How To Prep For Painting Outdoors
Are you about to re-decorate your home’s exteriors? Before you launch into it, here are some ways you can prepare for this bigger paint job.
We’ve put in some of the critical steps you need to take to prepare your walls and the materials you may need.
You should be picking a nice dry day in summer to begin with - imagine doing all that work only to see it drain away under heavy rain!
Clear Away the Debris First
- Remove any structures in the way, such as trellises or hanging items and minor fixtures
- Clear away any vegetation such as mossy build-up, weeds in cracks, and remnants of climbing plants
- Scrub away any moss and mouldy build-up or rusty smears with a wire brush and some water. You can use a Fungicidal Wash to clear mould & mildew from walls before painting. Look for a wash solution suitable for concrete, stone, paving, walls & wood. It will keep your walls looking fresh for long periods. For example
- Bits of old flaky paint may come off as well, so scrub this off with a wire brush too
- Do let the surface dry thoroughly first before you apply any paint
Be sure to stock up on safety gear like safety goggles, a mask and if you are climbing high, even a safety harness and hard hat.
Be sure to protect the non-painted areas by applying masking tape on items like window frames, handles, knockers, signage and door frames, etc.
If there are a lot of people moving nearby, especially if you're facing onto the street - do put up cones and signs, especially where wet paint and ladders are in use.
Stock up on Filler
Maintenance and restoration may be in order before you start painting over the old walls. Fill in any cracks, gaps and holes along outside walls to make for a smoother finish.
Look for a filler that is water and frost resistant. Find one that can be used on masonry, concrete or bricks. For example:
- Ronseal Exterior Multi-Purpose Smooth Finish Fills holes up to 20 mm. It can be drilled into once it's dry.
How to Choose the Right Paint for Exterior Walls
Start With a Base Coat
Given the exposure to the elements - it is all the more essential to apply a tough base coat when painting outdoors.
Look for a product that will give you a formidable foundation with a flexible formulation which resists cracking. You’ll want a basecoat that is ultra-tough & long-lasting.
These can even be used for furniture up-cycling, skirting, doors and all wood & metal.
- Sandtex 10 Year Primer Undercoat has 10 years of guaranteed protection
- Fleetwood Advanced Undercoat - this is a water-based solution with excellent adhesion and coverage. It is touch dry in 30 minutes and is scuff & stain resistant
Masonry Paint for Stone or Brick Walls
You may want to start picking up on the right masonry paint. This type of paint is an all-weather resistant form of more durable paint than the emulsion-based paint customarily used indoors. If exposed externally, emulsion paint will not last.
You can find brands designed to protect from mould, algae and even dirt. It should be breathable and waterproof.
Suitable exterior paints possess UV and fade-resistant technology to ensure a long-lasting matt finish.
Look for paint that is easy to apply with a brush, roller or spray whilst providing strong stain resistance and a soft sheen finish.
Drying time is also a factor as it is critical in our weather - 2 to 4 hours is ideal.
Here are some of the brands that provide this quality finish:
- Homevalue Weatherforce Paint is an exclusive range of outdoor masonry paint that will be perfect for all exterior walls, masonry and stonework
- Dulux Weathershield masonry paint is designed to protect against Ireland's weather conditions. Using pure acrylic technology, Weathershield with Advanced Durability is probably the most protective masonry paint. It gives a freshly painted look for longer
- Fleetwood Weatherclad Smooth Masonry Paint is considered the ultimate product for solid protection with up to 18 years of durability guaranteed. It dries to Showerproof in just 30 minutes
- Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint is also easy to apply and even contains innovative Microseal “Breathable” technology. It comes with 15 years of protection guaranteed and is also Rainproof & dirt resistant.
- Sandtex Microseal Smooth Masonry is another high quality, high coverage exterior masonry paint that comes with 15 years of guaranteed protection. It incorporates Microseal premium technology
All Surface Exterior Paint
There is also the option of choosing an ultimate performance paint that offers supreme protection to all exterior surfaces. This paint variety may be applied on multiple surfaces such as - Glossy Paints, Bitumen, Tar, Varnish, Creosote, Plastisol, Powder Coatings, Timber, Metal, Concrete and Glossy Paints
Look out for paints that will give low maintenance with a tough finish.
Water-resistance is critical in exterior paints, so look for s that are also vapour-permeable, water-shedding results.
Exterior paints can protect against fungal degradation by containing a biocide
Examples of all-surface paint options include:
Protection for Wood, Metal & PVC
You will need a soft sheen finish when painting exterior wood fixtures, walls, panels, or metal and PVCu structures outdoors.
Look for a paint that gives you a tough, waterproof, long-lasting finish that resists cracking. For example:
If you have wooden exterior features or fixtures like exterior doors and windows, you may want to use a specific product that can give you a traditional exterior varnish with tough long-lasting protection from UV.
- Ronseal Yacht Varnish Gloss
- Ronseal 10 Year Woodstain also offers protection against the weather, leaving exterior wood looking great for 10 years. It is BBA approved with 10 year protection and dries in 1 hour
Paint for use in Fencing
When painting your fencing or wooden shed surfaces, you should also be looking for the same water-resistant dirt-proof qualities.
In Ireland, it will have to be rainproof, frostproof and has advanced protection against UV rays all at once!
Choose woodcare paint that can be ideally used on all rough sawn exterior woods and even smooth planed wood, including fencing and garden furniture.
It helps to find a quick-drying variety (1 to 2 hours ) as well, given our wet weather even in the summer.
Here is an example:
- Ronseal Fence Life Plus delivers the ultimate protection to exterior sheds and fences. It will even stick to damp wood. Its colour and protection will last up to 5 years. It is Rainproof in 1 hour and can be sprayed or brushed
Location, History and Context Matters
Consider your Terrace & Neighbourhood
It will be wise to discuss colour with the neighbours - especially if your property is attached to another on a terrace or part of a carefully curated period square or landscaped terrace.
It may also depend on how the buildings are joined and the definition of boundary walls.
Check with the municipal authorities if your building is a listed landmark or a part of a listed heritage site. This applies if your property is in a Conservation Area. Any attempt to dramatically alter (as opposed to restore) will require permission.
When in Doubt, Go Neutral
Ideally, stick to pale grey, white, beige and cream when in doubt, as it will make for a brighter house and won’t clash with the landscape.
Stick to off-white neutrals as much as possible as our wet weather can be very unforgiving, showcasing every speck of dirt, a bit of moss or windswept dirt. Unlike the sun-bleached islands of Greece….
Even when the bright sunlight appears - it can make more significant properties in white blindingly invasive for the eyes.
Ready to give your outdoor space some love. Have these items to hand:
Stop by our Exterior Paints section to catch an overview of the supplies and brands available.
We also have a supply of roller brushes and painting equipment in store, check out this Home Decor 7" Shed & Fence Kit.
Have you more essential tips to add? Share them
Have you already started on the big outdoor paint job this summer? How did you get on?