Most wooden houses need a new paint job at least every 10 years, and in some exposed weather areas every 5 to 7 years. The most common wooden cladding on New Zealand homes is the classic weatherboard, which is according to its name very weatherproof provided it has been properly painted and cared for.

House painters are a common feature in any community as there are always houses to be painted. Typically an existing old house in a street of old houses will get a new paint job, which will immediately make that house the flashest house in the street. If the painter has done his job properly then the neighbours will have been suitably impressed during a paint job and will probably have asked him for his business card.

Old houses can be made to look very attractive and even stunning with a good paint job, and this includes the use of diverse colours to highlight aspects of the house such as the eaves and porch columns and window and door frames. The first house painted in any Street generally reminds all the neighbours that they too need to paint the house at some stage, plus it reminds them how shabby their own house looks. It is very common to see the same painter working on different houses in the same street over a period of two or three years, as long as he did an exceptionally good job on the first house. Most homeowners a very comfortable going with word-of-mouth recommendations, particularly if they can see the results of the work on a daily basis, and so they will only be too happy to go with the painter for their house.

Painting an old house is quite hard work, because generally the existing weatherboard paint needs to be stripped off or at least cleaned up, I need gaps in the timber need to be filled, then the surface needs to be sanded down and prepared for the first coat of primer paint. This can take many days of work for a small gang, and needs a continuous spell of fine weather. For this reason painters generally choose the summer months for working outdoors, and is generally not practical to paint a weatherboard house in the winter months. A smart painter will also be able to paint indoors during the winter months, so that they have continuity of work.

My new external paint job will need at least one coat of primer after the timber has been properly sanded down and the holes filled. Typically at least two coats of paint will be required to finish the house, but this should provide at least 10 and possibly 15 years of ongoing protection.