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Preparation Is Key When Painting Exterior Woodwork Like Timber Garage Doors

May 24th, 2011

Paint flaking off your timber garage doors ? Mouldy window frames? New exposed wood repairs on the outside of your house? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then it is time for an exterior paint job. A good paint job is not purely about aesthetics, but about protecting your external timber from the damaging effects of the weather. Furthermore, its cost effective to add a protective coat of paint before the weather rots your garage doors, your window frames or your new repair project. Unfortunately, you can’t just apply a quick flick of paint.

Make sure to give yourself enough time to prepare the wood before you paint it. The first step in this process is to check the weather forecast for your area. You will require dry weather for the duration of your project. The duration of your project will depend on the amount of exterior timber to be treated, the condition it is in and the number of helping hands you have available.

That done, look the wood over for any sign of moss or mould. Moss is relatively obvious and tends to grow around timber garage doors and window frames, but mould can appear to be simple dirt on old paint. The easiest way to check for it is to wet an area and then rub it. Any mould will feel slimy. Apply a timber specific mould killer once you have scrubbed off all the moss and as much mould as you can. Unless completely removed, mould will penetrate the protective paint film and grow through subsequent paint applications.

Sunlight will disintegrate paint over time giving it a chalky appearance and turning large areas like timber garage doors from glossy to matt. This chalky residue will also need scrubbing off. All flaky and stained paint should be sanded away to completely remove ensuring the edges are feathered. Use a wood primer paint on any exposed, sanded or new repairs. Note: It is imperative that any newly sanded spots are primed immediately and not left overnight. Otherwise, by the morning, dew will have pushed under the paint curling up the edges and will need sanding off all over again.

The best way to prepare your timber door and window frames is to scrub with a scouring pad to get into the edges and recesses. Loose, crumbling putty needs to be removed and replaced. Its worth using a synthetic putty if you’re short of time since the traditional version takes two weeks to cure. The bottom section of window frames and garage doors are often exposed to the damaging UV rays of the sun at a 45degree angle which subjects the paint to double the damage affecting a vertical surface. If you have ever wondered why the bottom of your garage door is more faded than the top, this is why. We suggest closing up your garage completely when not in use!

Preparation complete, choose a dry but preferably not scorching day to apply paint to your exterior timber. Highlight external features such as timber garage doors or contrasting window frames with gloss. It often looks better to apply a matt finish to weatherboard! For great gloss, apply at least 2 coats of paint. It is best not to simply grab the cheapest exterior paint you can find. The finished result will stand testament to your skills (and taste) for a long time if prepared properly!

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