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Colour scheme

Exterior colour scheme
We chose to repaint our house, for cosmetic reasons, because we wanted to change the colour scheme, even though it has been recently painted.

We got four quotes for repainting the house and they ranged from $5000 plus paint to $10327.50  including paint. We chose the $5000 quote, however our paint scheme will be more expensive than usual, because we used darker colours and we're using five colours in our scheme (usual schemes use 2-3 colours). This is a very reasonable quote - due to the house being in good condition.

How to make your paint job last longer
All you have to do is wash your house down once a year - dirt affects the paint and breaks it down, so keep your house clean!

Some colours fade more quickly than others - dark colours especially. This is because they suck UV rays, unlike lighter colours, which will reflect these rays. Darker paints are more expensive because they require a dark base colour, which costs more than a light base colour. Using five colours is also more expensive than using 2 - 3 colours, not because of labour but because the paint costs more.

This is purely an economy of scale - buying smaller amounts of paint is more expensive than buying a large amount of one colour.

Professional painters
Before you get your professional painters in, there are things you can do to make their job quicker and cheaper. Water blast your house - this gets rid of dirt and paint flakes/bubbles - makes it easier for the painters to find and work on the trouble spots.

Reduce the vegetation surrounding the house - try and cut back trees, shrubs etc to enable the painter's better access and don't re-plant your garden before painting.

Check out the state of your house and get any necessary repairs/fix-ups finished before your painters come in - it's a lot easier and cheaper to get your builder in prior to painting, than afterwards and then have to get areas re-painted.

If you chose to do the painting yourself
Here are a few points to keep in mind:

- Work on one board at a time - this will keep you motivated!

- Start at the top and work your way down

- Don't tackle too many boards at a time 2-3 max - his keeps your 'wet edge' (so you're not brushing over dry paint, you'll avoid lumps and bumps)

- Wash your brush every now and then to stop it getting clogged

- Do your windows at the same time as your boards i.e. prep at the same time and paint at the same time.

- Use an oil-based primer over putty and not an acrylic primer - putty takes 4-6 weeks to go off and painters won't wait for this, but putty is oil-based, so using an oil-based primer will form a hard skin over the putty.

- A good paint job should last 10 years, but a more realistic life span is 6 years - because of our harsh climate and because people don't take care to make the job last longer.

Our painter
Phil's order of work:

- Use a limbide scraper to remove loose paint
- Use a machine sander - especially on boards
- Dust off
- Spot prime bare timber
- Use an oil-based primer (won't stain through the top coat)
- Face fill
- Sand again
- Prime with acrylic primer
- No more gaps
- Two tops - Finish!