Is your home or business in need of a new paint job? Not sure how to approach the painting process, or wondering “how long does exterior paint last?” Well, we’re here to help!

In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know about exterior painting. After reading this article, you’ll know the ins-and-outs of how and when to paint, and what type of paint to use for lasting results.

What You Need to Know About Exterior Painting

When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, the key to success is preparation. Here are some tips, tricks, and insights you need to know in order to achieve a long-lasting exterior paint job. By following this advice, you can extend the life of your exterior paint job significantly and save time and money.

Your Paint Choice Matters

One of the most important factors in achieving a long-lasting paint job is your choice of exterior paint. Acrylic latex paint is usually the best choice for exterior paint because it’s a versatile paint that can be used over both water-and- oil-based primers.

What’s great about these paints is that don’t generally harden over time, which means they’re less likely to blister. They also don’t mildew as frequently as oil-based paints, and they emit fewer VOCs, which make them a more environmentally friendly option.

If you live in an area that experiences greater rain or storms, however, it may be best to go with an oil-based paint. These paints repel water and resist wear and tear more than an acrylic paint can. Oil-based paint is also a great option for steel and iron railings or any areas like steps or porches that get a lot of foot traffic.

Longevity Differs Depending on Surface

Every home is different, so it’s difficult to say how long your exterior paint job will actually last. Most painting experts will tell you that most homes needed to be painted every five to ten years. However, based on where you live, the general climate, and how good your previous paint job was, this timeline can differ greatly!

The longevity of your paint job can also differ greatly based on the surface. Here is a breakdown of how often you’ll need to paint the exterior of your home based on the surface type:

  • Brick: every 8 – 17 years
  • Wood siding: every 3 – 7 years (or 4 if it’s stained)
  • Aluminum siding: every 5 years
  • New or mixed materials: every 7 – 12 years
  • Stucco: every 5 – 12 years

Factors That Will Ruin Your Paint Job Sooner

It’s important to note that the timeframes above are based on ideal scenarios. Certain factors will greatly impact how the overall durability of your paint job. Here are some of the most impactful factors, and how they affect how long your paint job will last.

The Elements

The weather and climate of where you live will greatly impact how long your paint job lasts. If your home experiences harsh, direct sunlight all summer, the paint will bubble and fade more quickly than if your home was in a shady area. Alternatively, if you live in an area with long, harsh winters, high humidity, or bad storms, your paint could fail sooner and cause the exterior paint film to age at a faster rate.

The Previous Paint Job

If you’ve just bought or moved into a new home, you may not actually know the last time the property was painted. You should find out when that was, and find out the type of paint that was used as this will help you determine when you’ll need to paint the home again. Things like the type of paint used, the quality level of the paint, and even the color, can all speak to the overall longevity of the exterior paint surface.

In general, high-quality paint in lighter hues tends to last longer. Exterior paint jobs in which painters have applied multiple coats also last longer.

Exterior Maintenance

The overall maintenance and care of your home can also impact how long your paint job lasts. You should regularly inspect your home for signs of wear and tear, such as dampness, mold, and rot. You should also regularly pressure wash the exterior of your home and remove dirt and moss before these things start to break down the paint.

How to Maintain Your Paint Job

As you can see, many factors can impact how long your exterior paint job will last. The good thing is that there are easy ways to maintain your paint job so you can maximize its lifespan. Here are some tips on expert maintenance so you can enjoy your paint job for years to come:

Use a Quality Primer

The primer will act as a base coat for your paint job, smoothing out any surface imperfections, and making it easier for the paint to stick. If you decided on an acrylic latex paint, you can use either a water-or-oil-based primer. But you should definitely use an oil-based primer if you’re using oil-based paint for your top coat.

By doing this, your top-coat is substantially more likely to adhere properly. Which means no blistering or bubbling.

Apply Several Application/ Coats

Another important thing that increase the lifespan of your paint job is to apply multiple coats. Additional paint coats will serve as a barrier that protects your home from damage from weather or other elements. Make sure that you apply these coats correctly, however, and double check that the sides and bottoms of all the surfaces have been painted.

In general, it’s best to apply three coats (1 primer, 2 top-coats) to any areas that are especially at risk for damage. If you don’t, your home may ultimately be damaged due to the weather – in most cases water damage is the cause.

Don’t Paint in Direct Sunlight or Extreme Heat

When painting your home, it’s best to do it when it’s cool and overcast. This is because direct sunlight will cause your paint to dry too quickly, which can result in visible brush strokes and general unevenness. This issue will also occur if it’s especially hot out, so if possible, only paint on days with mild weather. Or, follow the sun. While the sun is on one side of the home you can paint the opposing side. House painters call this chasing the sun.

Keep Your Exterior Surfaces Clean

As mentioned earlier, you should keep the exterior of your home clean to prevent paint damage. Plan to pressure wash your home almost every year. This will wash away any dirt or mildew that has made your paint look faded or discolored.

Final Thoughts on Exterior Painting

To answer your initial question, “how long does exterior paint last”, from several years experience, the answer is 4 to 8 years on average in Raleigh, NC. But by painting your home correctly and practicing the proper maintenance and care, you can extend the lifespan of your paint job, and keep your home looking fresher for longer.

Do you need to paint the exterior of your home? Not sure where to start? Contact us for a free quote!