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Tackling this year’s exterior painting season

With exterior season well underway, Tony Pearson-Young, Skills Development Consultant at AkzoNobel shares his top tips and tricks for exterior painting.

When is the best time for exterior decorating?

Temperature makes a big difference to the quality and longevity of a paint and its finish. This means that decorators need to carefully think about the time of year and weather before embarking on exterior projects. For example,  weather over 30°C can cause paint to dry too quickly, which makes it more susceptible to cracking, blistering or peeling.  It can also result in visible brush or roller marks and cause paint to dry on brushes and rollers much faster, which will affect the tools and make it harder to achieve a professional finish.

In addition, painting in temperatures below 10°C (or waiting for paint to dry at this temperature) is also unwise, as it can slow down the drying and curing process and cause the paint to become tacky. Lower temperatures can also form moisture on surfaces which will affect adhesion and can affect the appearance of the finish especially with trim paints and predominantly with oil-based gloss.

What preparation is needed?

To ensure a perfect finish, decorators should always have the following in their kit bag:

  • Stiff brush and scraper to remove dirt and grime.
  • Fungicidal wash to remove fungi, mould and algae and prevent future growth. Rinse after fungicidal wash has been used – a jet wash may be used on heavy growth and appropriate PPE should be used.
  • Stabilising primer to seal unstable areas which remain powdery and chalky after the surface has been thoroughly prepared. Not to be used as a primer on a bare surface that is sound and in good condition.
  • Sponge and cleaning solution (e.g.  sugar soap) to wash and rinse woodwork and gutters.
  • Sander to ensure exterior woodwork is free of blemishes.
  • Filler and tools to repair all cracks and holes.

How can decorators ensure efficiency?

To help get the job done faster – without impacting on quality – decorators should consider using a jet washer to clean surfaces before re-decoration. If using a jet wash, ensure walls are fully dry before painting. When it’s time to start painting, a power roller or jet roller will save time on large surfaces.

How can decorators ensure long-lasting results?

Decorators should always opt for paints that have been specifically designed for exterior use and offer good adhesion, colour retention, durability, and resistance to fading and stains. It is also recommended to check the product has a long-life expectancy that has been third-party accredited, for added reassurance. The Weathershield range includes all these benefits, including 15 years protection and is BBA (British Board of Agrément) approved.

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