Sean Thompson, technical consultant at Crown Paints takes things back to basics when it comes to planning and preparing for exterior jobs.
With the warmer months just around the corner, it’s the ideal time to take on outdoor-based decorating projects such as improvements to exterior masonry and woodwork, which are likely to have felt the full force of the winter weather leaving them in need of some TLC. But with so many factors to consider when it comes to exterior projects, it can be easy to overlook the key elements which make all the difference to the outcome of a job.
Choosing the right product
One of the most important considerations when it comes to planning an exterior project should be the product itself. Bearing in mind what the substrate type is, as well as how long the finish needs to last, and how quickly the job requires completing – together with external factors such as footfall and exposure to pollution or UV rays – is essential when specifying the right product for the job.
For example, if an exterior masonry job needs to be completed quickly and the building won’t be exposed to extreme conditions, a product like Sandtex Trade High Cover Smooth would provide the ideal solution as it’s designed for everyday conditions and is re-coatable in just three to five hours. Or if an exterior woodwork job requires long-term protection, a product such as Sadolin Superdec could be the ideal choice as it offers a flexible formulation with up to 10 years’ protection.
Colour is key
With so many practical things to consider, the importance of colour can be easy to overlook on exterior projects, especially when many homeowners simply want to play it safe. However, the correct use of colour can transform a property’s aesthetic appeal, so it’s always worth considering colour as a whole when it comes to exteriors.
Appropriate colour schemes for a project shouldn’t simply be dictated by personal taste: other factors to consider include the local environment, a building’s historical context, and how much natural light it receives. The Exterior Colour Book, which was written by Crown Paints’ in-house colour specification team, provides a useful guide to anyone when it comes to selecting the right colour for any exterior project.
Whether it’s adding pops of colour to exterior woodwork or selecting a tone that is sensitive to a building’s surroundings, it’s important to work with clients to find a balance between individual tastes and the surroundings.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Once the ideal product and colour scheme have been chosen, it’s vital to take time to prepare the surface properly. The first step should be to check the condition of the surfaces, particularly as these can be damaged in the cold and wet conditions regularly experienced throughout winter – and if these aren’t correctly dealt with, they can have a big impact on the quality of the finish.
Mould and mildew are common issues when it comes to exterior surfaces, and they won’t simply go away on their own – they need to be treated. It’s important to invest in a good quality fungicidal wash when working on surfaces susceptible to these issues, and pre-treat them before painting.
Moisture is another common problem encountered when it comes to exterior projects, with rain and heavy snow causing hairline cracks to appear as surfaces expand and contract. When these cracks are identified, they need to be filled and matched to the surrounding area – choosing a ready-mixed masonry filler that is quick-drying will help to save valuable time on site.
And when it comes to exterior woodwork, choosing a full system of products such as Sadolin’s range of woodcare products can make all the difference when it comes to achieving best results.
By taking time to plan an exterior painting project – from choosing the ideal products and colour schemes to preparing surfaces – professional contractors can achieve the ideal combination of aesthetic appeal and a quality finish.
For more information on the range of exterior solutions for Crown Paints visit https://www.crownpaints.co.uk/