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6 perfect painting tips to keep color on the coast

Time your painting so that you are not working during the hottest part of the day — not just for your sake, but also for the paint job’s sake.

Bright sun and almost constant wind can quickly wear, fade and strip paint from any structure — a constant problem in keeping Corpus Christi colorful. Local paint merchants recommend some of the newer Latex-based paints that dry quickly and are fade resistant.

Try these six tips from the experts on how to extend the life of your paint.

1. Buy the best

Look for a permeable or breathable Latex-based paint that will expand and contract with the wood without cracking. Some of the newest formulas are practically indestructible, even in bright colors.

2. Time it right

When you paint is as important as what and how you paint. Poor conditions keep the paint from curing properly, which then causes the surface paint to swell and blister. Again, Latex-based, rather than oil-based paints, dry faster.

3. Treat for temperature

The ideal temperature for painting is between 50 and 85 degrees F. In the summer in South Texas, that just isn't a reasonable expectation. Add 10 percent more of an appropriate thinner to your paint. It will give you more working time to spread the color in extreme heat.

4. Prepare surfaces

Careful preparation before applying the first stroke of paint can make the difference between an amateur and a professional look. Clean everything carefully, using bleach to remove mold and mildew. Once you've washed it, give it time to dry. Don't paint it wet. Also, scrape and sand where paint is beginning to peal. The smoother the surface, the better the paint job.

5. Prime time

Topcoats adhere better to primer than any other surface, especially if painting new wood. Primers also help prevent mold and mildew.

6. Caulk it up

Use a sturdy caulk to keep out moisture, dirt and bugs. Use a wet sponge or cloth to smooth the caulk to the surface. See number 4 about the importance of a smooth paint surface for a professional look!

Coastal Bend weather brings its own challenges to any paint job. Local painters and paint merchants know how to deal with the local clime and are happy to help answer your questions. When shopping for paint, ask about which are the best brands to use on which jobs.

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