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Winter DIY tips from three Resene experts

From left: Resene Eco.Decorator Steve Flett, Resene Paint Expert Jay Sharples and Resene Paint Expert Murdo Shaw.

While there are always jobs to do around the home, you do need to change your approach to those jobs depending on the season. We spoke to three Resene experts and asked for their advice and tips for painting, wallpapering and general maintenance before and during winter.

Resene Paint Expert Murdo Shaw

Talk us through painting in winter

Well, you’re pretty much focusing more on inside projects during winter, as generally it’s a bit too cold and wet to be doing lots of things outside. In saying that, you can still box on with stuff on the outside. I’m a project manager for a painting company and we’ve got 62 painters who paint outside all year round by using Resene products like Resene Wintergrade Additive that helps you paint in colder weather. The key is to break your project into smaller parts and plan well – plus have a backup interior project if the weather isn’t quite right for your exterior one. 

Tell us about the additives to use in cold or wet weather

Resene Wintergrade Additive will help your paint cure at temperatures as low as 3°C, and Resene Umbrella Additive  is a lifesaver – you add it to your paint and it helps the outside to skin off a lot faster, which means it becomes waterproof really fast. If you’ve got a light shower coming through or you’re not sure about the weather, it is absolutely fantastic as it helps protect your coating. The outside skins off while the inside is still drying and curing, so it buys you a lot of time.

If we decide that our outdoor painting can’t wait, what should we consider? 

When you paint outside during winter, it’s basically the opposite of when you’re painting in summer. In summer you avoid the sun as the heat can affect your paintwork, whereas in winter you follow the sun around. But remember, the dew point comes a lot sooner in winter, so you’ll want to stop an hour or two before then. 

The main thing is the difference between the air temperature and the substrate temperature. You could be in the sun and think, ‘It’s quite warm today, I might do some outside painting!’ But if you put your ‘handometer’ on the surface you’re going to paint, it might be a lot cooler than the air temperature. 

So, you always need to consider the temperature of what you’re going to paint – if it’s cold, use Resene Wintergrade Additive. If the surface is freezing and icy, wait until it warms up a bit before painting. Remember that surfaces like concrete will take longer to warm up.

Resene Paint Expert Murdo Shaw says that while it’s possible to paint your house exterior all year thanks to additives like Resene Wintergrade Additive and Resene Umbrellas Additive, winter is the perfect time to paint the inside.
Give driveways concrete paths a spray with Resene Deep Clean then simply walk away and let nature ensure they remain slip-free for the winter.

Anything else to consider outside? 

I’m a massive fan of Resene Deep Clean. What’s going to happen at this time of the year is that moss, mould and mildew are going to start appearing. I recommend you get a head start by spraying Resene Deep Clean on your driveways and pathways. You can use the concentrated version and dilute it yourself, or if you’re doing a large area you can get the trigger pack, connect it into your hose and get the application done fast.

Talk us through the interior 

Winter is the best time for painting inside. In summer, people sometimes struggle to get a good finish on their ceilings. When it’s a blisteringly hot day, if you put your hand on the ceiling it could be 34-35°C. So what happens is as soon as you put paint on that, it dries and you can find it hard to keep a wet edge, so you’ve got to go incredibly fast to get a good finish on it. 

Whereas in wintertime, just open the doors and windows first. Your ceiling paint is going to stay wet for longer, so you’ve got plenty of time to apply the paint and work on your technique. Once you’ve done that, close your doors and windows and you can also put an oscillating fan through the room for a bit of air movement. 

Any final advice for winter painting? 

Don’t try to cram too many things into one day. Say you’re painting the spare room: If you try to do it in a short period, you’ll struggle because your primer takes longer to dry, your filler takes longer to dry, and if you wash the walls – which is what you should be doing – that’s also going to take longer to dry. 

Spread out the prep tasks if you can – wash the walls on a Monday evening, then on Tuesday you can fill some holes and the next day you can sand them and apply some primer. Come painting day, all you’ve got to do is concentrate on the painting. 

And finally, if you’re going to be painting your ceiling or your walls, buy yourself some decent gear and a decent roller pole. I’ve harped on about this for years! It’s a complete game changer and just makes life so much easier – less effort and you get a better finish.

Once all your exterior jobs are ticked off, you can start making a plan for the inside of your home, says Resene Paint Expert Jay Sharples.

Resene Paint Expert Jay Sharples

What jobs do you have planned before winter really sets in? 

The last exterior job I have planned before winter is to clean my decks and pathways and treat them with Resene Deep Clean. I’m planning on using the quick and easy application container that connects to the hose. Resene Deep Clean is slow acting, so there is no scrubbing required. It’s a simple and safe method for keeping your outdoor areas free from moss, mould, algae and lichen.

What about your house? 

I cleaned and restained my house in December so it’s well coated and protected, but I’ll still give it a soft wash and double check all areas. 

While living at my previous homes, when heading into winter I would clean the exterior and check the timber sash windows and weatherboards for any obvious signs of damage. Then, if required, I would touch up any bare areas so that everything was well protected for winter. Touching up small areas is much easier than having to repaint or even strip areas.

After I’m happy all the exterior jobs that can be done are completed, I’ll start making a plan for what needs to be done inside.

Winter time is also a good time for wallpapering. Many decorators find it much easier to wallpaper when it is cooler than when the weather is hot.

As with painting, good preparation is key for a good wallpaper finish, says Resene Eco.Decorator Steve Flett.

Eco.Decorator Steve Flett

Anything we need to consider when wallpapering in winter? 

Make sure you have adequate lighting and the substrate is clean and dry. In winter you have a little bit more playtime with the adhesive, which can be very handy if you’re new to wallpapering, so it’s a great time to wallpaper.

What are your top wallpaper preparation tips?

Read the instructions so you understand what you’re dealing with and how much paper you’ll need. Also know that wall prep is paramount – same as for paint – so the surface must be good.

What are your top wallpapering tips?

Patience! Get good tools, like a laser and decent ladder. Don’t be stingy with the adhesive and wipe each butt join after hanging. Smooth up and down on the paper, not out to the side as this stretches it.

What’s the best way to keep wallpaper looking its best? 

Wipe marks with a damp white cloth. If marks remain, use a mild detergent – always try it on an inconspicuous area first. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

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