Painting the exterior of your home can seem like a daunting task, but now is the perfect time to get started and we’ve got all the tips you’ll need to help you get the job done and make your exterior paint project a breeze.
The time of year is key, it’s important to plan ahead to see what Mother Nature has in store, select a dry time of year when there is little rain and lower humidity. Depending on the size of your house and number of surfaces that require painting, the exterior can take up to one week or longer to complete so you need to make sure the weather is on your side.
When choosing a paint to use, you may be tempted to skimp and save money to begin with, but investing in a quality paint brand will actually save you money in the long run as it will provide better coverage making application easier and the colour and finish will last longer than cheaper alternatives. Dulux Weathershield is ideal and comes with a guarantee to last as long as you live in your house, so you’ll be reaping the benefits for years to come. To help determine how much paint you’ll need for your project try using our Paint Calculator.
2. Colour Selection
Interestingly, there are two very opposite trends for outdoor colour schemes at the moment, according to Inspirations Paint Colour Consultant and Interior Designer Alex Ace, “people are opting for either very light, clean colour schemes or dark and dramatic ones”. The question is, how to decide what is best for your home? Alex shares her tips to help choose the perfect scheme for your home this summer.
The top three factors to take into consideration when choosing exterior colours are:
1. the architectural style of the house
2. the style or mood you are wanting to create
3. the orientation of the building and amount of light it gets
Colour is impacted dramatically by natural light outdoors, what you like on a chip can look vastly different in full sun vs shade. Alex says, “never rely on a paint chip alone to choose your final colours, once your selection of colours have been narrowed down, always view a large sample of the colour on each of the walls you’ll be painting at different times of the day, either with Brush-out boards or sample pots to make the final selection”.
See the light
Clean and light colour schemes are appealing in their simplicity and can allow the architectural elements of the building to shine. Lighter colour schemes are also great for homes that need to appear larger than they are as they can amplify and extend the appearance of a building.
The dark side
Dark colours add impact and create a sense of drama and presence. They also enhance the colour of foliage and flowers in the landscape and there are many beautiful charcoals through to blacks that are popular right now.
The neutral zone
If you are not confident with colour, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going neutral. These neutral colours help keep the natural surroundings as the centre of attention rather than the house. A neutral palette is also unlikely to date.
Pop of colour
To add a sense of fun or playfulness to any colour scheme, Alex recommends adding a pop of colour to the front door or even outdoor furniture. “it’s a great way of updating the look and feel of a home without involving too much effort or cost and allows you to play around with different colours to refresh your look with the latest trends”.
Preparation is a key step in the painting process, even more so when it comes to painting outdoors as the exterior of your home is always exposed to the elements, so don’t take shortcuts here if you want your paint to last.
It's easy to forget how messy painting can be, so be sure to cover the ground, garden and any other plants below the area you are painting. Also move or cover up any outdoor furniture, BBQs, etc. Use drop cloths and weigh them down on the corners to prevent them from moving around too much.
Paint won't adhere very well to dirty or rough surfaces, so be sure to clean the areas you’re planning to paint to remove any built up dirt, mould, mildew and spider webs etc. before you get started. Doing this will help contribute to the overall appearance and achieve a neat, clean finish that will last. You can clean the walls by simply using a sponge and a bucket of water mixed with Selleys Sugar Soap or for stubborn areas try using a pressure washer to blast away the grime.
If there is any peeling or flaking areas, scrape them to remove the loose paint then gently sand the surface down. Kerry from our Inspirations Paint store in Warners Bay NSW recommends using a suitable oil based exterior primer/sealer/undercoat like Dulux 1-Step on any areas that you have sanded back to bare when removing the flacked or peeling paint. Kerry says, “make sure you fill any nail holes or dents with a pre-mixed filler like Polyfilla Exterior Filler to make the surface smooth and even, for any cracks or gaps be sure to use a paintable gap filler like Polyfilla W50 Weatherboard Gap Sealant as paint won’t stick to many silicons”.
Painting your whole house is a big job and can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you break it down into manageable sections you can focus on doing the job right the first time.
When painting in summer, John Watkin from our Inspirations Paint store in Bega NSW recommends always starting on the west side of your home in the morning and moving to the east side in the afternoon so you’re never painting in full sun; this way the paint won’t dry too quickly in the heat leaving possible brush marks. John says, “when you start painting work from the top down beginning with the eaves (the section between the fascia and wall) then the fascia (the board under the gutter) followed by the gutters. Drips are inevitable, but this method will allow you to feather out any mishaps when you paint the walls”.
The equipment required to paint will depend on the particular substrate you’re working with. Weatherboards can be painted with a small roller, brush or spray, while brick and render exteriors can be painted with sprays or extra-long nap rollers.
You don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself and run out of time (or daylight) by trying to paint more than you can complete in one day. John says, “work on one wall at a time starting from the top down. If the walls are weatherboard or cladded, work on two or three boards or sections at a time, painting from one end of the wall to the other” John goes onto say “you’ll need to allow at least two hours for the paint to completely dry, so be sure not to paint too late in the afternoon and risk the cool night air and condensation affecting the coating. Once all your walls are painted you can finish by painting any trims or windows”.
Now that your house is complete you can sit back and relax and take in what you’ve just accomplished (while making your neighbours jealous).