When it comes to painting your home, we often focus on inside spaces. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to transform a room and give it new life. But what if it’s the outside of you house that needs a makeover?
Painting the exterior of your home is a big job, but the effort is worth it. It doesn’t just boost your home’s aesthetic appeal, but there are practical benefits too. A good paint job will protect your home against the effects of the sun and weather, reduce insect infestations and boost your house’s re-sale value.
But before you even pick up a paint roller, you need to get your home ready for painting. The prep involved is just as important as applying the paint itself. If you do it right, you’ll end up with a home that looks like it was painted by professionals.
Pick the right time of year
Any kind of outdoor project needs to factor in the time of year. Ideally, you should aim to start and finish in cool, mild weather when there is unlikely to be too much rain.
Extreme weather, both hot and cold, can affect the way the paint applies and will likely stretch the project out longer than planned. And above all, it’s just plain uncomfortable to work in the freezing cold or the blazing sun.
Assemble your tools
Make sure you invest in quality tools and equipment for this project. It may be worth hiring things like an electric sander or power washer to save time and get better results. To make things easy, we’ve created a list of what you’ll need.
- Paint brushes and rollers
- Paintable, waterproof sealant
- Paint tray
- Masking or painter’s tape
- Plastic/canvas tarp or old sheets
- Drop cloths
- Safety glasses and mask
- Basic tool set
- Pressure washer
- Electric sander
- Chemical or electric infrared paint strippers
- Extension ladder
- Ladder stabiliser
- Strip and repair
Fix a tarp or old sheets under your work area to catch any debris or paint.
Strip exterior walls of chipped or flaking paint using a scraper, sander or sandpaper. Chemical strippers can loosen paint from detailed mouldings and an electric infrared paint stripper can soften and remove paint. In older houses, be on the lookout for lead paint, and wear safety glasses and a mask as a precaution.
Repair: Inspect for cracks and holes and plug these gaps with filler and a paintable sealant (not silicone). It’s a good idea to tackle those small repair jobs you’ve been putting off, such as broken lights or damaged trims, loose siding or rotting wood.
Clean and sand
Clean: Wash the exterior of the house with a mixture of water and detergent or sugar soap before rinsing well. You can use a pressure washer to do a quicker, more thorough job, just practice restraint with the water pressure as many of these washers are powerful enough to remove loose paint. But just because it can, doesn’t mean you should, as excessive pressure can damage walls.
If your house’s exterior is prone to mould, it’s also a good idea to treat them with a bleach solution or a fungicidal wash. Let the walls dry completely before moving on. Remove dust, grime and dirt to make sure the paint goes on smooth and lasts longer.
Sand: Use an electric sander or sandpaper to create a smooth surface. This will help deliver an ultra-professional finish and improve the paint’s staying power. If you’re using an electric sander, make sure you have appropriate safety gear on.
Prime and protect
Prime: For outdoor surfaces, apply a primer (ideally a latex-based one) and allow it to dry. This can take anywhere from two to six hours. For brick, concrete and timber, use Taubmans 3in1 Interior and Exterior Primer Undercoat Sealer. This all-purpose primer, sealer and undercoat can improve adhesion to glossy enamel surfaces without sanding.
Protect: For areas like doors, handles, trim, windows, and other fiddly areas, use painter’s tape to protect edges. This creates clean lines and a more professional finish. Don’t forget to cover plants with plastic sheeting or drop cloths to protect them from damage.
Pick your paint colours
Now that your house is prepped for painting, here comes the fun part – deciding on a colour scheme. Unless you already have one in mind, there are a few factors to consider:
- Decide whether you want to fit in or stand out. Many neighbourhoods have a cohesive look and feel where houses have a certain architectural style and are painted in complementary colours. You need to decide if you want to contribute to the area’s overall aesthetic or go it alone with a unique colour palette. Just check with your local council if there are any restrictions regarding this.
- Consider your home’s natural surroundings: How do you want your home to look in its natural surroundings? For example, if your house backs onto a nature reserve, you may want to consider a colour scheme that either complements or stands out from the backdrop of trees.
- Get inspired. Search for colours that appeal to you in magazines or online. If you narrow the search down to specific colours, you can order sample pots at Coloursmith by Taubmans. If you choose any of these colours, you can simply bring your sample pot to your nearest Bunnings store where staff can create your colour in any Taubmans paint of your choice.
- Factor in your home’s unique features. Each house has its own character, and its colours should enhance it. Whether your home has large, ornate windows, wrought iron balcony railings or a distinctive door, these should all be factored into your colour choices.
- The rule of threes. Choose three shades for your home’s exterior: a dominant colour, a secondary colour, and an accent colour. Accent colours should be used sparingly to highlight architectural details such as shutters, trim, and doors.
- Test the paint. This step is so important. Make sure you test any shortlisted colours on a small area to see how it looks in different lighting.
- Think about the climate you live in. Generally, lighter colours reflect the sun’s rays and help to keep homes cool in hot conditions. Darker colours are better for cold climates because they absorb the sun’s warmth. But also consider how much sun your home receives. If it gets a lot of sun and heats up quickly, but you live in a cooler climate, you may want to choose lighter shades to deflect some of this exposure.
How to choose an outdoor paint
Exterior paints need to be tough and durable. The best formulations are UV-resistant, water and dirt resistant and hard-wearing.
Taubmans All Weather is a self-priming water-based paint that uses a UV blocker to protect against sun exposure. Formulated with an interlocking molecular structure called Nanoguard® Advanced Technology, it allows dirt to be washed away without affecting the quality of the finish. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee against blistering, peeling and flaking.
Artist Ray Thomas used Taubmans All Weather to paint this mural at Mill Park Primary Secondary college.