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Dr Dulux: How Can I Achieve The Perfect Finish On My Walls?

Dulux Weathershield Front Door Vast Lake & Jasmine White

Achieve the perfect finish on your exterior walls with Dr Dulux. Painting your home's exterior may seem daunting, but our preparation guide has you covered.

Does your home look a little worse for wear? Show your outer walls a little love by painting your exterior walls and woodwork. Your masonry gets a bashing from the elements all year round, but with the right preparation, you can ensure your exterior looks pristine for years to come. Here’s how to paint exterior walls like a pro.

Q: How can I achieve the perfect finish on my exterior walls?

A: There’s no denying that painting house exteriors is a big job, so it’s important to ensure that it’s a big job done well. And Dr Dulux is here to help you with these exterior house painting tips.

When figuring out how much paint you’ll need, calculate the width and height of the entire house. Then, subtract the measurements of windows and doors for an accurate final total to get the right quantity of paint. This will vary depending on which Weathershield product you use.

Weathershield All Weather Smooth Masonry paint typically provides coverage of 15m2/L, compared to 9m2/L coverage for Weathershield All Weather Textured Masonry paint. Weathershield Ultimate Protection Smooth Masonry paint provides coverage of 12m2/L.

The key questions

When painting exterior walls, there are a few questions you need to consider.

1. What condition is my house in?

Before preparing exterior walls for painting, have a closer look. Is there crumbling masonry or rotten woodwork to fix? This will take time to repair, so factor it into the schedule. Repairing cracks in exterior walls is crucial to ensure a smooth finish. 

2. Is the job complicated?

Before you start, assess obstacles like doors, windows, fences and hedges, which could slow the project down or require safety scaffolding.

3. What's the weather like?

Rain and extreme weather should be avoided when it comes to painting, as it can affect the overall finish and the way paint dries.  

How to paint exterior walls

Wash the walls

Cleaning exterior walls is an all-important first step you don’t want to skip. Make sure your walls are free of any dirt, debris or stains.

Wondering how to clean exterior walls before painting? We recommend treating any mould or algae patches with the Weathershield Multisurface Fungicidal Wash.

You should also remove flaking paint from exterior walls by giving the whole surface a good wash. Make sure you rinse the wall with clean water to ensure a quality finish that lasts for years. 

DrDulux The Perfect Finish Wash Walls

Repair and prime

Now you have a clean base, the next step is to repair any cracks or holes in the render with Polycell Multi Purpose Polyfilla so you get a perfect finish. Depending on the materials your walls are made from, a good exterior house painting tip is to start with a coat of Weathershield Stabilising Primer.

This isespecially important for shiny or porous surfaces so that your first coat of paint adheres properly to the walls. If you find your masonry surface is powdery or chalky after you’ve prepared it, this water-based primer will seal any unstable areas. Just brush or roller it on and you’ll be good to go. It’s also suitable for your interior walls, which is handy. 

DrDulux The Perfect Finish Repair Prime

Choose a protective paint

You’re now ready to paint. The outside of your house is the first thing people see, so pick your palette from the Dulux Weathershield range to turn heads for all the right reasons.

Dulux Weathershield Masonry Paints

By using Weathershield Masonry Paints, you’re giving your walls and front of house décor protection from weather damage and mould and algae growth. They’re also made with anti-fade technology for long-lasting colour. Two coats are usually enough, but if you’re painting over a strong shade, you might need a third.

Keep in mind that a rough surface can double the amount of paint you need. Using textured masonry paint tailored to your surface will reduce the number of coats you have to use.

Dulux Colour Mixing Weathershield Textured Masonry paint provides even coverage for uneven surfaces. Alternatively, use Dulux Weathershield Smooth Masonry paint for smooth surfaces. Both types come with 15-year guaranteed all-weather protection. There are 19 shades in the Dulux Weathershield Smooth Masonry range and 6 Dulux Weathershield Textured Masonry paint shades – something to suit all styles.

Remember too that Weathershield Masonry paints are backed by the Weathershield Promise: If your walls peel, flake, or there is mould growth within the paint film whilst you live in your home, we will give you your money back.

DrDulux The Perfect Finish Protective Paint
“When it comes to painting bare walls, two coats of paint are usually all you’ll need. But remember: if you need to do any repair work, those areas will probably also need an additional layer to make sure you get a quality, seamless finish.” – Matt Gray.

Which shades should I choose?

Think about the style and era of the building: traditional or country can be updated with chalky or pastel shades; while greys and neutrals bring classicism to modern designs; for Victorian or Edwardian, consider heritage-inspired shades of grey, cream, or pale blue, befitting their period.

To create a sense of flow, echo the colours used inside – because there’s more natural light outside, you can go a couple of shades darker than you might indoors. Use outdoor lighting to enhance exterior paintwork in the evening: yellow-amber bulbs mute blues and greens and make oranges and yellows more vivid; white lights resemble natural light, keeping your walls bright during the daytime and nighttime.

If you’d like some colour theme inspiration, check out our simple guide to colour matching.

Dulux Weathershield Smooth Masonry Teal Front Door

Q: How do I prep my exterior woodwork trim for painting?

A: Now you know how to ensure your masonry will be painted like a pro, let’s make sure your exterior woodwork will be primed and painted perfectly, too. We’ve broken down what you need to do into three easy steps.

Step 1: prime the woodwork

Prime new or bare wood with Weathershield Exterior Preservative Primer, which will protect your trim against staining fungi and wood rot. For previously painted doors, remove old and flaking paint and sand the surface thoroughly. To get a smooth and seamless finish, fill any cracks and holes with Polycell Polyfilla before painting.

Pro tip: If your colour choice is much darker or lighter than the original, apply a primer to help your new paint colour adhere better to the surface.

Step 2: apply undercoat

Apply up to two coats of Weathershield Exterior Quick Dry Undercoat for wood and metal - a durable formulation that flexes with the wood to resist cracking. Using it on metal? Apply a metal primer first to protect against rust.

Step 3: apply paint

Now you’re ready to paint. Two coats of Weathershield High Gloss and Quick Dry Stain Paint for wood and metal contain a weatherproof paint film that is mould resistant and flexible to prevent cracking and minimise staining.

Dulux Weathershield Exterior Indigo Shade Door

When to go pro

Getting the outside of your house done properly can improve your kerb appeal. A decorator can deliver a better finish in less time but doing it yourself can save money and lets you control the schedule. When deciding, it’s worth considering what repair work is required and any health and safety factors, as well as your own skillset. Long ladders and scaffolding are best left to the experts!

So there you have it, expert guidance from Dr Dulux on how to paint exterior walls and woodwork. It’s a big job, but you can do it!

Find out more about how to keep your home looking its best with Dulux Weathershield here. Or, get more tips on painting a uPVC front door here.

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