Painting the exterior of your house is a huge job but the rewards are great too! Houses in Spain need lots of care to keep them in top condition, our fabulous Spanish sunshine can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior if not properly maintained. A really good ‘paint job’ both enhances your Villa’s appearance & protects what is probably your biggest investment.
It goes without saying that a freshly painted house improves curb appeal which is SO important if you want to sell your property.
Traditionally Spanish houses were painted with CAL, a milky/watery lime wash which allowed the walls to ‘breathe’. Many old school painters still think the bright, white of CAL can’t be beaten! However, we now have modern, high quality latex paints (plasticos) which are eco-friendly, still breathable & offer tough resistance to fungus & algae.
I’ve worked alongside some excellent professional Villa painters & painted my own house a few times. Whether doing it yourself or hiring professionals, here’s a handy list of 10 top tips for exterior house painting in Spain to keep your beautiful Spanish home in perfect condition. And remember………. for roughly 300 out 0f 365 days a year we DON’T have to worry about rain stopping play! How lucky are we?!
- Make a list – there’s nothing more annoying than starting your house painting project & finding that you’ve forgotten one of the essentials. A list ensures that you have all the materials you’ll need. For example:
Good quality paint – Valaentines, Titan, Bupisa, Amarto, Bruguer, Decolor, Juno, Behr & Procolor are just SOME of the top brands available in Spain.
Suitable rollers (the heavier the better! They hold more paint)
Ladders (in good condition and sturdy)
Brushes (in various sizes, angled brushes are super for cutting in and those all important straight lines)
Masking tape (exterior quality) the blue exterior tape from http://www.tesa.com is excellent
Protective covering – drop cloth, plastic sheets, cardboard
Baby Wipes – a multitude of uses for painters!
Microfibre cloths – these are magic for all painting projects!
Good quality fillers and caulk (for exteriors, paintable and suitable for the width and depth of repair)
Scrapers (clean ones! Leftover fillers etc can further damage your wall surface)
- Wash the wall before painting! Pressure washers are perfect for this but so are brooms dipped in a bucket of soapy water if not! Mildew & algae thrive under fresh paint if not cleaned off beforehand & will stop your new paint adhering properly. Sometimes a sealer coat called ‘fondo’ best prepares the surface before painting.
- Scrape off loose paint – work safely & wear a disposable mask for this.
- Fill & repair – check with your paint supplier which filler for where, take photos of any rough areas to show them if it’s difficult to explain. Caulk should be paintable, for exteriors & have a degree of elasticity.
- Buy the BEST quality paint you can afford! Good quality paint is easier to apply, covers better & lasts longer. Your paint shop will help you with the BEST paint for your surface & with quantities you’ll need. Unsure of meterage? Take pictures on your phone & they’ll figure it out for you. Investing in decent rollers & brushes works too – you’ll cover larger areas quicker & keep that wet edge ‘wet’ for longer.
- Read the instructions! It really is worth reading the small print! Paint companies will have carefully tested how much to dilute & best practice with their own brands for optimum performance. Each brand WILL have subtle differences so get your magnifying glass out or go online & read the corresponding technical data sheet (ficha technica) most top brands have the ‘translate’ option in their drop down menus. PLEASE Don’t over-dilute & remember to stir it!!
- Avoid direct sunlight! Start in the shade – heat dries the paint fast & can make you feel ill quickly. Wear a hat, keep water nearby & consider starting early & finishing before the mid-afternoon heat spike. Dodging the sun preserves your energy for wielding the paint pole & moving your ladders.
- Ladders – make sure they’re strong, long enough & in excellent condition. Don’t over stretch, coming down & moving your ladder is better than having an accident. A good rule is to keep your hips within the ladder width to keep safe. Feeling the effects of the sun? DON’T go up a ladder.
- Bag up your brushes & rollers between uses – this saves loads of time in unnecessary cleaning – pop them in your fridge overnight too. Work in roughly 1m square patches at a time. As you’re painting your roller should sound wet, when it begins to lose the crinkly sound you need to reload with paint.
- Work from the top down, do the large areas first, save the details for last! Work in a manageable area so that you can avoid lap marks & check over for drips & sags as you go. it’s worth taking a few minutes BEFORE you start each session to work out what you can reasonably get done in your allotted time.
Proper painting of your house will make it look like new AND protect it. These are just a few of the most important house painting tips – have you got any more? Let me know how you get on! Don’t forget to wear your Factor 50 & save the San Miguel for the job well done !
P.S. Did you know? Blue painted front doors keep evil spirits away in Spanish folklore, popular in Greece too. Ancient beliefs say that the radiation of blue prevents anything bad from getting close, interesting eh?
Written by Samantha Bayley – The Painted Kitchen