10 Tips to Decorate Outside Safely and Effectively
Decorating your home might be a fun experience or the whole process could be borne out of necessity. Either way, one crucial mistake that many amateur decorators make when they decide to renovate their home is to focus almost exclusively on the inside. Sure, that’s what you’ll see the most of, but whether you want curb appeal or to enhance the value of your property potentially, it is essential to take equal care of the outside too. If you’re hoping to carry out some modifications, you’ve hopefully found this feature before you’ve blown the whole budget indoors!
Naturally, while there are obvious similarities between decorating inside and out – it’s a lot of hard work no matter which side of the wall you’re on – there are further considerations when maintaining the outside of the property. We’ll, therefore, focus on a mix of safety tips, decorating ideas and maintenance options throughout this feature.
1. Stay Safe
As noted, a core difference between working indoors and outside is the safety aspect. If you’re just painting a door or something along those lines, you won’t really have to look up the health and safety manuals, but if your efforts require a ladder, go close to power lines or anything else that could pose a potential risk, ensure you have safety at the forefront of your mind.
2. Check the Gutters Before You Decorate
Guttering ranks among the most common issues on the outside of a property, and if you have grand plans to decorate anything under them, it is best to check their condition first. When a gutter is damaged, it is unable to do its main job of carrying water to its fullest potential and that water has to go somewhere. That means your new paint job or any other modifications might have to contend with dirty rainwater, and that obviously doesn’t lead to the finest finish imaginable.
3. Check the Weather – and Not Just for Rain
You probably don’t need a 10 Tips feature here on the site to tell you that you probably shouldn’t go out and work on your house in rain or snow, but there are further weather considerations before you block off a day to do that. Temperature and humidity can also play a massive part, especially when painting. If the temperature approaches freezing, the paint may experience problems with a smooth finish. Similarly, but at the other end of the scale, painting in direct sunlight can cause the paint to thicken on the brush, making a smooth finish all but impossible.
4. Use Good-Quality Paint
Cheap paint usually means that average results are the best you can hope for, and while it might not be visually appealing when done inside, it can be outright disastrous outside. That’s because your paint doesn’t just dictate the colour and finish of surfaces. It is also responsible for protection of those surfaces, and you should take every possible precaution to ensure that the job gets done. Most major brands sell specific weatherproofing paint, which is ideal, and a great choice for most surfaces.
5. Clean Surfaces before Painting
This is another fairly obvious tip, but it merits a place within this feature because it involves not just washing down surfaces in every case. You should try to get an idea of what the dirt is – if it just washes off, that’s great. However, if it requires further treatment to clean and prevent whatever it was from coming back, this should be taken care of at the earliest opportunity.
6. Use the Correct Tools
Most tools will get the job done outside just as they would inside, but if you have the time and budget for more specialist items, you can potentially save yourself time and come up with even better results than you may have thought. In painting terms, this can mean a variety of different rollers depending on the surface – you won’t want to use the same kind of roller on a flat surface as you would on brickwork if you’re aiming for the best possible results.
7. Dry Paint isn’t Always Finished
You can leave your paint to dry, and the chances are it will indeed be dry to the touch on the same day – modern paints do not take long at all to set in place. However, this is not the only concern when decorating outside and you’ll also want to make sure that you give the paint a chance to set properly. Remember, it is not just about looking great but also protecting surfaces, and it can take days or even weeks for paint to reach its full potential.
8. Take Care Around Edges
Few people have the good fortune to work with entirely flat surfaces when decorating outside, so it makes sense to take these edges into account. If you’re painting, you’ll need to seal off the edges unless you have a particularly steady hand and the chances are that you’ll need something smaller than your standard roller to do the job effectively and efficiently.
9. Stay Consistent
If you’re going to the trouble of decorating, the chances are that you want an appealing finish when you’re done. Consistency is crucial, as even those who find uniform decoration somewhat boring will agree that a certain degree of symmetry adds to the overall appeal. The same colour on the same parts of the house, like windows, goes without saying, but we’d also suggest using the same brand of paint too, as even minor differences in shades and finishes can be noticeable.
10. Apply the Finishing Touches
No matter what the project entails, you should take the time to finish off. If you’ve been painting, then make sure there are no paint drops where there shouldn’t be on your surfaces. Complete the look by cleaning the windows for a full, attractive overall visual that is sure to make all your hard work feel like it has been worthwhile.