Tips for high-quality paint job

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Q: I've been putting off painting my house for years. It should have been done five years ago, but with one thing or another, it just didn't happen. I guess now I'm going to pay the price. My house has a combination of stucco and wood siding. When I rub my hand on the wood and the stucco, I get a chalky residue. There are areas on the shady side of my house that have brown spots and other areas of the wood trim that are blistering. I'm going to do this job myself to save some money. Could you give me some pointers on how I can do a good job so I won't have to redo it anytime soon? A: Kevin began his career as a painter in Alameda, Calif., rejuvenating some of that city's fine Victorians. Invariably, the wood was old and dry, and the paint was in bad shape. Most looked more like the Bates Motel than the classic "painted ladies" that they truly are. He spent many a day scraping, sanding and priming before he could finally put the color on and bring them back to e...