There are cases where apartment complexes allow you to choose from a color wheel of neutral hues before you move in. Some charge a fee for calling in a painter to do the walls, while others offer new paint as a benefit of moving in. If you're not a fan of neutral colors, consider looking for an apartment that allows you to paint the walls a more expressive tone. Otherwise you can invest in boldly colored furniture and posters.

When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."
Why do some five-year-old paint jobs peel and flake while others done sometime during the Reagan era look as if they were laid on last week? The answer is deceptively simple: Quality exterior paint — when it's properly applied over a well-prepped surface — lasts longer than the cheap stuff. But trying to find the good stuff at the store can be an experience in sensory overload. Besides pondering the oil-vs.-water-based dilemma, homeowners have to choose from among several lines from each of the national brands as well as from locally produced products. And, while price usually indicates quality, with some exterior paints tagged at $40 per gallon, going by price alone can get expensive. Fortunately, there are some other indicators that will help you buy the right paint — if you know what they are. So whether your next exterior-painting project is imminent or a few years off, read on to find out what, according to independent researchers and industry experts, makes a quality product. You'll also pick up some helpful tips on both the all-important prepping process and the esthetic science of choosing colors.
Did you even read the article? It was specifying UNSCRUPULOUS painters! And, by the way, the photo at the top was not identified at all. How would anyone know whether it was done by a homeowner or not? Also did you ever stop to think that if a consumer has the knowlege to spot a dishonest contractor then by default he also has the knowlege to identify an honest one as well? And, pardon me, but just because you've never seen something has absolutely nothing to do with whether it has actually happened to someone else. Why would any honest business person be so defensive about the publishing of such useful information? If any painters/painting contractors object to a consumer having this kind of information maybe they are the dishonest ones!
Some contractors work on time and material others on a firm contract. I would never hire the former and am leary of the latter. A contractor may low-ball a bid to get the job planning to make a killing on change orders. If you say good morning to them, they charge you extra for that. If the contract is not very, very specific and extensively fleshed out or if they display their change order schedule prominently on top, show them the door.

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