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Extending the lifespan of external redecoration

March 15, 2011

Choice of Materials

Of course, quality brand materials will stand the test of time more than economy makes. The material cost to a redecoration job is always the smallest part, say 10% of total cost, so  attempting to save money here is a false economy. The leading brand manufactures such as Dulux, Crown, Leyland etc. invest more in research that improve performance of coatings.

Choosing the right materials for the job, eg. Hammerite or Metalshield for metal railings rather than standard gloss- even though you would not see a difference once applied.

Another example of choosing the right materials would be in painting a galvanised finish. A regular metal primer would not adhere long term to a galvanised finish, hence either Mordens solution or a Bin primer would be a better choice.

There are many products on the market that provide  longer term protection for external redecorations

Dulux Ultimate wood stains provides 10 year protection, a solvent based product in various colours

Sadolin woodshield provides 8 year protection and is a water based product in various colours

Dulux weathershield all seasons masonry paint provides 15 year protection, is a solvent based product in various colours

Dulux weathershield exterior gloss a 3 part system providing 8 year protection, oil based and various colours


Repair care International- resin repairs

The Repair Care System, originally established as the Window Care System in Holland in 1989, provides a genuine cost effective alternative to traditional joinery repairs.

Traditional joinery repairs such as splicing and filling are expensive and frequently fail, leading to costly premature paint breakdown and further timber decay.

The benefits of using Repair Care for joinery repairs include:

  • Seals and protects vulnerable joints and end grain in windows, pannel doors and fascias
  • Prevents premature joint failure
  • Extends maintenance cycles
  • Reduces future maintenance costs


Another very important part of the overall longevity of the redecoration is the workmanship employed to carry out the works. The cheapest quote is not always the best value for money, if for example the contractor wont perform adequate prep work due to an economy price quoted. To find a professional decorator in the U.K. try the Painting and Decorating Association. It is the marque of quality for the painting and decorating industry.

Preparation and sound base

The preparation and base coat is the most important part of the redecoration process. If the existing woodwork coatings have failed and bare wood has become exposed it is important that the wood is dry. Otherwise painting will seal the moisture in the wood and the coatings applied will fail. This is why it is preferable to redecorate joinery in summer / dry climates.

Any failing coatings, blistered or cracked paint should be scraped back using a scraper or scarson blade. From there, as long as the wood is dry you have a choice of primer coat to seal the bare wood so coatings can adhere:

Stained windows- Dulux preservative basecoat

Glossed windows- Dulux primer undercoat

Dulux zinc woodprimer

Dulux preservative basecoat

I’m sure Crown, Leyland and the other leading brands also have their similar primer coatings and preservative base-coats. Do a web search to find them.

The colour chosen for woodwork

The colour you choose to paint windows, doors, fascias & soffits is also a factor in its lifespan. Darker colours will absorb more sunlight and become hotter in summer months than white gloss finishes. When painted woodwork, like a door gets hot it will expand, at night temperatures drop and everything contracts. All this movement will play a part in the the eventual failure of the finish. (blistering, cracking or flaking) Light colours wear better, especially when it comes to south facing doors, fascias and windows.

Mastic / caulk sealant to prevent water ingress

This step can be performed during the preparation phase or at any time after completion. The edge where the window glass meets the beading can be sealed using window sealant or caulk and this will ensure water can’t soak into the wood and cause wet rot. It is a simple process and very quick to carry out.

After care of windows and joinery

To keep the windows clean will help preserve. If you have a problem with birds fouling on the sills this will eat away at the coatings, try fitting spikes to solve the problem. Keep a check on the woodwork every few months, if just the beading starts to crack you could get someone in to seal the problem areas and postpone the next redecoration further.

Warranty period

Remember to ask for a warranty on the redecoration works. The Painting and decorating Association recommend its members provide a minimum 6 month warranty, many companies offer 12 months. If there are any problems within the time period, use your warranty. The decorating firm will be happy to rectify and keep their customer for the long term.

One Comment
  1. I really appreciate your piece. It clearly opened my eyes about this subject. Can’t wait to tell the buddies. Thanks!

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