How To Paint Exterior Walls: Top Tips for Outdoor Painting

Customer Question: We recently moved into our newly built house and it’s now ready to be painted and decorated. We’d like to paint the outside walls first as the weather is perfect for such a job. We would really appreciate your help! – James & Patrick, Dublin

Our Recommendation 

In response to James and Patrick's query, Centre Park Road, Cork, Store Manager, Aidan McDonnell, said that he always recommends leaving freshly coated surfaces to dry out fully for about 6 months before sealing it with any kind of paint.


  • Cover the ground with dust sheets and tape where it’s needed
  • Dust and clean all the surfaces for painting so that the surfaces are free of dirt, grease and other contaminants
  • Scrape down the walls so there are no uneven surfaces
  • Fill any cracks or holes with Prestonett Exterior Filler 
  • Mask surfaces you wish to protect, like window and door frames with Deltec Masking Tape Extreme

Top Tip:

One of his top tips for this type of project is to check if the surface needs a sealer before painting. 

James and Patrick, or you can check this by running your hand along the wall and seeing if leaves a chalky or powdery residue on your hand. 

If your walls need to be sealed:

Seal your walls

  • Prime with Ralston Wall Primer which has been diluted with water by a ratio of 1:1 
  • This means if you have a 5 litre can of Ralston Wall Primer, you will dilute it with 5 litres of water
  • Ensure you mix the paint thoroughly before painting
  • Apply this to your wall as you would a normal paint
  • Leave to dry approx. 4 hours 
  • Once dry you can paint as normal as per our application steps below

If your walls don't need to be sealed:

First coat of paint

  • Apply your first coat of paint, we recommend diluting this with water by 10%
  • Ensure you mix the paint thoroughly before painting
  • Leave the paint to dry for approx. 2-4 hours
  • Once dry you can paint as normal as per our application steps below

Application coats 2-3:

  • Apply a second coat of Masonry paint and again leave to dry for approx. 2-4 hours.
  • A third coat may be needed depending on the surface
  • Always remove the masking tape after a few hours as the tape glue might dry and damage the fittings and windows

What You’ll Need


  • Ralston Wall Primer (if required)
  • Dulux Weathershield Smooth Exterior Masonry Pain Coverage for materials = up to 16m2 / litre max
  • Prestonett Exterior Filler 


  • 4” Harper & Green Masonry Brush
  • 1” Wooster Soft Tip Brush
  • 3 Harper & Green 12×12 Drop Covering Sheets
  • 1 Corona Tuff Pro 9” Sleeve
  • 1 Wooster 9” Roller Frame
  • Deltec Masking Tape Extreme
  • 1 Harper & Green Blue Roller Bucket
  • 1 Harper & Green 2 Piece Yellow Extension Pole
  • Correct ladder or equipment to safely access the eves and facia and soffit

All products mentioned above are available for purchase in Pat McDonnell Paints stores nationwide in Cork, Limerick, Tralee, Galway, Athlone, Dublin and Kilkenny. 


You can also shop from the comfort of your own home and we'll deliver to your door free of charge:


You can shop all of our Exterior Emulsion range here or call into your nearest store.