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Exterior Paint Tips for Weatherboard Homes


Wellington Builders | Renovations | Construction | Design & Architecture Services | Environmentally Conscious | Wellington Roofing & Waterproofing | Wellington Painters


Is the exterior of your home looking tired and needing a good pick-me-up? Before you go and pick up the paintbrush, however, there are some things to consider and tips to apply to ensure you don’t have to re-do the job again in a year, saving yourself the effort and money!

Interested? Here are Orkney Painting + Decorating's top tips:

Selecting the Best Paint Type

When choosing paint for your weatherboard home, it's important to consider the paint type that will provide the best protection against the elements. Look for paint specifically formulated for exterior use and is resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling. Acrylic latex paint is a popular choice for weatherboard homes as it offers excellent durability and flexibility. 

Another important factor to consider is the sheen of the paint. Resene Sonyx 101 is a semi-gloss finish with good durability and cleaning properties. Resene Lumbersider is a satin finish and is very easy to apply. If you’re painting during winter, we recommend using the Resene Wintergrade additive into Resene Sonyx 101 and Resene Lumbersider.

We’ll discuss paint colours soon.

Preparing the Surface

Before you start painting, it's important to prepare the surface of your weatherboard home well. This will ensure that the paint adheres well and provides long-lasting protection. Start by cleaning the weatherboards to remove dirt, dust, or mould. We recommend using Resene’s Moss and Mould cleaner (best applied using a knapsack garden sprayer and avoiding all plants and vegetation) and then waterblast.

Next, remove any mould residue and flaking paint with Resene Paint Prep and House Wash and then waterblast. 

Follow this up by sanding any leftover flaky paint with 100-150 grit sandpaper to remove it. Next, inspect the surface for cracks, holes, or damaged areas. These should be repaired before painting to ensure a smooth and even finish. Use a suitable filler or putty to fill in any gaps, and sand the surface to create an even texture.

Prime any bare or sanded areas with Resene’s Quick Dry Primer. Note: Always prime the sanded areas on the same day to avoid dew settling and lifting the edges overnight.

Now, protect any surrounding areas, such as windows, doors, and landscaping, with plastic sheets or drop cloths to prevent accidental paint splatters or spills.

You’re now ready to start applying the top coats!

Choosing the Right Colours

Ok - let’s talk about colours. Choosing the right colours for your weatherboard home can significantly impact its appearance and curb appeal. When selecting colours, consider the architectural style of your home, the surrounding environment, and any existing colour schemes in the neighbourhood. It's also important to weigh personal preferences and the desired mood or atmosphere you wish to create.

Neutral colours such as white, beige, or grey are timeless and versatile options that can complement any style of weatherboard home. They also reflect heat and sunlight which can help prevent heat buildup and potential damage to the coatings. Lighter colours also help to visually enlarge the space and create a fresh and clean look.

Lighter colours have more longevity of coating soundness due to all the above factors, hence the majority of homes are painted in lighter colours because they tend to last longer between repair and repaint.

You could use different colours for the weatherboards, trims, and accents to create visual interest and highlight specific architectural features.

If you prefer a more vibrant and bold look, consider using brighter or deeper colours for the weatherboards. Shades of blue, green, or red can add character and personality to your home. Just make sure to balance the colours with the surrounding elements and choose shades that harmonise well with the overall colour scheme. Traditionally, dark colours are not recommended for weatherboards. The reason is that dark colours absorb a vast amount of heat from the sun causing colour fade and essentially “cooking” the weatherboards. This can lead to less time between maintenance and potential repainting of surfaces in less time than lighter colours. 

Resene has developed the CoolColour range with a special pigmentation, allowing it to reflect more heat than standard colours. This reduces stress on the paint, substrate and building, and keeps everything cooler. A large range of colours is available - just look for the “cc” on the Resene colour charts.

However, even with CoolColour technology it is not recommended to go too dark on your weatherboards because of fading, heat stress, etc.

(If you were building a new home or renovating, you could allow for dark colours on your home by selecting the appropriate substrate. Very dark shades can be applied to cement substrates ie Titan cladding, because it does not heat up as much as weatherboard surfaces and can tolerate darker shades for longer. (We realise that this article is specifically about weatherboards, so we must point out that Orkney Painting + Decorating doesn’t recommend dark colours for this type of cladding.)

Application Techniques for Painting Your Weatherboard Home

Proper application techniques can make a big difference in the final result when painting your weatherboard home. Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish:

  • Use a high-quality paintbrush or roller to apply the paint. A brush is ideal for detailed areas and trims, while a roller can cover larger surfaces quickly.

  • Work in small sections and apply the paint in thin and even coats. Avoid too much paint at once as it can lead to drips and uneven coverage. We recommend painting the undersides of the weatherboards first, followed by the face.

  • Always try to complete a length of weatherboard rather than stopping and starting part way through. When you reach the end of that length, start on the panel immediately below and go across to the other end (i.e. left to right, then right to left).

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding drying times between coats. This will ensure that each layer of paint properly adheres and dries before applying the next one. It is critical to lightly sand between each coating to provide adhesion to each coating level.

  • Pay attention to the weather conditions when painting. Avoid painting on extremely hot or humid days, as it can affect the drying process and the quality of the finish. Also, try to paint earlier in the day or you risk having dew settle on it overnight and leaving a mark on the paint.

By following these application techniques, you can achieve a reasonable-looking paint job that will enhance the beauty of your weatherboard home.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure the longevity and beauty of your weatherboard home's exterior paint. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly inspect the painted surface for any signs of damage, such as cracks, peeling, or blistering. Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage and water penetration.

  • Clean the painted surface periodically to remove dirt, dust, and pollutants. Following a new paint job, we recommend that you wash your house down once per year, every year. This will give more longevity to your coatings overall. You can use a mild detergent and water, or a specialised cleaner for painted surfaces. Avoid using abrasive tools, materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the paint.

  • Consider applying a fresh coat of paint every few years to maintain the appearance and protection of your weatherboard home. This will help to prevent the paint from fading or deteriorating due to exposure to the elements. Depending on colour selections these times can vary. For a lighter colour, it would be between 6-8 years; for darker colours, it would be between 2-4 years.

  • Protect the painted surface from extreme weather conditions, such as prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, heavy rain, or snow. Consider installing shade structures or awnings to provide additional protection.

  • Regularly trim any foliage or vegetation near the weatherboards to prevent moisture buildup and potential damage to the paint from creeping and climbing plants.

  • If the weatherboards at the corners of the house are rotting or separating, we recommend adding metal corner scribers or flat soakers to stop further water seepage and timber degradation. These are to be applied to the weatherboard corners and joins, and come in a range of finishes ie copper, galvanised, etc, budget dependent.

Applying these maintenance and care tips will ensure that your home's exterior paint remains in good condition and will last longer.

If your weatherboard home needs a spruce-up but you don’t have the time, energy, or experience to DIY, get in touch! We are happy to discuss and provide a solution for you and your home. We offer free quotes for the Wellington area (terms and conditions apply).

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