We should have been warned off when the first painter told us he didn’t want the job.
Or, when the second one gave us such an outrageously expensive quote it was clear he didn’t want the job either.
But, with a small window of time and the weatherboards flaking more with every passing day, we ploughed on with our plans to have our house exterior painted from top to bottom, in July.
It’s not our very professional and courteous painter’s fault – he did warn us that he’d only be working between the hours of 9:30am and 2:30pm.
This was so temperature was warm enough for the paint to cure and had enough time to dry before it got cold overnight.
But what we didn’t realise is that if there was even a whisper of rain in the forecast, he wouldn’t be coming around at all.
And almost every day since he first turned up, rain has threatened. Somehow, miraculously, all of the dry days have fallen on the weekend.
Making sure the paint dried hasn’t even been a problem – because not a speck has even made it onto the house.
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In fact it’s been so long since we’ve seen our painter, grass has grown up around his ladder that’s been left on the lawn. Soon he’ll need a weed whacker to even get at the thing.
Resene marketing manager Karen Warman said it was actually possible to paint a house in winter provided the right paint and processes were followed.
Timing is very important, so our painter was right to limit his hours to the middle of the day.
“The surface you are painting may be much colder than the air temperature, so give areas like exterior concrete time to warm up a little in the morning before you paint,” she said. “Plan your painting for the middle of the day and finish early enough to allow the last coat time to dry before it gets too cold. Days with a light breeze are ideal as this will help move the air around and help the paint to dry.”
And as for the paint, Warman said one that was specially designed to handle cold temperatures is best.
“Resene has a Wintergrade exterior paint range that dries down to two degrees celsius, made using special technology that helps the paint form a proper film at much colder temperatures than most waterborne paints,” she said. “Usually waterborne paints need at least 10 degrees celsius to dry as the acrylic base needs some warmth to make the particles soft enough to stick together. Unless the paint is based on Wintergrade technology, a paint film dried in the cold can crack and even just dry to a powder.”
And you can forget painting your house a dark colour too. Warman says Wintergrade products work best with off whites and light colours.
Back at our place, we did have an upside emerge. The guy who’s painting the roof has actually managed to finish it, albeit in ever-so-slightly the wrong colour.
At the moment we’re trying to convince ourselves that it doesn’t really matter so we can avoid even more upheaval.
After all, the mistake only shows up in direct sunlight.
– This originally appeared on Stuff.nz