Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do Your Part to Keep America Beautiful: Paint!

Keep America Beautiful, the volunteer-based community action organization, will hold its first-ever "National Day of Action" on April 28th. Among the goals: to improve the visual appearance of our nation’s towns and neighborhoods. What better way to get on board than by doing some painting?

Exterior painting is an ideal beautification activity, since it benefits the owner of a home or business, as well as neighbors and passersby. Sure, a fresh paint job adds to property value, but it also enhances a structure’s curb appeal, which everyone can enjoy.

Coming as it does on the last Saturday in April, the "National Day of Action" is well timed for exterior painting in almost every part of the country. Moderating temperatures make for comfortable working conditions, not to mention favorable conditions for good paint film formation. And there’s still enough time to carefully plan your project.

Unless all of your house paint is peeling off in sheets, you have the luxury of picking a small, inexpensive painting project that can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Go out to the front sidewalk and take a critical look at your home. Does anything need painting? Then focus on that during the National Day of Action.

If, on the other hand, your home is generally well maintained, consider whether it might look even better with a splash of color here and there. Shutters, ornate trim, the front door, or even a small fence can be given a facelift in just one day, but can enhance the appearance of a home for 10 years or more if you apply a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint.

Whatever you choose to paint, make sure that the surface is clean and sound before picking up a brush or roller. Good surface preparation involves scraping off loose or flaking paint, sanding the surface smooth, and applying primer to any bare spots. If mildew is present, remove it with a 1:3 bleach/water solution followed by a thorough rinsing. Then paint.

Should you have some time left on the National Day of Action, think about planting a small tree on your property as part of Keep America Beautiful’s community "greening" initiative. That, too, will enhance the appearance of your home and your neighborhood.

Want to get the whole family involved in community action? Check out to see if there are organized activities planned for your hometown. Or, call some neighbors and start your own community improvement project – planting some trees or a garden in a common area, removing litter from a vacant lot, or improving your environs in some other way.

An army of four million volunteers is expected to mobilize on the National Day of Action. Why not be one of them?