The A-Z of paint­ing your house

Matamata Chronicle - - Outdoor Living -

Bar­be­cues, pic­nics at the beach, games of cricket and paint­ing the out­side of the house or crib are as Kiwi as Buzzy Bee. It’s a lot of hard work but the sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing a shiny freshly painted house more than makes up for the toil.

The clas­sic weath­er­board bun­ga­low prob­a­bly re­quires the most main­te­nance of any style of house in New Zealand.

Try­ing to keep paint on tim­ber, which is a di­men­sion­ally un­sta­ble ma­te­rial that ex­pands and con­tracts with chang­ing mois­ture con­tent, can be a tough task.

You can think of the layer of paint on your house as be­ing sim­i­lar to the earth’s at­mos­phere; a great pro­tec­tive layer when it’s in good con­di­tion but when it breaks down, the thing it’s pro­tect­ing will be­come dust in the wind.

Paint­ing an av­er­age sized house may take weeks, so be pre­pared for a long cam­paign. A way of glean­ing sat­is­fac­tion through­out the job is to pre­pare and paint one wall at a time.

The first step on the road to res­ur­rect­ing a de­com­pos­ing weath­er­board house is to get rid of mould, dirt, salt scale and the chalk­i­ness. Water-blast­ing is one way of do­ing this.

When armed with a water blaster re­mem­ber you’re not Rambo on a search-and­de­stroy mis­sion. The stream of water is po­ten­tially de­struc­tive (never point it at any­one) so keep it mov­ing, be­cause if you stop in one place for too long you will gouge holes in the tim­ber.

Also make sure you don’t blast at high pres­sure very close to the sur­faces.

As wa­terblaster al­ter­na­tives, there are a num­ber of clean­ing prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured by paint com­pa­nies.

Water blast­ing is a good way of find­ing out if there is rot. If the blaster does un­cover rot, don’t con­tinue to play the water into the cav­ity.

Some­times rot­ten ar­eas are hard to de­tect, as they lie un­seen un­der an undis­turbed layer of paint.

Likely ar­eas to check if you’re sus­pi­cious are the win­dowsills, the bot­tom rail of an open­ing sash and along the bot­tom edge of the weath­er­board. Poke it with your putty knife and all will be re­vealed.

Small ar­eas of rot can be fixed by dig­ging the rot out, leav­ing it to dry and then cov­er­ing the ex­posed tim­ber with primer. Once the primer is dry, use a suit­able filler to fill it.

These types of fillers dry by chem­i­cal re­ac­tion so be neat with your fill­ing. If there is a large area of rot, the only way of fix­ing it is to re­place the whole weath­er­board, sill or win­dow.

Once the water blast­ing is com­plete, scrap­ing and sand­ing is the next big job. Start at the top and work down­wards. A lin­bide scraper and 80 grit sand­pa­per is the best method for small ar­eas.

Prime as you go, or dew or mois­ture will get un­der the feath­ered edge and lift it. Use an acrylic primer, mak­ing sure to dust off the area first. Thin the primer with a lit­tle water.

Scrape and sand the win­dows as you go, check­ing to see that the putty hold­ing the glass in is in good con­di­tion.

Of­ten, all it takes to get rid of old putty is to flick it out with a putty knife. Prime the empty re­bate and re­place the putty, smooth­ing it out us­ing a putty knife. New lin­seed oil putty takes about 10 days for a skin to form be­fore it is ready to paint. Us­ing a syn­thetic putty for re­pair­ing re­bates is a bet­ter idea; it can be painted within 24 hours.

The sharp edges of weath­er­boards and win­dow sills need to be sanded to a slight rounded edge; this is called ar­ris­ing.

Once every­thing is primed, you can go around with a caulk­ing gun and fill any cracks where the sof­fit meets the fas­cia board and the weath­er­boards, down the side of the win­dows or where there are cracks that need an ex­pand­able filler. Now, it’s time to ap­ply the top coats.

There are two schools of thought on whether or not to paint the win­dows first. Paint­ing them first means the cut­ting in of the scribers is eas­ier. (Scribers are the pieces of tim­ber that run down the side of the win­dows and fill the gap be­tween win­dow and weath­er­board). It does mean, though, that you have to be tidy do­ing the weath­er­boards or you’ll get drips on the win­dows.

Ex­te­rior win­dow paint­ing will be the most time con­sum­ing part of any paint­ing project and can eas­ily en­com­pass up to 50 per cent of the time nec­es­sary to paint an en­tire home.

It can some­times be quicker to take the open­ing sashes out and paint them sep­a­rately on saw stools.

Paint the top and bot­tom of an open­ing sash with the same num­ber of coats as the rest of the win­dow. The top is sus­cep­ti­ble to water sit­ting on top of it when open while the bot­tom can have water against it when closed with water pool­ing on the sill.

The bet­ter the brush, the bet­ter the fin­ish and the eas­ier it is to paint. For win­dows use 35-50mm bev­elled cut­ting in brush. Don’t worry about get­ting a per­fect line on the glass (over­lap on to glass a cou­ple of mil­lime­tres to get a good seal) when cut­ting in the putty, as it can be ti­died up later with ra­zor blade win­dow cleaner.

The size of brush to use on weath­er­boards de­pends on the width of the board. You want a brush that will cover the whole width of the board but no more as you’ll end up re­paint­ing boards be­low and leav­ing thick ar­eas.

The process of paint­ing weath­er­boards is to do three boards at a time. Ori­en­tate the brush hor­i­zon­tally and do the bot­tom edges of the boards then the faces, us­ing the brush ver­ti­cally. If your boards are very wide then you could use a mini-roller.

If you find the idea of paint­ing the whole house too in­tim­i­dat­ing, start with the fas­cia board and sof­fit on one wall, then tackle the win­dows, then the weath­er­boards.

If you fo­cus on each sin­gle step, sweep of the sand­pa­per and brushstroke, the jour­ney won’t be so over­whelm­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.