Decide if you want to preserve, restore, or rehabilitate.
- preserve = maintain existing colour and paint type
- restore = change colour and paint type to match selected historic period
- rehabilitate = update colour and paint to a sympathetic but not necessarily historically accurate treatment
Choose an appropriate colour.
- Check Municipal Heritage Committee guidelines for your house or district.
- Compare earlier paint samples or photographs of your house.
- Avoid too many accent colours.
Choose the right type of paint.
- Consider: the existing paint, the surface to be painted, your desired finish.
- Choices include primers and sealers, oil-based paints, latex acrylic paints, milk paints, calcimine/whitewash, clear coat finishes.
- Consult the Region of Waterloo Practical Guide to Paint and Colour [pdf] for more information.
Whether you hire help or do the work yourself, preparation is key.
Without proper prep, painting is a waste of time and money!
- Surface grime and organic matter make paint look dull and dingy.
- Wash this away with soapy water.
- You may not need to repaint.
- Mildew is a black fungus that feeds on the nutrients in paint.
- Test with a drop of household bleach. Mildew will turn white.
- Prevent mildew by scrubbing with a soft brush and a mixture of one cup non-ammonia detergent, four cups bleach, 16 cups water.
- Rinse well. Repaint with mildew-resistant paint.
- Chalking is the sun-caused breakdown of resin in oil-based paint.
- Test by rubbing your hand on the paint. Your hand will turn gray.
- Remove chalking with a stiff brush and mild detergent solution.
- Rinse thoroughly, dry, and repaint with high quality acrylic latex paint.
- Stains may be from rusting of metal. Sand. Repaint with rust-inhibiting paint.
- Stains may caused by chemical reaction between moisture and compounds in red cedar or redwood. Wash with 1-1 solution of denatured alcohol and water. Rinse. Apply stain-blocking primer.
- Read the Region of Waterloo Practical Guide to Paint and Colour [pdf] sections on crazing, wrinkling, blistering, alligatoring and peeling.
- Solve underlying problems before you paint.
If hiring professionals, ask what prep they will do. Make sure their preparation work is appropriate.
- Hire a qualified contractor.
- Ask for a list of previous projects.
- Ask for references, and check them out.