Painting outdoor surfaces made of wood, metal, brick, stucco or concrete is not as hard as you may imagine—and the results are definitely worth the effort!
Keeping in mind the following three factors will ensure successful results for any exterior painting project:
- use quality paint
- properly prepare the surface to be painted
- apply the paint correctly
So—for once—don't just jump right into colour!
A Word about the Paint
My favourite outdoor paint is Benjamin Moore's, Aura® paint, which has three gorgeous finishes: flat, low-lustre, and semi-gloss. I tend to recommend the flat and low-lustre finishes for the body of the house and the glossier semi-gloss finish for trim and doors.
Painting Metal Surfaces
Metal tends to be more of a decorative—but very impactful—accent on a home's exterior: rails, urns or mailboxes, for example.
People tend to choose black or white for metal rails and mailboxes, but if you want a different colour, custom tint Fresh Start® Multi-Purpose Oil Based Primer (K024) (high-gloss) to any shade you want.
If you're painting metal doors that were "pre-primed" when you bought them, make sure to apply the paint within one month so there's no damage to the surface.
If you paint within a month, the surface will be sound, and you can paint directly with a high-quality waterborne product like Aura® Exterior Paint. If you've waited over a month to paint your metal door, you will likely notice some bubbling or peeling paint—or even rust spots. You'll need to correct this problem before painting.
First, scrape off the loose paint. If you find any rust, remove it with a wire brush. Next, sand the problem areas smooth and spot prime the exposed metal areas with Fresh Start® Multi-Purpose Oil Based Primer (K024).
Then, you're ready to paint! Simply choose the perfect hue from our thousands of exquisite paint colours.
Painting Wood Doors
When painting a new wood door, all you need to do is prime the surface, let it dry, and paint it.
If you're working with a previously painted wood door, it's important to create a smooth, sound surface to paint. To do this, remove any peeling paint and old caulking—and don't forget to fill in scrapes or holes.
You can remove old paint and caulking with a metal scraper and/or a sander (be sure to wear safety glasses!). You can fill scrapes or holes with a high-quality exterior spackling product or caulk. Sand the areas you've fixed and let them dry completely before priming.
Next, prime the doors with Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start Primer. The paint I most recommend is Aura Exterior paint (semi-gloss finish for doors), but if you prefer a higher gloss with a shinier look, use an oil-based paint like Benjamin Moore Collection (K133) Alkyd High-Gloss Enamel.
Brick is usually painted in older homes when repair work has been done or when the homeowner dislikes the existing colour. Painting brick is also a good idea because it's hard to replace old bricks seamlessly, and painting them can mask that problem and renew the façade.
As with any surface, you must clean your brick surface thoroughly before painting. Since it is very porous, you can give it a good clean with just water if you use a pressure washer. Then let it dry for a good day or more—but don't wait too long for it to get dirty again!
Benjamin Moore's Aura exterior paint is self-priming on most surfaces, so it can save you time and cost. Apply the paint with a good fluffy, high-nap roller. Just one coat of Aura will cover well, unless the brick has extremely deep mortar. In that case, two coats will give the optimal finish. (If you have any questions about your surface, speak with your local Benjamin Moore retailer, who in some cases may recommend a special primer, or maybe the use of a paint sprayer.)
Stucco is becoming more and more popular in Canada, and it's very easy to paint! Just follow the same steps as for painting brick (above). With stucco, you must be sure it has cured for at least 30—60 days, then clean the surface thoroughly and let it dry before painting. I recommend using a high-quality waterborne paint like Benjamin Moore's Aura Exterior Paint in a flat or low-lustre finish.
Concrete is a surface that tends to get ignored, but a painted concrete porch or steps can have a huge impact on your home's curb appeal!
Like with stucco, you must be sure it has cured for at least 30—60 days before you give it a thorough cleaning. Then let it dry and paint with either a water-based paint for easier cleanups like Benjamin Moore's Latex Floor & Patio Paint, or an oil-based paint like Urethane Porch & Floor Paint for extra shine and durability.
Best Conditions to Paint Exteriors
For the best end result, you should attempt to paint in the most ideal conditions:
- Dry days (24 hrs without rain is ideal)
- Surface not in direct sunlight
- Temperature is a steady 10 degrees
However, with Benjamin Moore's Aura Exterior paint we in Toronto can paint almost as early as our friends in Vancouver! That's because Aura (in all 3 finishes) can be applied at lower temperatures: a minimum—and I mean minimum—of 5 degrees!
For more information on painting exterior surfaces, visit the Exterior Painting section on Benjamin Moore's website.