Labour weekend is nearly upon us, and the major clue for what you should be doing (as well as a spot of relaxing of course) over the long weekend is in the name.
With improved weather, there's no better time to tackle a little home DIY – including that exterior painting you've been meaning to do all year.
But if a full house paint feels like just too much labour, don't be discouraged – instead break the job down into bite-sized portions (think fences, front porches and garage doors) that will still give you major job satisfaction, ensure you've earned that cold beverage at the end of the day, and have your home ready to enjoy by the time summer arrives.
Start at the front door
"Probably the easiest and most satisfying way to make a statement on your house is to paint your front door," says Resene expert Murdo Shaw. "You can really go to town with colour and make a statement that reflects your personality and go from drab to fab in a weekend."
Prep-wise, Murdo recommends washing your door with Resene Paint Prep & Housewash, rinsing well, then scraping and sanding accordingly.
"All going well, if the paintwork is in good condition, you'd just need to sand well with 180 grit sandpaper, apply a coat of Resene Quick Dry Primer, lightly sand, and follow up with two coats of water based enamel – Resene Lustacryl for a semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl for a gloss finish," he says.
If you have loose and flaking paint, pop on your PPE (dust mask, safety glasses) and scrape and sand the old paintwork back to a sound finish. Spot prime any bare patches of timber with Resene Quick Dry and fill any gaps and cracks as required. Give the spot primed and filled areas a sand and apply a coat of Resene Quick Dry over the door. Lightly sand the door and apply two coats of your top coat.
Murdo recommends always buying the best brush you can, "as this will massively help you achieve a great finish in your paintwork. For a smoother finish and fewer brush marks in your finished door, I'd recommend adding Resene Brushing Additive to your topcoats.
A small bottle goes a long way and helps with flow and levelling. If you have larger flat panels on your door, the #4 mini roller kit from Resene is great to paint those areas quickly with a smooth finish".
To stop your freshly painted door from sticking overnight, get crafty with what you have lying around – lollipop sticks or matchsticks in the door frame will keep the door free.
Practice on planters
Planter boxes are another painting project that's great for practice before you take on the big jobs – and gives instant outdoor impact.
"New wooden planter boxes are really easy to paint," says Murdo. "Simply remove any surface contaminants like soil, dust, dirt, etc and paint with Resene Lumbersider, choose your paint colour and apply two to three coats."
For those with older or more weathered planter boxes, Murdo stresses the importance of making sure they're clean and free of moss, mould and lichen – that green tinge that turns up on a lot of our exteriors after winter – before painting. "I'd recommend carefully applying Resene Moss & Mould Killer onto the outside of the planter boxes (plants don’t like it so keep it off your herbs)," he says.
"Leave for 24 hours to kill all the lichen and mould spores, then scrub off with a nylon brush. Once you've done that, give it a wee scrape if you have loose paint and then two coats of Resene Lumbersider. This is a very easy project that will brighten up your summer!"
Before you begin
If you're planning a weekend painting project, give yourself enough time by doing the prep in advance. "I'd recommend cleaning the surfaces the week before you start," says Murdo.
"Whatever you're painting needs to be clean, dry and free of contaminants before you start and you could spend your allocated painting weekend waiting for decks, doors, fences etc to dry after cleaning without lifting a brush."
When choosing exterior colours, keep in mind that bright sun will make the colour look lighter, so often it's best to choose the darker of the two colour options you’re considering.
Also make sure you allow enough colour contrast between surfaces so they don't all end up looking the same – for example instead of choosing half and full strength of your Resene colour, consider using a full and triple strength instead. And if you're choosing a dark colour outside, make sure you use the Resene CoolColour version of your colour, to keep the coating and surface cooler.
Now all you have left to do is check the BBQ gas bottle is full, the fridge is well-stocked and you're all set to make the most of your long weekend.
This article was created for Resene.