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Best paint for exterior walls and how best to paint them

If the exterior of your home or business building is looking tired and worn, you may need to repair and paint it. Here’s a quick guide on the best paint for exterior walls and how best to paint them.

Guide to the best paint for exterior walls and how best to paint them

Safety first

Painting the exterior of your home or business will probably mean working at height. If you’re using a ladder, always have someone ‘foot’ the bottom to keep it stable. Place the ladder on flat, firm ground and ensure that it is not tilting. If the ladder is extendable, it should have at least three rungs overlapping to give it stability.

Always wear flat shoes with grippy soles, and don’t lean over; get down and move the ladder so that you can reach comfortably. Here are some other ladder safety tips from Tech-Tool 2000.

Preparation

Using a stiff bristled brush, remove any loose paint and dirt. If the wall is very dirty, wash it with household detergent, before rinsing well with clean water. Treat areas affected by algae, moss or climbing plants with a fungicidal wash. This technique will also get rid of any salt marks.

The quickest and most efficient way to clean a large area is to hire a pressure washer. Be careful not to aim the washer jet at your windows or guttering, as this could cause damage. Allow the wall to dry thoroughly for a day or two before continuing.

At ground level, if possible, dig out to a depth of one brick, and then brush the underside of the wall clean so that your paintbrush does not become clogged.

Tape old newspapers around drainpipes to protect them from paint splats and mask windows and door frames too. Use tarpaulins to cover any bushes or plants that might be in the firing line below your painting area.

Repairs

Fill any small cracks and holes in the masonry with masonry filler, using layers to fill deeper fissures. When the filler is dry, rub down the area with sandpaper.

Sealing and priming

Powdery areas and porous patches should be sealed and primed with masonry primer. Use a small paint brush for hard-to-reach areas and a medium or long pile roller for larger spaces.

Choose the best paint for exterior walls

Textured masonry paint is a perfect finish for disguising masonry that has minor imperfections. Water-based acrylic is the best paint for exterior walls. Acrylic repels water whilst allowing the masonry to ‘breathe’ so that it does not become damp.

When choosing colours, remember to consider the area you’re covering and think how the colour will look at different times of the day and in different lights.

Painting exterior walls

Choose a time when dry weather is forecast for a few days. Divide each wall into manageable segments, using windows and drainpipes as boundaries.

When painting heavily textured walls, hold your brush at a 90-degree angle and dab the bristles with a stippling action to achieve a good all-over coverage.

Begin painting at the top of each section and work down, so that the newly-painted area doesn’t get covered with paint splats. Use short strokes, applying a loaded paintbrush to a clear area and then working your way back to a painted patch. Rotate the brush to ensure that everything is covered evenly and don’t forget to paint behind drainpipes.

If the walls are smooth, you can use a long-haired roller. This is much quicker and there will be less visible overlapping. Apply a strip of paint vertically on the wall. Now fill the roller and apply a further vertical strip about 40 cm away from the first. Now roll two strips diagonally over each other, ensuring that the paint goes into all the pointing and gaps.

Always use the best quality paints and tools when painting the exterior of your home to ensure a professional finish every time. For more information and advice on choosing the best paint for exterior walls, contact the friendly team at Star Paint today.

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