How Do I... Prep and Paint My Home's Facade?
Different exterior surfaces require different preparation – here are the steps you need to take before you paint
In this practical series, we ask experts to answer your burning home and garden questions. Here, Warren May, Bunnings paint accessories buyer, and Fiona King, Taubmans colour expert, reveal the secrets to a perfect paint finish for the exterior of your home.
How do I prepare brick and rendered surfaces?
- Start by scraping away any loose paint.
- Fill holes with an exterior-grade masonry filler, applying with a broad-bladed knife or scraper.
- Using a brush or rag, roughen the filler before it dries so that it matches the texture of the surrounding surface.
- For large holes or cracks, you’ll need to use a heavy-duty filler.
What about weatherboard surfaces?
- Strip back the existing paint and gently sand the timber right back to reveal a fresh, bare surface.
- Fill dents, cracks or nail holes with a flexible, exterior-grade wood filler, applying with a broad-bladed knife or scraper.
- Once dry, sand smooth.
- If the surface shows any signs of blistering, flaking or peeling, apply a coat of primer before painting with your chosen colour. Once primer is dry, remove dust by wiping the surface down with a damp cloth. You will now have a sealed and stable base for your top coat.
- Use acrylic gap sealants for cracks or gaps in areas where there may be movement, such as near doors and windows. And be sure to use paintable sealants – rather than a silicone sealant – on areas you wish to paint.
What’s the best way to clean walls?
- Remove dirt and grime by washing walls with a warm soapy solution (a small amount of detergent in a bucket of warm water) and a sponge. Hose down and leave to dry.
- Check wall surfaces carefully for mould, particularly in spots that are not exposed to direct sunlight, such as the south side of the house. If you spot any mould, carefully apply a bleach solution with a sponge, and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Rinse wall thoroughly and leave to dry.
How do I protect door handles, trims and plants when I’m painting?
- Tape up or temporarily remove door hardware, exterior lights, ceiling fan blades and power point covers with quality painter’s masking tape before you paint.
- Also tape up areas that can be tricky to paint around, such as trims, windows and doors.
- Protect plants and the ground near the walls you’re going to paint with plastic or canvas drop cloths.
- If a step ladder is required, ensure it’s placed on level ground and that you have someone on the ground to hold the ladder steady.
- Or, rather than using a ladder to paint upper sections of a wall, consider using an extendable roller pole instead.
What’s the best way to paint an exterior surface?
- Paint from the top down, starting with the gutters.
- Then move onto the fascia (the board under the gutter) and eaves (the section between the fascia and wall). You’ll find it easier to paint these areas with a brush than a paint roller.
- Next, move onto the walls. The equipment you’ll need will depend on the surface you’re painting. For weatherboard surfaces, you’ll need a small roller, brush or spray paint. For brick or render surfaces, spray paint or extra-long nap rollers will work best.
- Last, paint trims and windows. Make sure windows are open so you don’t paint them shut!