What you need to know about painting your home’s exterior

What you need to know about painting your home’s exterior
Looking to give your house's exterior a fresh coat of paint? See our handy guide with tips and tricks.

A home’s exterior is the first thing that you, guests or potential buyers view from the street. Not only are they looking at your beautiful paint colour, they’re also able to see the state of the surface itself. If it’s peeling at the edges, it might be time to give it some attention and a new coat of paint.

Did you know that New Zealand’s harsh natural light and UV rays can break down the paint surface, requiring it to need a new coat at times to maintain its quality? Not only does paint make your house look good, but it also protects it from the elements of wind, sun and rain.

Although exterior painting might sound like a big job, try not to feel daunted. With planning and knowledge of what to expect, you’ll achieve your goal of a house with a beautiful finish in a Resene colour you adore.

Wall in Resene Triple Merino, floor in Resene Colorwood Riverstone (Resene Woodsman Tiri for outdoor version)  screen in Resene Kashmir Blue. Breeze blocks and bench top in Resene Triple Merino, trolley in Resene Indian Ink Woven, tray/table in Resene Indian Ink, ottoman in Resene Settlement, planter boxes in Resene Smokescreen with hand painted dots and crosses in Resene Indian Ink and medium plant pot in Resene Alabaster. Styling by Kate Alexander and photography by Bryce Carleton.

5 steps for painting your house’s exterior

1. Prepare

A day or more before you start painting, prepare your surface properly. Preparation is everything here, and don’t be surprised if you spend a lot longer getting the house ready to be painted than you may have expected – that’s a good thing.

First, take a walk around your house and look for any mould or moss on the exterior of the structure. Use a garden sprayer to apply Resene Moss & Mould Killer to remove any unwanted layers that have grown.

By killing it you’ll ensure none of the residual spores allow for more to pop up once you’ve painted your new coat on.

2. Wash

Then, wash your home. Peter Fraser of Heritage Painters says one common mistake people make before painting is not cleaning it properly of salt and pollution from traffic. “They don’t have the surface clean, so the paint ends up having all of those contaminants in it. A layer of dirt isn’t a nice, strong substrate to paint onto. ”

If dirt is left on, the new coat of paint will bubble and flake off at a later stage, putting a dampener on all of the hard work you have endured.

Resene Paint Prep and Housewash is suitable for cleaning the exterior, as is Resene Roof and Metal Wash which is used on roofs. Make sure you follow the instructions on the pack and wash off well.

Waterblasting is an option but it can damage surfaces like timber so it’s better to wash the surface properly instead with the right cleaner.

Back wall in Resene Aspiring with paint effect in Resene FX Paint Effects medium tinted to Resene Moon Mist, right wall, breeze blocks and vase in Resene Moon Mist, table and large plant pot in Resene Teak, tray in Resene Flax and small plant pot in Resene Siam. Styling by Vanessa Nouwens and photography by Wendy Fenwick. 

3. Organise

Fraser recommends using a dropsheet, as you would use when painting inside, to catch any splashes of paint on the outside of the houses or anywhere that paint and dust may fall. Cover up your window, applying masking tape at the edges and around any features that are difficult to get the paint brush around.

Remove any plant pots or items that may get in your way while painting. Keep your space safe, ensuring any ladders that are used are securely placed on the ground.

4. Remove old paint

Remove any chipped or flaky paint by scraping it off or using a wire brush, then sand it back. Spot prime any bare timber as soon as it has been sanded so overnight dew doesn’t affect it.

When removing any paint, you’ll need to be sure your paint isn’t lead-based. You can get a lead test kit from your local Resene ColorShop. If it is, it can pose a danger to your and health and you may want to seek a professional to remove the paint safely.

If you’re painting onto new bare timber, ensure you prime it first. For already painted projects most just need a good wash down before repainting.

You may have some imperfections such as nails or crack on the wood. These can be easily filled before painting can take place using Resene Brushable Crack Filler and SIKA Fill That Gap.

Back wall painted in Resene Triple White Pointer. Side wall in Resene Half Resene Friar Greystone with Resene FX Paint Effects medium tinted with Resene Quarter Friar Greystone. Tongue-and-groove flooring in Resene Triple White Pointer. Trellis panels painted in Resene Woodsman Exterior Whitewash. Large plant pot in Resene All Black. Tray painted in Resene Blanc.T ea light candle painted in Resene Biscotti. Small vase on table in Resene Tapa. Plant pots and trellis painted in Resene FX Faux Rust Effect. Project byVanessa Nouwens and images by Wendy Fenwick. 

5. Paint

Paint from the top down, starting your process with the gutters, fascia, eaves then walls, before finishing with the trims and window frames.

If you’re painting over bricks, opt for a low sheen product like Resene Lumbersider as that won’t bring attention to any imperfections in the rough surface. With weatherboard homes, you do need to use primer if back to bare wood, Fraser says.

He encourages people to apply two topcoats, and not cut corners.

“There’s a real way of thinking that if it’s changing colour then the job is finished but it needs two topcoats to flex and if there’s only one of them you won’t get that. It’s not about changing colour, it’s about getting it to last.

Dark colours outside can get very hot in summer. If you’re planning to use a dark paint or wood stain choose the Resene CoolColour version to help reflect more UV light and keep the paint and surface cooler.

Quick tip: consider the weather

The weather will impact your painting so consider it carefully. If it’s a sunny day, follow the shade around, the whole reason is to try maintaining a wet edge so don’t get in direct sunlight. It’s important to consider the sun, wind and temperature when choosing what time of year and weather conditions in which to paint your home.

When you’re painting during spring and summer, try to paint on the shady side of the house. If you find the paint is drying too fast, use Resene Hot Weather Additive which will help slow the drying down.

When the weather gets hot, make a plan to start early in the day. It’s often best to avoid painting in the hottest part of the day – both for you and your paint.

Visit resene.co.nz/products for more tips and to see their range of paint products. 

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