Preparation pays off in painting
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.