What paint should you use for exterior walls?
If the outside of your property is looking a little tired, it’s time to give it a new lease of life. Painting your exterior walls can make a dramatic difference to your property, both in appearance, value and quality. A bright coat of paint will give the outside of your home a fresh, inviting appearance, while a good paint job can repair weather damage, and prevent future issues that may arise. Whether you’re refreshing an existing paint job, switching to a new colour, or painting your exterior walls for the first time, it’s important to have the right paint. So before you start picking out colours, you need to understand a few things about the types of paint you should use.
For exterior walls you will need to use masonry paint. It comes in a variety of colours and finishes and is designed to help protect your walls from weather damage. Whether you choose a neutral colour or something a little more bold and daring, masonry paint is the right coating for the job. Acrylic masonry paint, which is water-based, is usually the best paint to use on outside walls. This paint is great for waterproofing your walls, yet simultaneously allows moisture that is already within the walls to evaporate. This prevents the formation of damp.
Textured paints are brilliant for outside use as they are designed to give a hardworking finish. They easily mask any imperfections in the surface of your wall. It’s pretty much a given that external walls will have bumps and lumps, holes, dents, and odd little quirks. These can be fun details you want to keep, but if you prefer a uniform finish, a textured paint is a very good idea.
A smooth paint will give you a beautifully even finish as long as the wall beneath it is reasonably smooth to begin with. Smooth paint can hide small faults and minor blemishes in your wall, but it can’t cover larger faults. On the plus side, it’s very easy to apply, while textured paint takes a little more work.
Acrylic masonry paint is available in a range of colours and is used as the finishing coat on your external walls. However, there are a few other types of paint you will need to consider using before applying it, including primer, sealer and filler.
Primer, sealer and filler
Although primer is not technically paint, it is essential for your painting efforts – especially on exterior walls. A primer coat is the first coat of paint you apply, which readies the surface of the wall so that it takes the final paint as well as possible and gives you a nice, even finish. Primer can be both water and oil based, so be sure to match the type of primer used to the type of paint – if you’re using an oil-based paint, you need an oil-based primer, if it’s water-based you will need a water-based primer. You might also want to look into using masonry sealer.
Another method of preparing your walls is using a filler paint as a base coat, to ensure any gaps or holes are filled. Even if there are no visible holes in your wall, if the surface is porous, you will need to use either a primer or a filler coat before applying your top coat. A paint like Acrylic Filla is perfect for this.
For more information be sure to look at guides to painting various surfaces.