Guide to painting your home exterior




If your home exterior is not looking as good as it should - cracks everywhere, paint is peeling and metalwork is starting to show rust, then now is the perfect time to think about fixing up and painting your home exterior, fittings and trim.

The best time to paint your home exterior is during the dry season when you don’t have to worry about the occasional downfall or storm spoiling your hard work.

On the Highveld, winter is the ideal time to gather together your supplies and tackle this project. Not only will your home look good, it will also ensure the property is in good condition.


Stand back and assess

Before you rush off to your local Builders Warehouse or hardware store, take the time to stand back and make a list of what you need. Do a thorough inspection of the walls, fascia boards, burglar bars and security gates, as well as window frames and doors, so that you can compile a list of essential materials, supplies and tools that you will need to finish the project.


Equipment and tools you will need

Stepladder or scaffolding platform
High-pressure spray and hosepipe
Block hammer and assorted chisels, and possibly an angle grinder
Drop cloths if you need to protect surrounding plants and shrubs
Extension cable for power tools


Supplies you will need

Exterior crack filler or plaster mix
Assorted grit sandpaper
Paint scrapers
Steel brush
Paint rollers* and assorted paintbrushes
Exterior paint for walls
Paint for metalwork
Sealer or varnish for wood fittings

 *Choose a short pile paint roller for smooth walls and a long-pile roller for textured walls


If you have damp or efflorescence*

Damp or waterproofing product

Stiff scrubbing brush

*Efflorescence is a white powdery residue that collects on the surface of bricks


Before you start any painting, no matter what the surface, you will probably need to do some preparation in advance.


• Walls

Wash down walls with a high-pressure spray. This is also a great way to remove any loose or flaking paint.

Where there is a problem with damp, use a paint scraper to remove all the paint from the wall and brush down. You will also need to brush down the plaster if efflorescence is visible. Apply a damp or waterproofing product in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and follow this with plaster primer. You will find detailed information on easy DIY for dealing with rising damp.


Chip out any cracks before filling. For large cracks this requires the use of a hammer and chisel to remove the plaster down to brickwork in a ‘V’ shape, so that an exterior crack filler or plaster mix can be applied to the base of the crack to prevent re-occurrence. Apply plaster primer over the finish before painting.


• Metalwork

Sand down areas where paint has flaked with 120-grit sandpaper.
Treat rust with a rust converter or rust stripper according to the instructions.
Where rust has eaten into the metal, you can fix this up after rust converter or rust stripper using a 2-part epoxy for steel.


  • Gutters and downspouts

You will find detailed information on easy DIY for painting gutters and downspouts.


• Wood finishes

Oiled, sealed or waxed surfaces should be wiped down with fine steel wool and mineral turpentine before re-application.

Varnished surfaces should be sanded back and wiped clean prior to re-application. Check that the product you apply is suitable for exterior use, and at coastal regions use a varnish that it offers resistance against salt.

With the correct preparation in advance any home exterior project will offer successful results and a professional finish.

You will find detailed information on easy DIY for maintaining wooden window frames, as well as details for maintaining a wooden garage door.

 Janice Anderssen



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