Most people enjoy making the interior of their home inviting and cosy, but it can be easy to neglect the outside. It is important to maintain the exterior of your house, including checking the woodwork to minimise more costly major repairs. Pay particular attention to windows and doors as cold, damp weather can damage outdoor paintwork. The warmer months present the ideal opportunity to revive outdoor woodwork.

The restoration of your home’s exterior is an easy project that can be completed by most competent DIY enthusiasts. However, if home owners lack confidence or experience when it comes to repairs, there are plenty of professional decorators, such as Scott Anson Painters and Decorators Ltd., who can ensure an expert finish.

If DIYers choose to go ahead with their project, planning is essential, as problems and poor results can be caused by incorrect preparation or other factors such as dust or the weather. Planning is crucial when reviving outdoor woodwork and will minimise the need to repaint it again soon afterwards.

Before opening up any paint pot, consider what other materials you will need for your project. This should include paintbrushes, wood primer, wood hardener, heavy-duty rubber gloves, sugar soap, a scraper, putty, sandpaper and a nail set. When repairing patches of decay, saturate with wood preservative and allow to dry before treating with wood hardener. If larger areas need to be repaired, try to conserve as much original wood as possible.

After restoring damaged or decayed paintwork, wash down joinery with sugar soap solution and rinse with clean water. Scrape away any flaking paint to create a smooth surface for the new paint. Old, thick or cracked paint layers are also best removed. Remember that a new coat of paint will not glue down old layers which are ready to peel off. Sound preparation and correct application of a top coat should ensure the paintwork lasts four to five years; applying a second top coat could see the exterior woodwork last for as many as eight to ten years.

Proper maintenance of outdoor woodwork is vital to avoid the expense of replacing joinery. Spring is the best time to check on exterior woodwork as if left until summer, it can be too hot (not to mention the irritation caused by insects spoiling freshly painted surfaces).

Do not put off outdoor repairs until the autumn; if a straightforward paint job turns into a major renovation, nobody wants to be working outside in the winter.