div>Painting outdoors is fun. Doing a bad job of painting outdoors isn’t. Anytime you have to get a fence, door, window frame, or any exterior surface painted, it helps to know what pitfalls to avoid. That’s why understanding what paint is doing on a surface outside makes it easier to know why you would paint metal, wood, or plastic a particular way.

Here are six things you should know to make painting outdoors easier.

Know that breathability is important
It is important to remember that paint is always a layer on a surface, and you want to ensure that those layers have the best chance possible of staying in place and not being affected from exterior issues, especially air.

Your need to have some degree of breathability in your paint. Don’t think about it as moisture being able to get in your paint but having paint which allows for some degree of moisture to come in and out without getting trapped.

Trapped moisture is the worst enemy of any exterior surface you paint, as a poorly done job can lead to bubbling and rust spots. All paints do allow for air to filter through, and if you need to apply paint near vents and where hot water comes out, look for brands which offer high levels of steam diffusion. 

Know that gloss works better outdoors
There is a reason why most metal fences will have paint with a sheen applied. While wood can take pretty much any paint after you give it a pre-treatment or stain, metal wants to react to changes in the seasons as much as possible, and when any moisture is on the surface (or burrows in), it will expand and contract accordingly.

Gloss based oil paints can work very well as they do a fantastic job of providing water-resistance for metal surfaces. While water-based paints can do a  great job (which I’ll talk about next), gloss paints tend to perform better as they have a harder finish.

Know that Outdoor paint will fade faster
Wear and tear are a given when you’re working outdoors, especially when looking at paint. The main culprit in causing exterior paint to fade is the sun, as it will disrupt the chromophores in paint and then let gases in the air (oxygen, nitrogen etc.) pick up the baton and cause fading. If you’ve ever walked by a window in a shop facing the sun and wondered how everything seems to be faded, this is why. 

To help dissuade your paint from doing so, look for exterior paints which boast having high-quality binders or is water-based. While water in paint is going to give you less gloss than oil-based paints, it can bind better based on the brand you go for. To see some examples of high-quality water-based outdoor paint, visit https://www.thepaintshed.com/brands/jotun-visir-demidekk.

Know that the right colour can save time
If you need to carry out a big paint job, like painting all the doors on the outside or the house in general, you can save yourself a lot of time by staying close to your existing colour. Opt for paint with the same, or slightly darker, tone. Doing so means you may get away without having to apply an undercoat as you’ll already have paint in place. It also helps prevent any obvious bleeding after your coat dries in.

Know that you don’t need to scrape everything
When painting areas like your windows and doors, the part which takes the most time will always be when you have to start scraping away patches that have warped or chipped away. While it is important to get your area clean and tidy, you don’t need to strip away every inch of paint. When the existing paint stays flat with the surface, and there are no signs of bubbling, you can get away without having to scrape off. Just make sure there are no big differences in the depth, and it won’t show up. 

Know that you can use caulk
Speaking of problem areas, if you come across holes or spots where you feel the paint will end up dimpling in, you can get away with using the same caulk you’d use indoors. As long as it is made from acrylic or rubber, you’re good to go. Some others may turn out to be much more reactionary to changes in temperature.

Get advice on your next DIY project
I hope you gleaned some advice which will make painting outside easier than ever. Remember to visit the home & design area of the site for helpful articles on decorating outdoors and how to renovate inside on a budget.