Applying render to a wall

Is there an alternative to masonry paint and what is it?

The great (!) British weather can be very demanding on the exteriors of buildings with long damp months of mist, fog and rain, frosty cold winters and damp spring times, and the summer is not that much better too!

So what does this do to our houses and why should we not just choose to have the exterior walls of our house painted every year instead of investing a little bit more money in something more durable?

So if masonry paint is out of the equation, what should I use?

Within both the trade and the DIY paint markets, there are various ways of decorating the outside of your home

These include various exterior wall finishes such as pebbledash, coloured render, tyrolean and of course traditional masonry paint, however these offer only DECORATION to the outside walls and that is it, nothing else, so how do we PROTECT the exterior walls from the effects of the British weather?

Why does a house need protection and not just decoration?

There are a few really effective ways to protect your home from the effects of weathering and dampness and water ingress.

Damp walls are a surprisingly common problem in British houses and there are various ways to either avoid damp, or repair and prevent damp from coming into the home, some more effective than others.

Wall Coatings, not Paint!

The problem with most traditional wall coatings is the fact that, as mentioned above, painting the outside walls of a house only decorates the walls, it doesn’t protect, in fact normal house paint often contains a surprisingly large amount of water.

This means that if you apply normal exterior paint to your house, you are in effect, applying coloured water!

Dulux weathershield paint is coloured water

You don’t need to be a scientist to know that coloured water is not going to protect your house from water and from rain!!!!!!

Of course there are other ways that water can enter the home and you can find yourself with damp wet walls.

What causes it can range from leaking pipes or gutters, to poorly sealed windows, or missing roof tiles, but these are fairly easy to spot and fix, but what happens if the walls are letting in water?

You don’t need to be a master builder to know that situation is not good and if not fixed, quickly it is going to get worse, and in extreme cases can rot internal wood such as floorboards, skirting boards, door frames and so on.

So what happens if damp starts to get into the walls of my house?

If you live in a house that has a more traditional exterior wall coating such as smooth render or pebbledash etc, over a period of time, the walls of your house will deteriorate due to attack from the weather, as suggested earlier.

Not only this, but if your home has external walls that are bare brick, these can also be damaged by the weather, and can suffer from exterior wall erosion, loose pointing, defaced bricks and so on, and each stage that happens, will affect your house, in a bad way.

If this sort of thing is happening to your home at present, please, get something done NOW.

I don’t necessarily mean by us, that’s your choice not ours, but regardless of who you choose, whether its a builder, a neighbour, or a professional exterior wall repair company, you can be sure that if you ignore it, it will get worse.

Much worse.

As the elements attack your home and erode the exterior face of the external walls, cracks can appear, sometimes large, sometimes small.

If and when this happens, it will start to allow moisture to get into the wall, which will freeze in cold weather, and just like an ice cube in those little plastic trays, it will EXPAND, causing even more damage.

This is what happens when cracked render lets water in and then freezes, pushing the rendering away from the wall

More loose render patches revealing damaged brick beneath
More loose render patches revealing damaged brick beneath


This then this will create a vicious cycle and the condition of your house walls will get worse and worse, causing you to have to spend out far more than if you had simply got the house repaired properly in the 1st place!

So if I paint my house with normal masonry paint, will it stop the weather from eroding my house?

Sadly, no it won’t

As we discussed above, most masonry paints are just coloured water and therefore if your home is letting in water, adding something onto the walls that contains more water isn’t such a good idea.

Still, the house may look nice, for about a year, but then you have to do it all over again!

So in summary, even the best quality exterior masonry paints will NOT protect the walls of your home in any way.

As a house is often a persons largest investment, it would seem miserly spending 500 quid for some bloke down the pub (!) to give the house a quick lick of some old paint you got for 50 quid at a car boot sale from a chap with a beard who kept owls, (Personal experience!).

So when really if your home is worth several hundred thousands pounds or euros, you need to spend a bit more protecting your asset surely?

“If you drove a Bentley turbo, you wouldn’t take it to the local brillo pad factory for valeting would you?!”

What is the best option for my exterior walls?

The best option, admittedly in our somewhat biased opinion (!) would be to invest a bit extra in having a weatherproof exterior wall coating applied to the exterior walls of your home.

Exterior spray applied wall coatings are like ultra durable paints, initially developed by the American military after the 2nd world war, and constantly improved and altered over the years to the high performance paints we see on the market today.

They are best described as a thick, viscous coating, too thick to be applied by hand or by the DIY painter, and these exterior wall coatings are specialist application only!

Rear of Bristol house ready to apply exterior wall coating

They consist of far more ingredients than normal house paint and as such, they require a special airless spray pump, usually a graco president or monarch, to be applied at a high pressure by a specialist wall technician like NPA Never paint again.

It is the best thing if you are looking to get a house painting estimate for something that will last a long time.

What is so good about a wall coating then?

An exterior wall coating system applied to your home will outlast normal masonry paint for up to 25 years, and when most wall coating companies give a warranty, what about if they go out of business?

Well, not to worry there are a few companies like us now who offer a guarantee in the unlikely event that you would ever need to claim on it, absolutely everything is covered.

Oh..and by the way, did I mention that we, (NEVER PAINT AGAIN), offer a guarantee for wall coatings and damp proofing also? ..oh, ok, well, we do!

So what does a wall coating cost?

Well, that’s always the 1st question prospective customers ask us!

If we could answer that in one sentence, we most certainly would, however, no two houses are the same and therefore that is why in nearly all cases, we, or in fact ANY wall coating company, would need to at least meet you at the house and have a look around.

This also means they of course take measurements and appraise the condition of the outside of the property, and then AND ONLY THEN can a definite price be given for installing a wall coating on a house.

However if you are unsure or are just after a rough guide, please do get in contact with us, we are always happy to hear from anyone who just wants a bit more advice! Call us on 0800 970 4928

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