How to paint exterior walls

Whether the walls of your house or the wall separating your garden from next door, painting external surfaces is a trendy and easy way to transform your outdoor space completely.

But to ensure that the paint lasts, looks good, and doesn’t just flake off over winter, you need to prep your surfaces first. Then comes using the correct technique and equipment. Bear in mind this all has to be done in the proper environment.

Worry not. Speedy’s guide below will tell you everything you need to know about painting exterior surfaces to ensure a smooth DIY task and a long-lasting result.


Painting an exterior wall: A step-by-step guide

Before you start painting exterior walls, consider a few things. The main one is that the weather needs to be above 5°C, and it can’t rain during drying. Yet, it shouldn’t be too warm, as hot surfaces and direct sunlight can affect how paint dries.

So, doing this task in spring, when we are over the worst of the bad weather, but it isn’t yet too hot.

You also need to consider the height of your house. In most cases, a one-person Mi tower will be required to reach the second story and above safely. You want a safe, level platform for a prolonged time, especially if carrying equipment such as tools and paint tins, so avoid ladders.


You will need:




Unlike a paintbrush, a paint sprayer will ensure a smooth, consistent finish. Just check that you’re using masonry paint suitable for use with a sprayer or airless technology.

A few benefits of using a sprayer instead of a brush or roller:

  1. It is effortless and can be done in one motion without refilling or applying further paint to the brush
  2. It is quicker, which is great if you’re conscious of bad weather. It can be up to three times quicker. There’s a reason it is the professional approach…
  3. There will be no streaks.

A paint sprayer is also great if you have a textured surface to paint, such as pebbledash, as it will ensure every nook and cranny has paint coverage with no extra effort.

You can hire airless paint sprayers from Speedy Hire and purchase the PPE you need when using one. You will need a mask, eye protection, and gloves, and you also need to ensure you cover your clothing and skin.

For smaller areas or if you’re conscious of paint splashes, use a high-quality synthetic bristle brush or a short-nap wool blend roller.

Watch our video on how to use a paint sprayer below before you begin:



  1. Do the prep work.

Fit your PPE. Erect your MI Tower, following the instructions that come with your hired product.

To prepare a wall, you need to remove all existing debris. Use a hard bristled brush to remove dirt, moss, dust, and loose building material such as brick dust.

Inspect your wall for cracks or holes, and fill with an exterior-grade filler. Give this time to dry before continuing. Clean off any moss with a fungicidal wash, or use a pressure washer to save some time.

If the existing paint is flaky and uneven, use a masonry stabilising solution or base coat before your new paint.

Depending on how much preparation is required, painting your exterior wall could take over a few days, so ensure you pick a good week, weather-wise.

Before you begin painting, remove nearby plants and furniture, then cover anything which can’t be moved with dust sheets. If you have brickwork which should not be painted, cover it with sheeting and tape.


  1. Prepare the spray gun.

A plus of a spray gun is that you only use as much paint as needed. Transfer your paint into a suitable container before setting up your paint sprayer.

Ensure it is on the correct setting; you don’t want it to be too powerful for the space. You will likely need two or three coats, so don’t worry about it not covering entirely after the first coat.

Carry out a small spray test before starting to ensure you’re comfortable with the pressure.


  1. Spray.

Once you’ve prepped and are happy with the pressure of the spray paint gun, it is time to paint.

Go in rows, either across or down, whatever is easiest for you. Ensure each row overlaps the previous one by around 50% so there are no gaps between the rows.

Wait for the paint to dry according to the guidelines, then do a second coat if needed.


  1. Clean the airless paint sprayer.

While the paint is drying, clean your airless paint sprayer before returning to Speedy Hire. This is simple: follow the instructions on the card with your hire.

Usually, it is just a case of running water through the machine to clear the paint.

Before removing any masking tape, wait until the paint is almost dry. This way, the paint won’t peel away with the tape as it would if completely dry.



You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account online or on the app for all your tool hire needs?




Speedy has more than 200 local service centres nationwide, hire counters in selected B&Qs and 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.

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