By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Before You Begin
If you plan to paint the window and trim as well as aluminum siding, paint them before the siding.
If the siding is dirty, clean it first because new paint will bond better to the surface if it is clean. In addition, it is essential to remove and kill any mildew (gray or black spots) with chlorine bleach. Wash the siding by hand with a scrub brush or with a garden hose and scrubbing wand or rent a power washer. Use a phosphate-free cleaner such as Soilex for cleaning dirt but for mildew, mix in household bleach: 1 cup per gallon or according to manufacturer's instructions. Allow the solution to sit on the surface of the paint for at least 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. If washing by hand, wait until after scraping and sanding to wash the house.
If power washing, make washing the first step because a power washer removes most loose paint. Keep the wand constantly moving at an equal distance from the siding and don't get too close to the surface with the nozzle or you may damage the siding. Wash from the bottom up to prevent the cleaner from causing streaks. Plan to rinse again after scraping and sanding to remove the dust.
Step 1 : Prepare for painting
Remove shutters and easy-to-remove fixtures. Cut or tie back overgrown brushes so that they are out of the way. Cover bushes with canvas drop cloths. (Don't use clear plastic drop clothes since they do not allow plants to breathe and, therefore, can kill them.).
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