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Painting outdoors

Skill Level: Intermediate


Painting the outside of your home is important, but not perhaps in quite the same way as painting indoors. Generally speaking, most painting and decorating jobs indoors are for wear and tear to decorative finishes, or perhaps a change of some kind is wanted – new colour, new wallpaper – decorating outdoors however -  serves two important functions; it enhances and restores the beauty of your home as well as preserving it. The correct “decorating” helps preserve it from the effects of the various weather conditions to which it will be subject.

Never paint an exterior surface before inspecting it first. Brickwork and rendering are vulnerable to fungal infection, and simply giving the surface a quick wash down and re-coat will result in wasted effort and money. Painting over a poor surface will also end in tears.

Paint to a sound and stable surface

If you do find areas that require filling and patching- then this must be sorted out before reaching for the paint brush. Where there is clear evidence of fungal infection then you must treat these areas immediately also. Check the soundness of the background coating or brickwork to see if it is it flaky, loose and pealing. – The answer is to scrape off the loose paintwork using a heavy duty scraper. Using cheap and poorly designed tools is false economy; always buy the best tools you can afford. They will pay for themselves many times over in the long run.

Fungicides and stabilisers

A good quality anti-mould acrylic type solution and a large masonry paintbrush of between 100mm-150mm width, is just about all you need for this job. Start by removing all loose paint and debris from the work surface by brushing the solution liberally onto all infected areas and waiting the prescribed treatment time - as instructed by the manufacture - before rinsing down with clean water. Pressure jet washing is a lot quicker if you have one.

If the surface has a powdery appearance caused by a breakdown of the cement or mortar coating, then you will need to stabilise the surface before an adequate bond is attained between the paint and background to which you are applying it.



Masonry paints

Masonry paint comes in a choice of finishes, matt smooth, and a matt textured finish; both are equally suitable for the majority of masonry surfaces. Keep in mind that smooth finish paint will show any surface imperfections, more so than the textured type. Textured masonry paint has a “gritty” appearance and comes in a matt or mid sheen finish. Textured masonry paint does not go as far as the smooth. Both types of paint can be applied by brush, roller or spray. If spray painting, be aware that textured paint will require a conventional spray rather than an airless type.

Painting with a roller

With larger areas, applying the paint by roller will cover a large area quickly, but for best results, use a quality heavy duty roller with long pile when using textured paint so the paint covers the surface fully. Use a shorter pile roller when painting a smooth finish. Use an extension pole to the roller head, this will come in handy and help reduces the amount of bending you have to do, but do not start hanging off the ladder or steps when applying the paint – think safety.

Spray painting

For very large areas, paint sprayers are fast and efficient but they do have their drawbacks. One problem can be overspray, so masking around where you are painting is recommended. With an airless spray, remember that the paint is being applied under high pressure - so ensure the nozzle does not come into contact with the skin.
Choose a quality masonry paint for painting outdoors, and use the right tools, and you should achieve a good job that will last for many years…Work safely, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Tools you will need:
Harris Taskmasters Masonry Brush
Harris Taskmasters Masonry Brush
- Bahco 665 Carbide Edged Heavy Duty Paint Scraper
Bahco 665 Carbide Edged Heavy Duty Paint Scraper
- Faithfull 15 Litre Plastic Paint Scuttle
Faithfull 15 Litre Plastic Paint Scuttle
- Faithfull 19mm x 50m Masking Tape
Faithfull 19mm x 50m Masking Tape

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