How Often Should the Exterior of a Home be Painted?

How often the exterior of a home should be painted is a question commonly asked by new homeowners. One main concern is how well the paint will hold up against the elements, especially when it comes to the effect of sun and rain on its sheen.

How often should a home be painted? The short answer to this question would be “lots.” Surepaint professionals say an average painted surface needs maintenance every three to five years with occasional priming or painting between maintenance jobs. It’s not like your car, which you wash once in a blue moon because one day you’ll sell it at auction and show up clean as a whistle, right?

The exterior walls are constantly exposed to harmful UV rays from natural light; therefore, they need more TLC than other home surface areas. Of course, those who are in a more humid climate should consider repainting their home’s exterior every other year or so due to premature peeling that could be caused by excessive moisture exposure. Dampness and moisture can cause different bacteria to form, which isn’t good for anyone—especially when you live in close quarters with your family and friends.

However, here’s where it gets tricky: one surface area has different needs from another due to its location on the house (exterior vs. interior) or how often it is exposed to sunlight/moisture/air pollution. Therefore, an annual painting is not enough if you want your home to look as clean and tidy as possible at all times.

If your home’s exterior is already in bad condition due to peeling paint, giving it another coat (or two) isn’t going to help. The following are some factors that determine how often you should paint the exterior of your house:

1.) The durability and type of paint being used

Inside versus outside paints have different properties, which makes them react differently in different weather conditions. There are three types of paints commonly used: latex or acrylic-latex paints, oil-based enamel or alkyd paints, and urethane finishes or clear sealants. Contrary to what most people think, water-based latex paints actually dry faster than oils because they don’t require drying time between coats—they’re ready to recoat in about an hour, unlike enamels that require several hours of drying time. However, latex paint is not as strong or weather-resistant as oil-based paints, and it’s generally used for indoor work only.

2.) What the exterior surface is made out of

Just because a house may be covered with siding doesn’t mean you can’t repaint it! Concrete, brick, stucco, vinyl, wood—these materials are all capable of being painted. The difference will lie in how they’ll handle water damage, so make sure you’re familiar with your home’s material composition before deciding to apply a new coat.

3.) Yearly temperature extremes (or lack thereof) in your area.

Extreme hot or cold weather will create new problems for the exterior paint job on your home! If it’s too hot, you’ll have to deal with surface temperature cracking or blistering (or worse), and if it’s too cold, mildew or staining will be a nuisance.

4.) Whether a new coat is actually needed.

If you’re not sure whether or not you need to repaint your home, look at these questions:  Was your last application of paint more than five years ago? Is there any visible peeling, blistering, chipping, cracking, flaking, or curling?  Are any surfaces caked with dust? Has rain come into contact with the surface recently? If yes to any of the previous questions, you are likely overdue for repainting.

5.) What kind of weather do you normally have at your home?

If it’s hot and dry, a flat paint (do-it-yourself) will be easier to work with than a gloss one.  And if there’s lots of rain, go ahead and throw in some clear sealer or primer on top. (if this is all confusing, talk to a professional painter!)

Also, keep in mind that while low-emission paints are nice for the environment, they can be harder to clean up during application.  So there might be a trade-off going on here.

6.)  Are there any special wood surfaces?

This is a big question to answer because it’s not just about how you’ll paint the siding, but what kinds of finishes or treatments you might want to use on different parts of the house (e.g., trim vs. decking).

7.) What kind of look are you going for?

If this is your first time repainting the exterior, It is recommendable that you hire a professional painter in order to get things done right (and looking great).  There are lots of details and practices that’ll make the difference between a “good” paint job and a “great” one. And you may not be familiar with them.

Get an exterior paint job done professionally every 2 years or so, even if it looks fine from the street.  Paint peeling on your home can look very unprofessional and lessens your house’s curb appeal significantly (especially in the cooler months). If you’re looking for a painting company that does quality work, reach out to Surepaint and get a free quote.