How To Prep For Painting Outdoors

by barretts of maynooth ltd on July 12, 2022



Are you about to re-decorate your home’s exteriors? Before you launch into it, here are some ways you can prepare for this bigger paint job.

We’ve put in some of the critical steps you need to take to prepare your walls and the materials you may need.

You should be picking a nice dry day in summer to begin with - imagine doing all that work only to see it drain away under heavy rain!

Clear Away the Debris First

  • Remove any structures in the way, such as trellises or hanging items and minor fixtures
  • Clear away any vegetation such as mossy build-up, weeds in cracks, and remnants of climbing plants
  • Scrub away any moss and mouldy build-up or rusty smears with a wire brush and some water. You can use a Fungicidal Wash to clear mould & mildew from walls before painting. Look for a wash solution suitable for concrete, stone, paving, walls & wood. It will keep your walls looking fresh for long periods. For example
  • Bits of old flaky paint may come off as well, so scrub this off with a wire brush too
  • Do let the surface dry thoroughly first before you apply any paint

    Safety First


    Be sure to stock up on safety gear like safety goggles, a mask and if you are climbing high, even a safety harness and hard hat.

    Be sure to protect the non-painted areas by applying masking tape on items like window frames, handles, knockers, signage and door frames, etc.

    If there are a lot of people moving nearby, especially if you're facing onto the street - do put up cones and signs, especially where wet paint and ladders are in use.

    Stock up on Filler

    Maintenance and restoration may be in order before you start painting over the old walls. Fill in any cracks, gaps and holes along outside walls to make for a smoother finish.

    Look for a filler that is water and frost resistant. Find one that can be used on masonry, concrete or bricks. For example:

    How to Choose the Right Paint for Exterior Walls

    Start With a Base Coat

    Given the exposure to the elements - it is all the more essential to apply a tough base coat when painting outdoors.

    Look for a product that will give you a formidable foundation with a flexible formulation which resists cracking. You’ll want a basecoat that is ultra-tough & long-lasting.

    These can even be used for furniture up-cycling, skirting, doors and all wood & metal.

    For example:

      Masonry Paint for Stone or Brick Walls

      You may want to start picking up on the right masonry paint. This type of paint is an all-weather resistant form of more durable paint than the emulsion-based paint customarily used indoors. If exposed externally, emulsion paint will not last.

      You can find brands designed to protect from mould, algae and even dirt. It should be breathable and waterproof.

      Suitable exterior paints possess UV and fade-resistant technology to ensure a  long-lasting matt finish.

      Look for paint that is easy to apply with a brush, roller or spray whilst providing strong stain resistance and a soft sheen finish.

      Drying time is also a factor as it is critical in our weather - 2 to 4 hours is ideal.

      Here are some of the brands that provide this quality finish:

      • Homevalue Weatherforce Paint is an exclusive range of outdoor masonry paint that will be perfect for all exterior walls, masonry and stonework
      • Dulux Weathershield masonry paint is designed to protect against Ireland's weather conditions. Using pure acrylic technology, Weathershield with Advanced Durability is probably the most protective masonry paint. It gives a freshly painted look for longer
      • Fleetwood Weatherclad Smooth Masonry Paint is considered the ultimate product for solid protection with up to 18 years of durability guaranteed. It dries to Showerproof in just 30 minutes
      • Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint is also easy to apply and even contains innovative Microseal “Breathable” technology. It comes with 15 years of protection guaranteed and is also Rainproof & dirt resistant.
      • Sandtex Microseal Smooth Masonry is another high quality, high coverage exterior masonry paint that comes with 15 years of guaranteed protection. It incorporates Microseal premium technology


      All Surface Exterior Paint

      There is also the option of choosing an ultimate performance paint that offers supreme protection to all exterior surfaces. This paint variety may be applied on multiple surfaces such as - Glossy Paints, Bitumen, Tar, Varnish, Creosote, Plastisol, Powder Coatings, Timber, Metal, Concrete and Glossy Paints

      Look out for paints that will give low maintenance with a tough finish.

      Water-resistance is critical in exterior paints, so look for s that are also vapour-permeable, water-shedding results.

      Exterior paints can protect against fungal degradation by containing a biocide

      Examples of all-surface paint options include:


      Protection for Wood, Metal & PVC

      You will need a soft sheen finish when painting exterior wood fixtures, walls, panels, or metal and PVCu structures outdoors.

      Look for a paint that gives you a  tough, waterproof, long-lasting finish that resists cracking. For example:

      If you have wooden exterior features or fixtures like exterior doors and windows,  you may want to use a specific product that can give you a traditional exterior varnish with tough long-lasting protection from UV.

      For example:


      Paint for use in Fencing

      When painting your fencing or wooden shed surfaces, you should also be looking for the same water-resistant dirt-proof qualities.

      In Ireland, it will have to be rainproof, frostproof and has advanced protection against UV rays all at once!

      Choose woodcare paint that can be ideally used on all rough sawn exterior woods and even smooth planed wood, including fencing and garden furniture.

      It helps to find a quick-drying variety (1 to 2 hours ) as well, given our wet weather even in the summer.

      Here is an example:

      • Ronseal Fence Life Plus delivers the ultimate protection to exterior sheds and fences. It will even stick to damp wood. Its colour and protection will last up to 5 years. It is Rainproof in 1 hour and can be sprayed or brushed

        Location, History and Context Matters

        Consider your Terrace & Neighbourhood

        It will be wise to discuss colour with the neighbours - especially if your property is attached to another on a terrace or part of a carefully curated period square or landscaped terrace.

        It may also depend on how the buildings are joined and the definition of boundary walls.

        Check with the municipal authorities if your building is a listed landmark or a part of a listed heritage site. This applies if your property is in a Conservation Area. Any attempt to dramatically alter (as opposed to restore) will require permission.

        When in Doubt, Go Neutral

        Ideally, stick to pale grey, white, beige and cream when in doubt, as it will make for a brighter house and won’t clash with the landscape.

        Stick to off-white neutrals as much as possible as our wet weather can be very unforgiving, showcasing every speck of dirt, a bit of moss or windswept dirt.  Unlike the sun-bleached islands of Greece….

        Even when the bright sunlight appears - it can make more significant properties in white blindingly invasive for the eyes.


        Ready to give your outdoor space some love. Have these items to hand:

        Shopping list

        Stop by our Exterior Paints section to catch an overview of the supplies and brands available.

        We also have a supply of roller brushes and painting equipment in store, check out this Home Decor 7" Shed & Fence Kit.

        Have you more essential tips to add? Share them

        Have you already started on the big outdoor paint job this summer? How did you get on?

        Why not tell us on Facebook and Instagram and share your handiwork

        BACK TO TOP