Small random-orbit or pad sanders make this job go faster. (Wallis first covers these boundaries with Synkoloid patching compound so no edge is visible after sanding.) As shown, you want to make sure that there is a feathered, smooth transition from exposed wood to old paint. For areas that might get close scrutiny, you can follow up with a 100- or 120-grit rubdown to erase any scratches.
If your home was built before 1979, the paint might contain lead, which is extremely hazardous to children age 6 and younger. Call your local public health department for information on how to check for lead and handle lead paint safely. For a free booklet on dealing with lead paint, contact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa.gov/lead.
Trees, bushes, and ornamental shrubs can also get in the way of your painting. Prune any branches that hang over the house or brush up against walls. Evergreen trees and tall bushes growing close to the house can be wrapped with canvas drop cloths. Tie one end of a rope around the trunk at least halfway up. Pull the top of the tree out and away from the house, and tie the other end of the rope to a stake placed farther out in the yard. Cover smaller shrubs, flower beds, sidewalks, and driveways with drop cloths to protect them from paint drips and spills.
The cost to paint the exterior of your home will vary depending on the size of your home, the condition of your siding, type of paint used and other factors. The average cost for labor and supplies ranges between $1,800-$3,800 and it may cost $6,500 or more for a large, custom project. In addition, you may need to pay more if there is damage to your siding or other challenging aspects of your job.