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Exterior Jobs – time for a tools check list

Dulux Trade gives some hits and tips to get you “match ready“ for those Spring and Summer exterior  jobs.

As the spring and summer months approach, your attention will be turning to all those outside jobs you have pencilled in for clients – in particular, those building exteriors that are waiting to be transformed. 

If you’re going to be working on exteriors then now’s the time to make sure you have everything you need. All those essential tools that will make the job quicker, easier and ultimately more profitable. 

The Basics 

You’ll probably have all of these covered already, but it never hurts to double check, especially when you’re working at heights.

Make sure you have all the basics set and ready to go for any outside job, and take the time to test that everything’s in good working order. We recommend: 

  • Ladders: You’ll need top quality ladders to keep you safe when you’re 10ft up the front of a house. Consider using a spacer for extra stability and more room when painting, or invest in platforms or even scaffolding where appropriate to give you extra peace of mind.
  • Synthetic Bristle Brushes: For easier application and a higher quality finish, you’ll want a good selection of synthetic bristle brushes, especially when using water-based paints.
  • Rollers: Microfibre rollers will help you speed up the process and get a good, even finish, especially when using water-based paints.
  • Dust sheets: Make sure you have plenty of dust sheets and tarpaulins to go around the exterior of the building and protect paths/paving – definitely opt for polythene dust sheets over cotton, they’re waterproof and easier to use all around. 
  • Masking tapes: No doubt you have your trusted favourites already, but make sure you have a tape suitable for exterior use (always be prepared for inclement weather).
  • Top quality paint: Any job relies on the right paint for the perfect finish, especially exterior projects.

The Preparation 

As with any project, you’ll need a decent amount of early preparation time to ensure you get the perfect finish later. 

With an exterior job, you’ll need more time and more tools. 

  • Stiff brush: To remove dirt, grime and loose paint across all walls.
  • Sponge and cleaning solution: A basic detergent solution (such as washing-up liquid in warm water) is a good place to start, with a large sponge to wipe down every surface. You may need a scrubbing brush too for stubborn stains and mould/algae.
  • Fungicidal wash: Exterior walls are often subject to mould and algae, particularly on north facing elevations.
  • Filler and repair tools: You’ll likely need to repair cracks and holes before you can start painting.
  • Sander/extractor: To get the exterior surface smooth and ready for painting, you’ll need a good quality powered sander. Of course, you could do this by hand, but we recommend an electric sander that will create a much better surface and extract dust as you go, saving you time cleaning up. 

Time-Saving Tools 

An electric sander is just one of those essential, time-saving tools that can help increase efficiency on any exterior painting job. Anything you can do to speed up the process will help you avoid bad weather and maximise your profits. 

We’d also recommend that you consider… 

  • Jet washer: Outside walls need a lot of cleaning, and a jet washer will make the task a whole lot quicker (and easier!)
  • Power-fed roller: With a lot of surface to cover, a power-fed roller will save you a lot of time and effort on those big walls. 
  • Spray machine: Similarly, if you’re dealing with uneven surfaces or simply want to speed up application, spray will be a huge asset if you’ve got compatible paint. 
  • Easy to apply, fast drying paint
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