House Painting Advice

Tips For Choosing Interior and Exterior Colors

Preparing Masonry Exterior Walls for Painting
Saturday, 27 February 2010 02:09

A good exterior paint job on masonry walls should last for about ten years. If your exterior masonry walls are unpainted or due for an update, special preparation is needed before you start slabbing the paint on. The outside elements have no regard for the longevity of your paint-job, or your house, so if you want your exterior paint job to brave nature's elements, prepare your walls accordingly.

Just like the indoors, all exterior surfaces should be filled and sanded before painting. Rip out those weeds surrounding your foundation walls and give your freed walls a good hose down and a harsh scrub. (This is also a good time to check the basement for leaks.) A good stiff brush will get rid of loose paint and stubborn dirt. If you have an older house, apply a fungicidal solution to your masonry walls before painting. Let it sit for 24 hours, then reclean the surface with a pressure washer.

Look for holes and cracks. If your masonry walls leave powder on your hands, you'll need to apply some stabilizing solution before you start filling the cracks. If your house is newer, this step is likely unnecessary. Fill the holes and cracks with an all-purpose powder filler prepared specifically for exterior surfaces. Then sand it all down after the filler has dried. Once your walls are prepped, cleaned, filled and sanded, you should be ready to paint.

Typically, a latex exterior paint made specifically for masonry walls is used. Professionals advise to first apply a coat using the paint you have chosen mixed with 10% water. This is often referred to as “priming” the wall. After the “primer” coat has dried, apply two full-strength coats. This will give you a good solid coverage. Don't paint over your pipes with masonry paint – opt for a metal paint instead.

Painting your exterior masonry walls will add curb-appeal and draw together the existing color elements of your house, landscape and garden. Take the time to make it last, and let yourself relax for another ten years.