How do I prepare the exterior of my house for painting?

There is nothing like a national lockdown and a bit of sun to get us all thinking about tackling some jobs that we may have been putting off for a while!  If you have been out and about in your garden enjoying the spring weather, you may have thought about painting the outside of your house ready for the summer months and (hopefully) lots of alfresco dining and living.

Not only will freshly painted and well cared-for walls look great and add value to your home, the paint also protects the walls against the elements. It’s a job worth doing – here are our tips on preparing your outside walls for painting.

Clean and prepare the walls

Never has the phrase “it’s all in the preparation” rang truer than with a job like this.  Couple the preparation with a little bit of knowledge, and you will have freshly painted walls to be proud of.  If a surface is not adequately prepared, then the paint will not adhere, and you will end up having to start again from scratch.

Cleaning the walls and ensuring they are dry prior to painting is vital.  So, make sure you remove any mould on the walls, use a wire brush to scrub it off with a bleach and water solution if you have to.  Give the walls a brush down to remove any dust, dirt, cobwebs and other unwanted matter.

If you are painting walls that have previously been painted, you’ll need to remove all the old flaking paint with a stiff brush/scraper.  You may even want to try a pressure washer if you have one (but make sure the surface is completely dry before you start painting).

Tidy away any obstructions like climbing plants and trellises, and make sure your work area is clear of flowerpots, hoses, tables and chairs, water butts, storage containers and anything else that might get in the way.

Repairing work

If your wall is an old brick wall, you may have noticed that some of the pointing will be cracked or has even weathered completely. You’ll need to repair and repoint before you start painting. Remove the damaged areas, re-point them and repair any cracks you find with an exterior filler (make sure to let the surface dry completely before you start painting). If damp raises its ugly head somewhere on your wall, you will need to address it. It might be due to a lack of insulation between the foundation and the wall. If you are unsure its always better to check with someone in the know as there is no point in painting the wall only for it to be ruined by damp over time.

Don’t forget your guttering

If you are able to check the condition of your gutters, this would be the perfect opportunity to give them a clean if they need it, or carry out any repairs to the roofing gutters and edges as you will probably want to paint these also.

Protect your windows and doors

Mask window and door frames, and any other areas that you don’t want to get paint on, particularly woodwork.

Use a primer

Walls that have been previously painted can be affected by powdery deposits, which will prevent good application of the new paint. Using a stabilising (exterior) primer will help you achieve a good, firm surface that the new paint can stick to properly, otherwise you may find that the surface quickly becomes flaky again. However, if your walls are solid, sound rendered or stonework walls then you may be better using a thin coat of masonry paint as your primer. It’s always best to seek the advice of a professional at this point just to make sure you get it right as which primer you use really does depend on the type of wall you are painting. It could be a costly mistake, so always better to check.

Painting considerations

If you plan on carrying out the paint works yourself, try to choose quality materials. Choosing quality paint will give you the best assurance of good results and long-lasting protection. Don’t forget, if you’d rather leave the paint work to a professional, our Brush Strokes Decorators are only a phone call away. Why not arrange a free quote.