How to Get a Long-Lasting Paint Job: Prep

Paint adheres best to clean, dry, sound surfaces. First, wash siding and trim to remove dirt and mildew, then scrape and sand loose paint down to the substrate or a smooth base layer. (Warning: If you suspect lead paint, see "Safe stripping," previous.) Replace or repair rotted or broken siding or trim. Fill holes or divots, and caulk open joints.
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