After so many months of the bad weather of winter, spring and early summer often see eager homeowners hoping to give their exterior woodwork a fresh lick of paint.
While it can be tempting to do as soon as spring starts, the weather is not always ideal for this kind of work. The frequent showers we often get throughout spring mean the wood will be too damp to paint. Generally, if you don't give the woodwork enough time to dry out, you'll just end up sealing the moisture inside, causing it to age more quickly and damaging the paint finish, meaning extra costs for the customer further down the line.
Ideally, exterior woodwork should be left for a month or so after the sunny spring weather starts to give it time to dry out, leaving the best surface possible for redecorating. I always explain this to customers, and schedule work in around May or June.
Sometimes though, it can be a challenge to find a large enough window of sunshine to let the woodwork dry out completely, particularly in the UK! If this is the case, make sure you always leave a small, sheltered strip of the wood untouched, such as the top or bottom of any doors, or behind the drip groove at the bottom of any window ledges. This gives the wood a chance to breathe and lets moisture escape gradually, preventing it from ruining the wood or the paint finish in the months to come.
Whatever you and your customers decide to do, always make sure you explain to them what you're doing and why you're doing it. Homeowners may not understand the finer points of wood care, so they rely on us, as decorators and experts, to inform them about the best way to look after their homes and exteriors.