Have your exterior walls seen better days? Do you want to do something about it and make them look as good as new? If so, then check out this guide on external wall coatings!
When to coat your walls
It is always best to undertake this work in early autumn or any time in spring, as the walls will be dry but there won’t be so much heat from the sun to hamper your efforts.
You should also attempt to work with the direction of the sun, so that you are essentially following it as it goes around the house, and aim to finish up at least 2 hours before sunset so that you leave enough time for any paint to dry.
Make sure that you read through these safety hints and tips before you get started!
- Wear flat, grippy shoes and don’t over-reach when you are working on a ladder. Always keep one hand on the ladder.
- Wear a dust mask and goggles when you need to use a wire brush to clean any old masonry.
- Don’t lean your ladder against any windows or guttering. Make sure it is against a solid surface and that it doesn’t rock.
- Secure the top of your ladder with a rope to a window frame, or drill a hole in the wall and install an eyelet fixing.
- For every 1.3 metres of height, place the ladder about 30 centimetres away from the wall (at the bottom).
- If the ground slopes more than 16 degrees sideways (or at least six degrees away from the wall) where your ladder is, use some ladder levelling devices and non-slip mats to help keep the ladder secure and steady.
- Always keep three points of contact to the ladder, and your chest/waist inside the rungs of the ladder.
What you need
Here is a list of items you will need in order to coat your walls:
- Exterior masonry paint
- A ladder and safety equipment such as stabilisers, and a ladder hook;
- Some abrasive paper;
- Some stabilising primer solution;
- An old bed sheets or polythene sheets, masking tape;
- A paint roller and tray, and an extension handle for the paint roller;
- A wire brush;
- Some 25mm, 50mm and 100mm paintbrushes;
- Some quick-setting mortar, a trowel, a water spray and a bucket to mix the mortar in;
- Access to a tap for water;
- A pair of safety glasses;
- Another bucket, with a bottle of bleach.
Preparing your walls
As with any job, preparation is key to ensuring a perfect end result.
Start by checking the condition of your walls and deal with any mould using a mixture of 1 part bleach to 6 parts water. Let the bleach dry and then wire brush the surface to remove any debris.
Fill all small and medium-sized cracks and holes with some quick-setting mortar. Keep the mortar moist as long as possible for the best adhesion by spraying it with water.
Priming your walls
Once you have done this, seal any dusty or powdery surfaces with the stabilising primer solution. You can also use this on unpainted pebbledash. Wait for the stabilising primer solution to dry before going on to the next step.
Painting your walls
Now that your walls have been prepared and primed, it’s time for the fun stuff – painting!
You can use your paint roller for normal brick walls, but if you need to paint bare pebbledash then you will have to use some brushes.
If you are painting using the roller, attach the extension handle to it when you are painting so that you can paint more when you are working at ground level.