or if you’re planning on leaving the tape up for a few days, because it’s much easier to take off.
- Tape the edges of the window or door by starting with a clean edge of your tape. Keep half of the tape on the window frame, with the other half sticking out. This will allow for you to stick the tape to the protective plastic.
- Measure your plastic to the window, allowing for about an extra foot.
- Holding the upper left-hand corner of your plastic 3 inches in from the edge, stick the plastic into the upper left-hand corner of your window underneath the tape.
- Run the plastic under the tape all around the window, keeping it nice and tight. Don’t worry about any excess plastic yet.
- With a box cutter, cut off the excess plastic.
- Once all this is done, check all the corners and watch for holes in the plastic. If you find a hole, cover it with a piece of tape.
You can also use paper to mask your windows, but make sure you purchase paper made specifically for that purpose. Newspaper will dissolve and make a mess. Brown kraft paper is a good choice.
Use a Handheld Masking Machine
A handheld masking machine will hold the tape and the plastic or paper together. This makes the process of covering your windows even easier. With the tape and the paper on the same machine, you can unroll both materials together and secure the paper or plastic in one move.
Use a Liquid Mask
A liquid mask creates a protective barrier on your windows without the hassle of wrangling plastic in a breeze. Some products allow you to spray it on, while others require brushing. Either way, it’s easy to apply. When you’re done painting, you simply peel the liquid mask off the window, wash the glass (they probably needed a good washing anyway!), and enjoy a flawless finish.
Don’t Forget to Protect the Rest of the House and Yard
Paint can easily destroy your rose bushes and flowers. It can ruin your handrails, light fixtures and garden boxes. Make sure you take care to cover and protect them as well. Use a heavy drop cloth over your shrubbery, sidewalks, and plants. Mask decks and fences, lights, electric meters, and anything else you don’t want covered in paint.
Painting the exterior of your house is something you can certainly do on your own if you’re ambitious, but with all the areas that can be affected by misplaced paint, it’s often much easier and better to leave this job to the professionals.
About the author: Josh Abramson is the chief solutionist of ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING, a commercial and residential painting company serving the Greater Los Angeles Area.