How do I prepare the exterior of my house for painting
We all have those jobs that we’ve been putting off for a while. If you have been out and about in your garden enjoying the warmer weather, you may have thought about painting the outside of your house. This task can seem like a tall order, but there’s no better way to boost kerb appeal if your existing paintwork is starting to look a little tired.
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.
Preparation is key
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.
Clean the walls thoroughly
Cleaning the exterior surfaces and ensuring they are dry prior to painting is vital. Make sure you remove any dirt, grime, or mould from the walls. You can use a power washer or a high-pressure hose, or you can manually scrub at stains with a wire brush. Using a detergent solution or diluted bleach may be necessary. Once clean, give the walls a brush down and allow them to dry completely.
Remove loose paint
If you are painting over 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). Once you reach a stable layer you can stop scraping and start sanding the edges around the area. You want there to be a smooth transition between the intact paint and the bare areas.
Repair any damaged areas
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. You should use an appropriate exterior-grade filler or putty. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times. Once the filler is dry, sand it smooth to match the surrounding surface.
Check for signs of damp
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.
Clear the working area
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. You should also 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, 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.
Considerations for painting
If you plan on carrying out the paint works yourself, make sure you choose quality materials. Choosing quality paint will give you the best assurance of good results and long-lasting protection. It’s important to:
- Choose the right exterior paint for the surface in question
- Paint from the top down, following the manufacturer’s instructions
- Allow each coat to dry fully before starting the next one
Don’t forget, if you’d rather leave the paint work to a professional, the team at Brush Strokes Decorating are only a phone call away on 020 8468 1512. Why not arrange a free quote?