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Prepare your house before painting it

Perhaps the most important step in painting a house is surface preparation. Consider the following tips:

* Scrape away peeling paint and rust.

* Wash away dirt and grease with a detergent or commercial cleaner recommended for painted surfaces.

* Eliminate mildew by scrubbing the affected areas with a stiff brush and a cleaner specifically recommended for mildew removal. All traces of the cleaning agent should be removed with fresh water. Allow the surface to dry before painting.

* Caulk open cracks between building materials.

* Wipe wood knots that have resinous deposits with turpentine or mineral spirits. Seal the area with knot sealer after removal of the resin.

* Sand nailheads that have rusted. Countersink them and fill in with caulk or putty.

* Before painting, spot-prime bare or rusted areas.

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