hand finishing job and clean up

Wall surface preparation makes exterior house painting easier

Whether you are wondering what painters and decorators actually do all day apart from paint, or if you are considering some DIY decorating at home, this handy guide, written by an expert, but in plain English, demystifies the process of painting a house and the correct prep work to do before painting.

We look at why the work done in repairing the walls of a house, can be just as important as the actual painting of the building itself.

Decorating can be fun, albeit fun with added elbow grease, but there is no feeling like it on earth when you finish your painting, or at least the decorator finishes the work, and you stand back and admire your newly painted house.

It gives a sense of pride to people, and makes them feel the effort was, at least, all worth it in the end, even if it cost a few grand to paint the house!

So let’s look at the sort of prep-work that typically goes into each and every house decorating project.

Pebble-dash cleaning

What sort of preparation work is needed when doing a paint job?

It’s the old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and that is a mantra that anyone with even a hint of professionalism in the decorating industry sticks to without fail.

If they didn’t, they would not get word of mouth referrals, and would soon gain a bad reputation.

When painting the external surface of a house, any house, if you do not do the correct preparatory work, the job will not look good and it will not last, it is a simple as that.

Getting the job right is OUR number one priority, hopefully it is the same for your decorator?

So prep work usually involves IDENTIFYING what, if anything, is wrong with the house and then of course putting it right.

Defects found whilst preparing to decorate would commonly include:

  • Bad areas of paint that are faded, flaking or peeling.
  • Cracks in the surface, large and small
  • Patches of loose or hollow render, tyrolean or pebbledash
  • Mould, green algae and mildew growing on the walls.
  • Powdery paint that is past its lifespan.
  • Patches of bald pebbledash where the stones have fallen out.
  • Loose or missing mortar joints around bricks

These are the most common wall defects and if they are present in your house, they really need to be fixed before any painting work is carried out.

If you are not confident with tacking these DIY jobs yourself, then it is often best to select a good contractor instead, especially as inexperience in doing building repair can often lead to nasty accidents.

Don’t attempt DIY painting unless you really know what you are doing

Packing away our tools and cleaning the site once finished
Always store tools, ladders etc in a safe place

 What tools are typically needed for the prep work?

Once again, the correct use of tools is paramount in terms of safety and you should not attempt to sue tools, especially powered ones, or tools whilst up a ladder, if you don’t know what you are doing.

Typical tools used when preparing a house to paint include:

  • A power washer and/or garden house
  • Buckets, shovels, trowels and hand tools
  • Brushes, dust sheets and rollers
  • Rubble bags, drop cloths, cleaning chemicals
  • Ladders, step ladders and scaffolding

 Preparing the wall for painting

OK, so if you have all the tools and equipment you need (don’t forget to buy the paint!) then you are ready to start, so this is a brief run down.

  • Make sure all loose paint is removed with a power washer and scraping tools. This also applied to removing green mould and you may need to use a chemical to assist the mold removal.
  • Identify, remove and replace hollow rendering.
  • Make sure all obstacles to paint are removed. This includes trellis, pipes, garden furniture, plants etc.
  • Work as a team with an assistant if possible, it’s much easier and safer.
  • Make sure you are using the correct type of paint for the job.
  • Make sure you choose the right colour as mistakes are expensive and time consuming to rectify.
  • START PAINTING AT THE TOP! A common DIY mistake as people often lack confidence.
  • Use confident strokes with the brush or roller and it is often best to consider TWO coats of paint.
  • After painting, allow to dry and paint your trim, such as the plinth or the window cills.
  • Clean the site and tidy away all waste and old paint cans.

And your house is now painted and it will look good because you took the time to do all the preparation!

OR, if you are wanting to employ someone to paint YOUR house this year, then email the team for prices or give us a call on 0800 970 4928 (Monday to Saturday).

telephone-us on 0800 970 4928

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