Prepa­ra­tion pays off in paint­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Summer Living -

Paint­ing your house will not only im­prove its looks, it will also pro­tect it from the el­e­ments.

In a coun­try with weather like ours, that’s im­por­tant.

From the bot­tom of your drive­way it might seem like a big job, but with proper prepa­ra­tion it’s a project you can eas­ily ac­com­plish your­self.

Fol­low the step by step ad­vice and help­ful hints laid out in this guide and pretty soon the whole neigh­bour­hood will be ad­mir­ing your work. Choose your paint: You have a choice of two paint types: water-based or sol­vent-based.

Water-based paints of­fer a num­ber of ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing easy ap­pli­ca­tion, rapid dry­ing and easy clean­ing up af­ter paint­ing.

Gloss acrylic paints are com­monly used for weath­er­board homes, while low sheen acrylic paints are pop­u­lar on brick, ce­ment ren­der and con­crete sur­faces.

Sol­vent-based enamel paints are pre­ferred wher­ever a tough, hard­wear­ing, ‘‘easy-to-wipeclean’’ sur­face is re­quired.

They take a lit­tle ex­tra time to ap­ply but can be well worth the trou­ble for doors, door frames, win­dows and other high wear ar­eas. How much paint? For out­side walls, mul­ti­ply length by height to gauge the area in square me­tres, then sub­tract door and win­dow ar­eas from the to­tal.

To de­ter­mine win­dow and door ar­eas, mul­ti­ply their width by their height.

One litre of paint will cover about 14sqm (check the paint can as this can vary be­tween brands), but al­low an ex­tra 20 per cent for rough or por­ous sur­faces and an ex­tra 10 per cent for weath­er­board edges. Prepa­ra­tion: The first thing is to take a long crit­i­cal look at your house to see what needs to be done.

Look for any de­fects that may af­fect the fi­nal fin­ish.

It’s im­por­tant to fix ev­ery fault be­fore you be­gin, as the faults and de­fects tend to be mag­ni­fied when painted. There’s no point spend­ing time and money on a paint job that will soon flake and look bad.

When pre­par­ing a house for paint­ing, be aware of the pos­si­bil­ity of lead-based paint be­neath.

It’s not pos­si­ble to iden­tify lead-based paint by ap­pear­ance, but if a build­ing is more than 25 years old it is best to as­sume that it has been painted with lead-based paint and is a health risk, so suit­able pre­cau­tions need to be taken.

You can do a sodium sul­phate test to check for lead-based paint if you’re un­sure.

A lot of domestic ac­ci­dents in­volve lad­ders so se­cure lad­ders safely.

Lean the lad­der so that the base is one me­tre from the wall for ev­ery four me­tres of height and tie it se­curely.

Record the brand name, type of paint and any colour mix de­tails. When it’s time to touch-up or re­coat, you’ll be able to re­order the right paint. Now’s a good time to re­move and re­place hard­ened or cracked putty in win­dows and fill ex­te­rior gaps, es­pe­cially those caused by move­ment be­tween bricks and con­crete. Use a flex­i­ble sealant. Painted sur­faces: All peel­ing paint must be scraped or wire brushed away, then primed.

Use a heat gun to soften the old paint, so it’s easy to scrape off with a strip­ping knife or scraper.

Use a chem­i­cal strip­per around win­dows as a heat strip­per may crack the glass.

Fill cracks and holes – use an ex­te­rior filler for brick and con­crete and a flex­i­ble filler for tim­ber.

Sand the filler level with the sur­face.

Thor­oughly sand the whole area to be painted to clear any un­even spots and give the new paint a slightly rough­ened sur­face it can stick to, es­pe­cially if the ex­ist­ing paint is a gloss enamel.

Ex­posed nail heads, if they are not gal­vanised, should be punched be­low the sur­face and the holes filled and sanded smooth to pre­vent rust stains.

Use a sugar soap to re­move all grease, dirt and dust.

Rust on metal gut­ter­ing, down pipes, gates or metal win­dow frames (not alu­minium) should be cleaned away with a wire brush and the metal coated with a rust dis­solver.

Gut­ter leaks should be re­paired and sealed with a sil­i­cone sealant. This will give a long last­ing weath­er­proof seal.

Doors are painted from the out­side in, do­ing the mould­ing first. Paint the edges, then the face, re­turn­ing to the edges to lightly feather off any sur­plus paint with the tip of the brush.

You’ll prob­a­bly be us­ing an enamel here, so it’s bet­ter to re­move the door com­pletely and paint on trestles.

Buy the best paint­ing tools you can af­ford. Good brushes and rollers, prop­erly looked af­ter, will give you years of ser­vice and give su­pe­rior re­sults.

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