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How to paint the exterior of your newly built home




By Tony Griffin, Manager Pat McDonnell Paints Tralee

We get a lot of queries at Pat McDonnell Paints this time of year, as the weather improves, from customers wanting to paint the exterior of their newly built house.

Painting the exterior of your home not only transforms it but will also help to protect it from weather damage.

This is a really exciting time for any new home owner but we recommend that you always leave freshly coated surfaces to dry out fully for about six months before sealing it with any kind of paint. Once the surface is dry, have checked the weather forecast and picked your colours, here are some simple steps to follow!

Step 1: Preparation

Cover the ground with dust sheets and tape where it’s needed, this will ensure your new paths are kept clean of paint spills! Next, dust and clean all the surfaces for painting so that they are free of dirt, grease and other contaminants that might impact the finish and lead to problems further down the line. The surface may need to be powerwashed first and cleaned fully with an anti-fungal wash like Farbex Exterior Fungicidal Wash, especially if there are any traces of algae or mould. Scrape down the walls so there are no uneven surfaces and fill any cracks or holes with an exterior filler like Prestonett Exterior Filler. Mask surfaces you wish to protect, like your window and door frames with a good quality masking tape like Deltec Masking Tape Extreme.

Top Tip:

It is important to check if the surface needs a sealer before painting. You can do this by running your hand along the wall and seeing if it leaves a chalky or powdery residue on your hand. If it does then your walls need to be sealed.

Step 2: Sealing

If your walls need to be sealed then priming is one of the best ways to ensure that your walls are well protected and that your exterior paint will adhere to them. We recommended sealing new walls with Ralston Wall Primer which has been diluted with water by a ratio of 1:1. This means if you have a five litre can of Ralston Wall Primer, you will dilute it with five litres of water. Always ensure you mix the paint thoroughly before painting and apply this to your wall as you would a normal paint. Leave to dry for approx. four hours and once dry you can paint as normal as per our application steps below. If your walls don’t need to be sealed you can skip this step!

Step 3: Applying the paint

It is important that you use a Masonry Paint when doing the exterior of your home, made in Ireland Dulux Weathershield Smooth Masonry Paint is perfect for our unique weather. We recommend diluting your first coat of masonry paint with water by 10%. This makes the application easier and aids absorption. Ensure you mix the paint thoroughly before painting and apply starting from the top and working your way down with the aid of your cutting in brush, masonry brush and a roller designed for the job; we recommend the Corona Tuff Pro 9” Sleeve. Leave the paint to dry for approx. twp to four hours depending on the manufacturer's instructions. Once dry you can paint with the remaining coats without thinning the paint. Apply a second coat of your masonry paint and again leave to dry for approx. two to four hours between coats. We recommend always applying at least two coats for that perfect finish and to ensure durability and a third coat may be needed depending on the surface.

Tip: Always remove masking tape after a few hours as the tape glue might dry and damage the fittings and windows.


Don’t forget the tools for the job, we often have customers loosing valuable dry weather time because they have forgotten a brush or roller. Below is a list of the equipment you need for this job.

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

You can find more tips and how-to-guides on our site or call in store and speak with a member of our team.

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]




It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.




By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of and on so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.


There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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