DIY Calendar: August - Painting the Exterior Of Your Home

For most of us, August is the height of summer.  The weather is glorious, the holidays are in full swing, and we all want our homes to look great so that we can be proud of them when people come round to enjoy the annual barbecue.

This makes August a great time to start painting the outside of the house, and while you've got those paint brushes out, you may as well do some DIY weather treatment work too, so that you're ready for when winter comes around; which will happen sooner than you think!

Tips for Great Looking, Long Lasting Paint Jobs

Before you start painting, make sure you have all the tools you need in place.  You will need:

  • An edge pad or cutting brush (for painting around door frames)
  • Paint rollers (for cleaner results than brushes)
  • Paint brushes (for painting in small areas)
paintbrush sat on tin Paintbrush. Photo: Alan Cleaver

Careful preparation is essential if you want your paint job to look as good as possible. Repair the wall or fence before you start painting it, and make sure that the surface is clean and dust free.  You may want to wipe it down with a clean, damp sponge before you start painting.

Check the weather forecast before you start painting.  You should aim for a warm, dry day, ideally following another warm, dry day so that the surface is fairly dry.  Don't paint if it's humid - the water in the air could ruin the paint.

It's not a good idea to paint in direct sunlight.  The sunlight will dry the paint out too quickly, which could cause an uneven looking finish.  Try to paint when the sun is on the other side of the building, so that the paint dries at its natural speed.

If you're painting a door, use an elastic band to secure a bag over the doorknob to prevent it getting covered in paint.

Safety First

Make sure that you stay hydrated while you're painting.  Wear sunblock if you're spending a long time outside.  Take care when using ladders, and don't take any chances with leaning or reaching to paint hard to reach areas. It may be annoying to climb down, move the ladder closer, and climb back up again, but it's better than having a nasty accident.

house with ladder against it Partially primed. Photo: Nathaniel Robertson

Tips for Weather Treating Surfaces

You should weather treat wooden surfaces every year to prevent them from getting seriously damaged during the winter months.

Weather treating is similar to painting in that the surface should be clean, dust free, and dry before you start work. You can find weather treatments in a range of finishes, including stained looking finishes, solid finishes, and semi-transparent finishes. The type of finish you choose will depend on the surface you're treating.  Stained finishes are great for giving wood a nice aged-look.

Some people like to let wood age for a few months before they weather treat it, but this is generally a bad idea, and can cause damage to the wood. Some brand-new pressure treated lumber should be left for 30 days before treating, but most woods can (and should) be treated immediately).

If you're using a clear coating, give the wood two coats.  Don't forget to seal the open end grains of the wood carefully; these are the most vulnerable parts.

UK Oak Doors
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