If your stucco or brick surfaces are looking outdated, bring them into the 21st century with a modern makeover. An exterior facelift instantly transforms the look of a home, and a fresh coat of paint is all that's required.
"Loads of people don't like their bricks so painting them gives them a really modern look," says Resene colour consultant Sarah Gregory. "In fact new housing developments are using painted brick. It's a really modern thing that's coming through. If you don't want the brick look, painting it makes it much more modern."
Painting over bricks, either new or old, is relatively easy, although preparation is key to success.
"You must use a sealer first to seal the bricks (due to their high porosity) and bind up old weak and friable pointing. It also serves to hold back potential salt staining on old brickwork." says Sarah.
If older bricks are covered with moss or mould, a clean with Resene Moss & Mould Killer before sealing will deal to that.
Then apply two topcoats of your chosen colour.
"I would suggest using Resene Lumbersider, which has a low sheen finish rather than a glossy one," says Sarah. "The higher the gloss level the more imperfections it shows. Stucco and brick can be really, really rough."
Many homes built in the ‘70s and early ‘80s were built using Clinker bricks, a type of deep red brick with rough protrusions. To update the look, it's possible to chip off the protrusions and then plaster to achieve a monolithic finish, though it's a job for a professional. When the plastering is finished, the home handyman may then complete the sealing and painting.
While a high-quality paint is essential when painting bricks and stucco, colour choices are more varied.
"You can do anything, really," says Sarah. "You can go really light or you can go quite dark because brick doesn't have the issues that weatherboard and Titan board have with bowing or swelling when dark colours absorb heat from the sun. It opens up the whole range."
Weatherboard houses with block bases are prime candidates for a quick makeover. Unpainted block bases often attract mould, which needs to be cleaned off each summer.
"A really quick fix to stop that is to just paint it and then it comes off with a light waterblast the next year."
Current trends are seeing bases painted a darker colour than the rest of the house.
"My rationale on that is if you've got a darker top of the house it kind of looks like your house is floating," says Sarah. "Whereas if you put the dark colour on the base it grounds the house and connects it to its environment. And planting always looks great against a dark background."
Decks, fences and retaining walls can also be given a facelift with paint. Again, the current trend is seeing darker colours emerge. Dark greys, almost black colours are popular, as well as neutrals. Two trendy colours are Resene Bokara Grey, a charcoal black warmed with yellow and red, and Resene Masala, a murky grey brown with a green edge. Popular neutrals include Resene Triple Napa, a dense dun brown, and Resene Bison Hide, a warm green beige.
"But you'll also notice quite a few soft blues coming through," says Sarah. "That duck egg blue is coming through. And people are being braver with their front doors. You see a lot of red front doors. The colour we generally use for our front doors is Resene Pohutukawa, which is a blue-based cherry red. Or for something a little more orange in the red, Resene Raging Bull is a really good one. That's more rusty red."
But when it comes to decks and retaining walls, should you stain or paint? It's really a matter of preference, says Sarah.
"Paint lasts a lot longer. When you do a stain, you can see the wood finish on your retaining wall, but you will need to do it at every couple of years to keep that depth of colour if you don't like the fading."
Revamp a deck – click here for step by step instructions.
Two high-flying stains for retaining walls include Resene Shadow Match, a black with a shadow of brown, and Resene Treehouse, a pigmented black and green mixed with brown. Even decks are being painted or stained with dark colours.
Paths, pavers and driveways that have seen better days may also be dressed up with trendy Resene Waterborne Sidewalk and Resene Concrete Stain colours. Resene Concrete Stain is a stain that has been designed to penetrate the surface of concrete and masonry to form a tough, low sheen finish that protects and enhances the natural texture of the concrete. Resene Waterborne Sidewalk is a low sheen waterborne paving paint, ideal for use inside or out on trafficable areas, including decks and garage floors. It's been designed to reduce the hazard of slipping, but where extra slip-resistance is required, Resene SRG Grit may be added.
Or opt for Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path, which can be used on both concrete and bitumen to give a durable, tough, non-skid finish on all areas where foot traffic is likely.
As for metal surfaces, there's no need to put up with the outmoded. Aluminium joinery from the '70s, especially, often saw a hodgepodge of colours, such as brown joinery in one area and yellow in another.
"And also that bronzy colour that people don't like," says Sarah. "You can paint these by using Resene Vinyl Etch as a primer and then two topcoats of Resene Lustacryl, which is our semi-gloss waterborne enamel. That gives a much more modern look for your home because you're disguising that joinery."
Painting an iron fence – click here for step by step instructions.
It may be the smallest paintable surface on your property, but don't forget the letterbox.
"That's one of my pet hates with exteriors," says Sarah. "You've done all your exterior painting, it all looks beautiful but your letterbox is tatty! Paint your letterbox with the same colour as your garage door or the front door just to pull it all together, to complete the look. That's a job the kids can do on the weekend."
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