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Thinking of painting your outside walls or fences? Read this essential guide first…

Emma Love
·3-min read
Photo credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis/ Bauwerk
Photo credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis/ Bauwerk

What should I choose? Masonry paints are suitable for walls, bricks and render, but there are also specialist paints for metals and wood. As with those for interior walls, exterior paints come in different finishes, such as eggshell, satin and gloss, so think about the look you want to achieve. It’s also worth remembering that most paints can’t be applied in temperatures below 5°C, or if there’s a risk of rain or frost – so summer is the best time to refresh outdoor spaces.

How do I tackle mould? Look for products with mould-resistant and weather proof formulas. A brick waterproofing product, for example, will protect against ice, rain and snow, and can be used in tandem with regular masonry paints. Limewash is also a good option for walls prone to damp.

What other preparation do I need to do? ‘Make sure to remove any surface dirt and loose paint with a scraper and a stiff-bristled brush,’ says Kasia Wiktorowicz, marketing communications manager at Valspar. ‘If the wall is very dirty, wash it with a household detergent and rinse well with water. Ensure any small cracks and holes are filled and sanded down, and then use an exterior primer to prepare the surface for painting.’ Applying an undercoat is also a good idea, as it gives the new colour opacity and helps to cover up previous paint jobs.

How often do exterior surfaces need to be repainted? Most outdoor paints have been designed to give between 10 and 15 years of protection from the elements.

What colour should I choose? ‘If you’re painting walls or fences in the garden, the shade you select should add to your outdoor space, rather than detracting from it,’ explains David Mottershead. ‘Gardens already have their own accent colours provided by the plants you choose, so use these as your starting palette.’

Photo credit: Photographer: Lucky If Sharp Edit: Kiera Buckley-Jones
Photo credit: Photographer: Lucky If Sharp Edit: Kiera Buckley-Jones

5 of the best exterior paint brands to know

Best for eco-friendly limewash

This Australian company specialises in natural lime paint, which absorbs into the wall and allows the surface to breathe. Suitable for all masonry, but not wooden doors or trims. No undercoat or sealer needed.From £31 for one litre,

Photo credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis
Photo credit: Anastasia Kariofyllidis

Best for eggshell paint
Farrow & Ball

Eggshell paint is perfect for adding a silky sheen to exterior wood and metal surfaces, but Farrow & Ball also has fantastic matt, quick-drying and water-based masonry paints in its 132 colours.

Photo credit: Kensington Leverne / Collagerie x Farrow and Ball
Photo credit: Kensington Leverne / Collagerie x Farrow and Ball

Best for multiple finishes
Little Greene

From quick-drying gloss to exterior eggshell and masonry paints, Little Greene offers a wide range of outdoor solutions. There’s also ‘Tom’s Oil’ eggshell, which gives woodwork and metal a traditional finish.

Photo credit: Little Greene
Photo credit: Little Greene

Best colour selection

Choose from around 200 garden and decking paint shades. Still not able to find the exact hue you want? The brand’s colour matching service, available at B&Q, allows you to create bespoke options.

Photo credit: Valspar
Photo credit: Valspar

Best for a chalky look
Designers Guild

Hardwearing and offering protection from the elements, this water-based masonry paint can be used on walls, bricks and render. A low, five per cent sheen level gives it an attractive chalky, matt appearance.

Photo credit: James Merrell
Photo credit: James Merrell

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