Paint with distemper/red paint – how to, step by step

Are you painting with distemper/red paint? The distemper/red paint is the classic colour of Swedish wooden facades. Distemper/red painted facades are relatively easy to maintain, but you will need to repaint at regular intervals. Here’s how to do the job in three steps, with perfect results.

1 week

Step by Step

  1. 1
    Prep work
  2. 2
    Paint with distemper - Red paint
  3. 3
    Finishing work
  1. 1

    Prep work

    Protect against splashes

    Cover house foundations, windows, downpipes and other surfaces that you want to protect from paint splashes.


    Always wear a mask, goggles and gloves when brushing the facade. There can be a lot of dust.

    Remove loose paint and dirt

    Gently scrub away loose paint, dirt and grayed wood from the facade with a wire brush. Use a flat-bristled wire brush for larger surfaces and a smaller wire brush for hard-to-reach areas. Put the wire brush on an extension pole for better reach and more power.

    Skrapa bort rödfärg med stor stålborste
    Skrapa bort rödfärg med lite stålborste

    Wash away mould

    Wash away any mould. Use algae and mould remover and a washing brush. Remember to rinse the facade thoroughly.

    Tvätta fasad med borste

    Now it’s time to move on to the painting itself.

  2. 2

    Paint with distemper - Red paint


    Paint when the wood is dry and cool. If the wood is wet, mold can form. If the wood is too hot, the paint may crack.

    Prime if necessary

    Are you painting on new, unpolished wood? Then you first need to prime with diluted distemper – Red paint. Dilute the paint with 10 percent water. If the facade is already painted with distemper – Red paint, there is no need to prime or dilute the paint.

    Start with the details

    Check that the façade is clean and dry. Start by painting details and hard-to-reach areas with a smaller paint brush.

    Måla rödfärg med liten pensel


    Avoid remedial painting, i.e. painting, for example, nail heads afterwards. This can make the facade appear spotty.

    Finish a few boards at a time

    Switch to a wider paint brush and finish a few boards at a time. Paint the entire length to avoid visible overlaps in the paint.

    Paint thin layers

    Paint thin layers, making sure to work the paint well into the wood. Attach the brush to an extension pole for better reach and to avoid unnecessary ladder climbing.

    Sätt på förlängningsskaft
    Måla rödfärg med pensel på förlängningsskaft
  3. 3

    Finishing work

    Wipe away splashes

    Wipe off any paint splashes before the paint has time to dry. Use a cloth with water and detergent.

    Leave the cover plastic in place

    Leave the cover plastic in place for a few days to allow the paint to dry. That way, you don’t have to worry about paint splashes if it rains.