This kaleidoscopic world is made up of myriad colours encircling us from each side. Some of them excite us, the other pacifies. One group clamours for attention while the others wait patiently for us to acknowledge their beauty. A world devoid of colour for us is almost akin to a world stripped from all its senses, for it is one of the foremost qualities that appeals to our eyes. There is hardly a human being who doesn’t feel excited by the ethereal colours on the wings of a butterfly, a rainbow on the horizon or the innocent smile playing on a child’s rosy lips.
The changing colour of sky is a sign for us – of rain, thunderstorm or clearer days ahead. Countless hues mark our lives and often without our knowing slowly begin to transform us from within. How we dress ourselves, the interiors of our homes and the exterior of the buildings are often a reflection of our own selves and also our interpretation of the colours we see all around. Coating the exterior of the building serves to beautify it, but also,
- protects the outer walls from the elements of nature,
- maintains a neat and clean appearance,
- helps doing the same for the area where the house is located. For example, colourful houses of Burano, located very close to Venice, helped to create a character of its own very different from its more famous neighbour. White asbestos coated houses of Cycladic islands boast of same kind of exclusivity.
Before going out for shopping consider the following.
- Think about the local weather pattern. Is this the appropriate time of the year to engage in a paint job? Monsoon is best avoided. In warmer places dry winter is the best time to carry out this task which reverses in case of colder countries which experience snowfall and rain during winter.
- Better quality paints ensure better protection for the exterior of your house. They also last longer.
- Think of the surface material – brick, concrete, steel, bare wood – and choose the one appropriate for the exterior of the building.
- Paints can be both water based and oil based. The acrylic latex water based paints dry quicker, giving a glossier finish that can be cleaned easily. Oil based alkyd has a better surface penetration, lasts longer and gives a smoother finish.
- The variety of available colours is endless. You can also use a combination of two or three shades to paint the outer side of your house.
You will require water or oil based primer depending on the choice of the paints.
Before beginning to apply the primer you need to prepare the surface for it. This includes,
- a thorough scrubbing of dirt, getting rid of mildew and loose paints. This can be done using a pressure washer or a hose, sprayer and brush.
- Repair any damages, replace rotten wood and siding.
- Smooth any surface bumps or residual paints with sand paper.
- Using a caulk gun fill in the small joints around the door and window openings by caulk mixture.
Protect the nearby hedges and potted plants by covering them with a piece of fabric drop cloth or, if possible, temporarily removing them from the site. Avoid using plastic wrap as they may damage plants. Also, protect the doors, windows and external lighting fixtures with plastic sheets. You use painter’s tape for the same purpose as well.
Traditionally a coat of high quality primer was applied before finishing off with the actual paint. Latest paint technologies have combined primer and paint into one product. This helps to save some costs. But for the best results you must still consider applying the primer separately. They help to cover any stains, minor defects on the surface and wood knots as well. Tint the primer in accordance to the top coat. Use back brushing technique to force them into every cracks and furrows. Exposed nails or other such metallic objects should be coated with a metal primer to avoid rust.
You have done much of the hard work without any visible results, so you must be delighted to have reached this step.
- Combine multiple cans of paints into one big container. This aids in a smoother finish and uniform olour like this building designed by Trewin Design Architects.
- Depending upon the product you may need to apply some kind of thinner
- Use paint sprayer or brush to paint from top to bottom in smooth strokes. First use vertical strokes and then horizontal ones.
- Don’t paint in haphazard fashion. Complete one area before moving on to the next.
- Let the first coat dry off completely before applying the next one.
To paint the terrace and stairs add grit, fine sand or play sand in your paint. This adds a nice and non slippery texture appropriate for the staircases, steps and patios. Remove plastic sheets and paint the woodwork with double coat of complementary semigloss colour. Remove the drop cloths and scrupulously clean up the entire area. If you removed plants from their original habitat bring them back to their abode. Step back and appreciate your own handiwork.