Painting
If you're considering painting the exterior of your house or revitalising an inside room, you may find it helpful to have some expert guidance.

Tools and materials
  • There's no such thing as a good cheap can of paint - you get exactly what you pay for. Good paint means better hiding power, more coverage per litre, easier touch-up and quite a bit longer between paint jobs. So always go for medium to top of the range grades.
  • Buy good brushes like decent 100% black nylon brushes. Don't buy cheap.
  • Buy a lambskin roller, not polyester which tends to pack down and not hold the paint well so you’re constantly re-loading it. Lambskin covers hold more paint and are less likely to leave track marks. A 25cm roller is suitable for most jobs.
  • You will also need wall scrapers, a putty knife, a wire brush, work pots (for brush work), overalls, sandpaper, putty, filling compounds, wood filler, masking tape and plastic or canvas drop sheets for protecting non-painted areas. And probably a ladder.

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Interior paint
  •  For all woodwork and high traffic areas and where the coating will be washed often (kitchens and bathrooms) an enamel will be your best choice.
  • Flat wall finishes are more desirable in other parts of the house like bedrooms, living and dining areas. These 100% acrylic formulations are durable and touch up well.
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Interior preparation

  • Remove any furniture or obstructions and cover anything remaining with plastic, paper drop cloths or a painter's canvas.
  • Remove hardware such as door knobs, electrical switch and outlet covers.  Anything you can't remove and don't want to paint, use masking tape.
  • Scrape off flaking paint and sand edges with medium grit sandpaper.
  • Patch holes and cracks with spackle. When dry spot prime all patched areas.
  •  Re-caulk cracks in corners and mouldings.
  • Fill nail holes and when dry sand with medium grit sand paper.
  • Inspect trim work and repair damaged areas by digging out rot and filling depression with wood filler. Allow to dry and sand with fine grit sandpaper if needed.
  • All new surfaces should have an initial coat of sealer applied.
  • Interior surfaces should be clean. Try washing them with sugar soap.
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Ceilings
  • If you are painting the entire room, strt with the ceiling. If you're not painting the walls, mask them off with lightweight plastic drop cloths.
  • Start by using a brush cutting in around the edges, light fixtures and so on using a smallish and manageable brush. If you are painting the walls a little overlap onto them is fine. You might need to use a small handheld shield to protect the wall.
  • Once your cut in work is finished you can begin rolling. The thickness of the roller cover depends on how textured your ceiling is. A 1.5cm cover is fine for smooth surfaces but rougher textures may require a thicker 2cm thick nap.
  • Since you have to mix all your paint before starting to insure the same color throughout, a 20 litre bucket is ideal. You can use a small 5 litre workpot with 4 or 5cm of paint for your cutting in.
  • Attach a 120cm or so handle to your roller frame (you can buy them to screw into the handle) so you can paint from the floor, then run your roller down into the paint and roll it over the grid to distribute the paint evenly. This also removes excess paint and you will find that you have very little dripping.
  • Work in 120cm sections or so applying the paint in a W pattern then going back over it to distribute it evenly. It’s a good idea on ceilings to roll in the direction of the window across from the entry door. This helps to hide any roller lines which may be introduced.
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Walls
  • Cut in at the top where the wall meets the ceiling, around your doors, windows, timber railings and any outlets and switches.
  • It's a good idea to do one wall at a time, cover the floor, cut in and then roll. This way the paint from the cut in is still wet and there is less chance of a colour mismatch between brush and roller work.
  • Always keep a bucket of water handy so that you can clean up any spills or splatters while they are still wet. Of course use paint thinner if using oil base paint.

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Trim
  • If your existing trim is an acrylic finish simply patch any holes or cracks, sand lightly, wipe clean with a damp cloth and apply your finish coat of enamel.
  • If your trim is an oil base you can prepare and recoat using an oil-base enamel.
  • If you want to switch to acrylic you'll need to 'de-gloss' the surface by cleaning it thoroughly with fresh water and rags and applying a coat of acrylic primer designed for adhesion. Allow this to dry completely (at least 48 hours) then sand it lightly before applying your finish acrylic enamel.

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Tip
  • When painting panel doors always paint the innermost sections first and finish off with the outside sections. So with a four panel door start by painting the panels as the brush will overlap some onto the stiles. When the panels are completed, start on the stiles following the direction of the grain of the wood, horizontal stiles first, vertical last. This technique eliminates a lot of excessive brush strokes.
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Exterior paints
  • Again, avoid the low end materials.
  • There is a wide range of water-based paints specifically for exterior use. Water-based resins have at least the same performance as oil-base paints and are easier to work with and clean up.
  • The selection of coatings available for exterior applications is quite extensive and your paint supplier can best advise you on which product is best for a specific application.
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Exterior preparation
  • A clean well prepared surface allows for easier paint application and a longer lasting, trouble-free paint job.
  • Trim back all bushes and plants that are touching the walls or getting in the way.
  • Remove those fittings that will provide problems such as window shutters and screens. You'll get better results if you paint these items before re-installing.
  • Exterior surfaces will need washing. You can use a high-pressure washer or a hose with a strong spray nozzle. Spray under the eaves and down the wall getting rid of all dirt, spider webs and any peeling paint.
  • Alternatively, you can try scrubbing with a soft bristle brush. Use a mild bleach solution to kill mould and mildew, a mixture of 25% chlorine bleach to 75% water should be sufficient.  A pump-up garden sprayer works well for applying the bleach mixture. Be sure to rinse well, protect surrounding shrubbery and yourself (with protective gloves, safety glasses and appropriate clothing). Bleach can be very caustic so protect your eyes and skin.
  • Inspect wood surfaces thoroughly and caulk any seams and joints where needed. As a rule, re-caulk any crack that exists. Scrape off old putty around wood windows and re-caulk them.
  • Countersink any protruding nails and look for signs of rust where nail heads may have worked out. Spot prime with a rust inhibiting primer and when dry fill the indentations with painters putty or spackling compound. When dry, lightly sand all patched areas.
  • Scrape away flaking and peeling paint. Replace all rotted wood or repair with exterior wood filler.

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Exterior
painting
  • Start painting on the shaded side of the house to avoid bubbling caused by direct sunlight. It's also best to paint the walls and then the trim, doors and shutters.
  • Lay plastic over any plants or objects that you do not want paint on. Lay tarps on the ground around the area you are painting. Large pieces of cardboard may work for covering patios and driveways.
  • If your house is large and the day is not too windy, think about renting a paint sprayer - it's much quicker and gives good coverage. Use an even back and forth motion and be careful not to overspray in any one area or you'll end up with drips. Use a large piece of cardboard as your spray guard so you don’t get paint on windows or other places. Stand back and inspect for any missed any spots. Once the wall is painted you can brush and roll the trim.
  • If you can't spray you'll need to use a rollers. Use deep pile rollers for stucco and low pile for smooth siding. Look for rollers that spin smoothly. You'll regret buying a cheap roller that doesn't spin freely and you'll tire out fast. Buy roller extensions for the high spots and make sure you have a good ladder. Paint the corners first with a brush and then roll each wall. Work from the top down.
  • Before painting make sure you have enough paint 'boxed' (that is, a number of cans mixed together to ensure colour consistency) to finish an entire section. Mix the paint thoroughly. Always stir before and during use.
  • Coat window sash and door panels first, then paint the window frames, sills and door trim. Any paint on the putty line of the window will serve to protect the puttied surface from water. You can overlap a little on to the glass and excess paint can be scraped off with a razor blade to create a clean edge.
  • When loading your brush with paint, immerse the first third of the bristles into the paint and tap the brush lightly side-to-side against the inside of the can. Don't drag the bristles across the lip of the can because this robs your brush of half its paint carrying capacity.
  • When applying with a brush, use long, smooth strokes. Acrylics do not require much brushing. They dry quickly and excessive brushing will cut brush marks permanently into the paint film. When using acrylics, apply paint generously, give it one or two back strokes and leave it to dry.\
  • Paint will build up on the heel of the brush, where the bristles meet the ferrule. To eliminate this excess, occasionally drag the heel of the brush over the lip of the can several times.
  • When you take a break, wrap your brushes and rollers with plastic to keep paint from hardening or developing a skin. Replace the lids on open cans.

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  • Use a vertical technique for shingled surfaces. The shingles provide natural breaking points, so painting in vertical sections is convenient.
  • On horizontal siding, work from side to side beginning at the top. Minimize lapmarks by painting four to five boards across the house until completed.
  • On weatherboard, the first surface to paint is the area where two boards overlap. Use the narrow side of the brush and force paint up under the lap. Coat as much length of board as you can comfortably reach, then flip to the wider portion of the brush and coat the surface of the board.

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