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Image / Living / Interiors

From benches and sheds to your front door: a guide to painting outdoor wood


by Megan Burns
20th Apr 2021
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Wild Raspberry, Colourtrend

If you want to brighten up your outdoor space, a coat of paint will refresh everything from a wooden bench to your front door.

With spring definitely here and more time spent outside, our attention has turned to our outdoor spaces. After a cold, wet winter, there are probably aspects that could do with a new lease of life, and a coat of paint is a great way to rejuvenate everything from a fence to a shed. 

Irish paint brand Colourtrend have recently launched their Weather Collection, specifically designed for the Irish climate.

how to paint outdoor wood
Yolanda, Colourtrend

As well as durable paints, it also includes preparation products to ensure the perfect finish to your exterior paint, including Weather Woodcoat, fungicidal wash, roof coat, and a range of primers for various surfaces. General Paints Group Managing Director, Rachel O’Connor, points out that outdoor spaces can be designed like interior spaces, and paint is a great way to do this. 

“Often people see painting their exterior spaces as an overwhelming task. We want to encourage people to approach these projects with the same design focus they would their interior. It is very much a decorative project as well as a functional one.” 

Of course, a job like this requires the correct preparation, so we’ve put together a guide on how to ensure you get the best finish possible. 

Preparation

  • If painting unpainted wooden surfaces, first wipe down the surface to ensure there is no dirt or loose particles that could get caught in the paint.
  • If the surface has been previously painted, remove any loose or flaking paint, clean with sugar soap and sand the surface down. 
  • If painting a door, remove any hardware like handles. 
how to paint outdoor wood
Georgian Gold, Colourtrend

Painting

  • Choose a primer that is suitable for your material, and apply a coat. You can use either brushes or rollers, depending on the item that you are painting.
  • Certain hardwoods may require two coats of primer to prevent the bleed of oils and tannins through the paint. Ensure the first coat is fully dry before applying a second.
  • Apply your paint colour. Two thin coats of paint will be more durable than one thick one. Thick coats of paint may appear dry on the surface but will not cure completely, causing chips and softness in the paint. 

Tips

  • Do not apply if rain is expected, you don’t want the finish of your paint to be affected by moisture. 
  • Note that cool or humid weather will lengthen drying times.
  • To avoid washing your brushes and rollers between coats, wrap them up tightly so they are not exposed to the air. This will prevent the paint on them from drying, and so won’t harden up.
  • When painting furniture with lots of sides, first paint all the edges with a small brush, and then fill in the main areas with a mini roller to get a smooth finish.