7 Tips for DIY House Painting

Find the right paint for your home

The type of paint you choose depends on a number of factors:

Size of house: As you most likely be purchasing in large quantities of 10-20L buckets, the easiest way is simply to walk it out. Your feet should be about 1m apart so it is like taking a really big step. This helps the specialist at your local paint shop determine how much paint you will need. It is advisable to overestimate the amount required. Unopened tins can often be returned to the store unless it’s a custom mix. Check their return policy around this.

Condition of house: Large cracks or small cracks? Some paints have a stretchy silicone or fibres that allow for the paint to stretch they can fill or cover cracks as you paint.

Weather: Consider the amount of sun, wind and rain the house is exposed to.

Texture: How smooth or stippled is the existing paint? Or is it concrete or brick?

Budget: How much are you planning to spend? If you are unsure, it might help to get various quotes for a few different brands for deciding

Armed with all the above, you should be able to make an educated choice with the assistance of your local paint shop.

2. Pace yourself

This project took us WAY longer than we thought with the hardest parts being painting whilst sitting on the ground, painting under fascia boards and working around the many plumbing pipes. We eventually found a slower rhythm and took it day-by-day abandoning our initial goal to complete in one week. If you have a tight deadline it might be advisable to get a professional company in to do the job.

3. Enlist help

Depending very much on the size of house, it is very beneficial to enlist the help of partner, husband, wife, BF and/or children. It is great to see a project this size come to completion day by day. Also, working outside in the sunshine can be very rewarding. This was the perfect project for us to complete as a couple during lockdown 2020! We had a good few laughs along the way. :)

4. Preparation

A high pressure hose worked well getting off the years and years of loose paint,

especially around the cracks. It is great fun but avoid removing all the paint down to concrete else you will have to prime first before painting. Once the wall had dried, we still scraped off excess flakes around the cracks. Old polyfilla can also be removed at this point.

Once washed down and excess loose paint scraped off with a scraper, prepare to fill with Polyfilla. Get a few more bags of Polyfilla than you think you need! It is easy to mix and apply with a scraper. Once the Polyfilla is dry, sand off the rough edges to suit the texture of the remaining wall.

5. Brushes, Rollers and Equipment

Other than the paint, this is vital to making the overall project a success.

Consider an extendable ladder for the hard to reach places. We ‘macgyvered’ an old 5l paint tin with a wire hook onto the ladder so paint was easy to access.

Drop sheets help save your paving or gardens from paint splashes. It is easy to move drop sheets than clean odd paint splashes off paving and nearby cars, plants or trees.

A variety of quality brush sizes is helpful. After starting off with ‘el cheapo’ brushes, we quickly upgraded to Hamilton’s sizes 38mm, 50mm and 75mm which worked WAY better for us especially when applying paint on the hard to reach or cutting in edges. The Hamilton’s brushes bristles lasted longer and held more paint.

For a neat edge use the best painter’s tape you can find. We used masking tape but it was a disaster in so many ways. Many areas required a repaint and others were fine. If you are forced to use masking tape, remove the tape slowly and carefully when the paint is still wet. The trouble came in when the masking tape was left to dry with the paint.

Have a few spare rollers and trays on hand.

Get an extender arm for the roller called, 'lock and roll'. This was probably the BEST thing in reaching those tall spots!

6. Caring for paint

It is important to make sure that while you are not using the paint the tin remains sealed. Double check this at the end of the day as air will dry out paint that is left open.

Don’t leave paint in the sun. As you will be working outside, be aware of the sun’s movements and keep your tin or tray in the shadow. The sun will dry out the paint quickly causing brush marks, lap marks and ultimately poor adhesion. Where possible, try work in the shadows.

7. Cleaning

White rags and lacquer thinners are super for cleaning paint off downpipes. I mention white rags specifically, as lacquer thinners will remove dye from dyed rags and leave them on your downpipes! Alternatively, methylated spirits also works for cleaning up from acrylic paints.

Brushes and rollers must be washed thoroughly every day. The key is to rinse until the water runs clear. If the brushes aren’t cleaned properly they will harden to the point that they are unusable. Also note, when waiting for paint to dry or taking a break, wrap your brush and rollers in plastic wrap of plastic packet to avoid trying out.

That’s all folks, happy painting!

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