Exterior Walls: How to Properly Paint Them


Exterior wall (re)painting is a highly rewarding project. It doesn’t cost that much in comparison to other home improvement endeavors, yet it allows you to achieve several goals. Most notably, you have a chance to spruce up the exterior of your home and prevent any water damage from occurring.

Of course, there are some rules and best practices to follow if you want to finish the work to your utmost satisfaction. So, here is a comprehensive guide on how to breathe new life into your tired exterior walls and witness your property in a whole new light.

A matter of choice

First of all, you need proper tools to get the job done. The first thing that pops to mind is exterior paint. Note that there are textured and smooth paints. The former solution is designed for hardworking finish and conceals imperfections in the masonry. The latter option produces a visually-appealing, even finish. It is quite easy to apply and effective in masking minor flaws.

When it comes to the colour, feel free to follow your aesthetic preference. After all, the exterior masonry paint comes in a myriad of different tones. The only rule you might want to adhere to is cohesiveness of the look. That being said, you can go both neutral and bold. You will also need a specialist masonry brush that allows you to reach difficult areas, and a masonry roller brush with an extendable handle to deal with large sections of the wall quickly.

Reaching new heights

When going about painting the exterior and working at height, always stay on the safe side. In case you are using ladders, you must ensure that the bottom sits firmly on the flat ground. Extension ladders are a solid choice, but one has to pay attention that three rungs overlap for sufficient stability. Always have someone holding the ladder at all times.

Even though the ladders may do the trick, there some even better options at your disposal. For example, you might want to consider getting mobile scaffolding. Perhaps you’ll pay a bit more than for a conventional ladder, but it will be more than worth it: You will be able to work considerably faster and safer. No matter the approach you pick, you should never reach out and lean over more than an arm’s length.

The prep stage

The first stage of the actual work is the preparation. Start by cleaning the surface of the walls with a bristled hand brush. Get rid of any surface dirt and remove loose paint and masonry with a scraper. Dirty walls need to be washed and rinsed with a solution of detergent and water.

Next, turn to cracks, holes, and other damaged areas. Make sure there are no loose materials, and then apply an exterior filler or mortar with a knife. Smooth it out with a wet filling knife. Cracks and holes that are deeper should be filled in layers.

Once that is done, seal and prime the porous and powdery areas of the wall. Use a masonry primer and small paintbrush for this task.

The painting process

The painting process is rather straightforward. The most important aspect here is timing. In general, you need a few days of good weather to complete the project. So, divide the walls into manageable sections you can finish in one session. You can use drainpipes and windows to easily set boundaries.

Bear in mind that the painting techniques vary based on the type of wall you are working on. For instance, heavily textured walls should be handled with a stipple action. Namely, you hold the brush at a 90-degree angle and dab the bristles onto the surface.

A rule of thumb is to start painting at the top and work your way downwards. You need to use mostly horizontal and vertical moves and make sure that every surface is fully covered. For hard surfaces, you may have to rotate the brush in all directions. Likewise, when using a roller, it is advisable to alternate the angle of the strokes. After the paining is done, all that is left is to wait for the paint to dry.

Put the best face forward

So, are you fed up with how things look from the outside and mean to give a fresh look to your house? Well, before rolling up your sleeves, educate yourself. The most labor-intensive phase is actually the preparation. So, take a long, hard look at the wall surface. Don’t rush things and tool up. Use the proper techniques and procedures. Employ a divide and conquer strategy.

Following the tips above you should be able to see your project through with flying colours and enhance the curb appeal of your property.

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