To get a better-looking, longer-lasting paint job, take a good look at the surface you plan to paint before you start your painting project. These few minutes will save time later and help ensure a paint job that will last.

Analyzing the Project
Painting a house, or even a single room, can be an enormously gratifying experience. However, to do the job right, it is important to understand everything about the project before you begin.

Write down any details about the surface condition, especially mildew chalking or peeling.

Start by critically looking over the areas that you want to paint. If you are painting the exterior of your home, walk around it slowly and really analyze what needs to be done. Carry a pen and paper and take notes.

What type of materials make up your home’s exterior? Wood? Stucco? Aluminum siding? Vinyl siding? Metal? Brick? You will probably he surprised at the number of different surfaces on your home. Take note of their condition. Are they peeling? Chalking? Rutting? Is the caulk intact, or are there gaps where different surfaces meet? Is mildew present? Again, take notes. Are there any special problems—for example, is any of the siding rotted or damaged? Keep in mind that most any surface material can he painted—including surfaces like aluminum or vinyl siding.

Likewise, if you are planning to do interior painting, take a hard look at the rooms you want to paint. What is the condition of the walls? Will repairs be necessary? Is the woodwork in good condition? If there are stains on the walls, nail holes, etc., pinpoint their specific location on your "report card."

These notes will be very helpful throughout the course of your work. They will help you plan your job properly, tell you whether or not you will need to purchase any special tools or coatings, and help you go about your job in an orderly fashion.

The big payoff will come later. By approaching your job in a methodical, professional manner, you are sure to save time and get the best possible results with your painting.

Credit: Renovate Your World