Planning & preparation

  • You need dry and settled conditions to prepare and paint exterior walls and wood, so check the weather forecast before starting
  • Thorough preparation is vital to achieving a good quality and long-lasting finish to any painting job. Detailed instructions on preparing your exterior surfaces are outlined in this leaflet
  • Newly rendered or concreted surfaces should be allowed to dry out completely and weather for about three months before painting
  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply a stabilising primer to new or unsound, powdery surfaces on walls and allow it dry fully
  • To minimise wastage, carefully calculate the amount of paint you'll need to complete the job, remembering to factor in enough paint for the recommended number of coats
  • Although not as hard wearing as solvent- or oil-based paint, water-based paint is quick drying and doesn't yellow with age
  • When painting walls, lay down a dust sheet to protect landscaped areas from accidental drips or spillages
  • If you are painting a house, it’s best to cover the windows and doors to avoid getting unwanted paint on them. You can do this with newspaper and masking tape
  • If you need more than one tin of paint to complete the job, check the batch numbers are the same. If they aren’t, simply mix the tins before painting

Do it right

  • Always use paint that is designed for exterior use and follow manufacturer’s instructions on drying times and the number of coats needed
  • Be sure to use tools that are designed specifically for the job. Specially designed masonry rollers have a longer pile, ideally suited to textured surfaces. Likewise, masonry brushes have a longer bristle for getting into tricky areas
  • If working at height, it’s best to decant some paint into a paint kettle, to avoid carrying the heavy tin
  • If possible, give yourself enough time to complete a whole wall in one painting session, as this will reduce the risk of visible lines showing
  • When painting putty, it’s a good idea to paint 2mm beyond the putty, onto the glass. This will ensure all putty is covered and that you have a watertight seal

Staying safe

  • Wear safety goggles and a face mask when using exterior paints and sealants
  • Wear protective gloves when using filler
  • When sanding, wear safety goggles and a dust mask
  • Wear protective gloves and safety goggles when using sugar soap
  • If working at height, hiring scaffolding is recommended. Alternatively, if you are using a ladder, take care when using it and be sure to move it regularly to avoid overstretching. It’s best to have someone holding the ladder whilst you work

Aftercare

  • To ensure the longevity of the finish, try to keep your exterior surfaces free from dirt and possible contaminants

How to Prepare and Paint Masonry

1

Start by thoroughly cleaning the surface you intend to paint. For smaller areas, use water and a wire brush to remove dirt and grime.

2

For larger areas, or surfaces with a considerable build-up of dirt, dust or grease, use a high-pressure hose and a stone or brick cleaning solution. Wait until the surface is completely dry before continuing; in some cases, this could take a few weeks.

3

If your masonry has patches of green algae or mould, these can be treated by applying a fungicide wash. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions on usage, safety and drying times.

4

Damaged or cracked render should be repaired with exterior filler before painting. Apply the filler with a filling knife and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s advice.

5

Treat unstable, powdery or porous surfaces with a coat of exterior masonry stabilising solution and then allow to dry fully before painting.

6

Now you are ready to paint. Although you can use a masonry brush, for larger areas, it may be easier to apply the paint with a masonry roller, and extension pole.

7

For more precise work and for cutting in around edges, use a brush that is specifically designed for the job.

8

You can cut in the top and sides of the wall at any point, but it’s best to leave cutting in the bottom of the wall until last. This stops the dust sheet from accidentally removing any paint.

9

Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions on the number of coats needed.

How to Prepare and Paint Wood

1

Remove flaking or peeling paint with a scraper, until you’re back to a good surface, then feather in with sandpaper.

2

Repair any holes, cracks or rotten timber using an exterior wood filler and sand when dry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

3

If painting windows, remove any loose or damaged putty with a scraper or putty knife.

4

Apply new putty as needed, carefully dispensing from a gun or a tub and then finishing off with a putty knife. Allow to dry as directed by the manufacturer.

5

Apply a coat of primer to areas that have been stripped back to bare wood, or where filler or new putty has been added.

6

If your paintwork is in good condition, simply rub down the surface with medium grade sandpaper and clean with sugar soap or a damp cloth.

7

You are now ready to paint. Depending on the size of the area you are covering, paint with a roller or brush that is specifically designed for the job. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions on the number of coats needed.