Nothing spruces up and adds perceived value to your property quicker than a new coat of paint, but do it wrong and your house will look woeful instead of wonderful. Many say that this is work best left to the professionals, and it’s certainly true that a seasoned pro will do a more efficient job of preparing and painting exterior walls. But with a little planning and preparation, it’s possible to make a decent go of it yourself – and this week in our blog, we’ll show you how…
Tools for the job
We say it often, but the best way to ensure a professional finish is to use the correct tools for the job. When it comes to prepping exterior walls you will need a medium or stiff wire brush to remove any loose paint and dirt from the walls, a scraper to remove areas of loose brick and cement, and a good quality ladder to ensure that you’re safe. We talked about ladder safety in a previous blog – please read it for reference before you start!
Many of the principles we employ for painting interior walls also apply to the outside of your property – like spending at least as much time prepping as painting. Make sure that you remove all loose paint, dirt and masonry with the correct tools, followed by a wash down with detergent if the walls are dirty. Oh, and be sure to deal with any areas of fungus growth etc with a fungicidal wash.
Follow this process up by filling in any damaged areas with exterior filler and rubbing down, along with the existing paint, so that the new paint will adhere correctly. Pay particular attention to areas where the paint has flaked unevenly, rubbing down the edges to smooth them out – a medium grade sandpaper is ideal for this job.
Sealing and priming the walls
If the existing paint is in decent condition and you’re repainting the same colour it may be possible to skip the priming process, but it’s still best practice to do it and will give the best finished results. For bare walls, a masonry primer is essential to seal and create a surface that will take the final coats well. Use a medium to long piled roller for this job to quickly cover large areas and seal efficiently.
Painting the walls
If you’ve prepared your walls well, painting them becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Mask up windows, sills and pipes in the same way as you would internally, and begin painting from the top of your house down so that you can better control dribbles. The brush or roller you use is dependent on the finish of your walls: smooth walls require a shorter pile than a heavily textured wall, and very heavily textured walls may necessitate a stippling action with a large brush (it may be better to leave that to the pros!).
If you follow our advice your house will soon be looking fantastic, but, of course, if you don’t fancy all this hard work yourself you can give us a call – we’ll be happy to do it for you!