How Long Does Exterior Paint Last?

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There is no doubt that a fresh coat of paint on your house can give it instant curb appeal, and add value to your home. Of course, if you have just invested your time, money and energy in painting your home’s exterior, you want it to look its best for as long as possible. However, if you are wondering how long does exterior paint last, there is no simple answer. Several factors can affect the longevity of a coat of paint on your house, such as the type of paint used, the condition of your home’s exterior, and the climate and weather in your area. As a general rule of thumb, once you have painted your home’s exterior, reckon on it lasting between five to ten years.

Your first decision is the type of paint to use. Oil based paints are water resistant and can withstand extremes of weather; this type of paint is ideal for steel railings or fences, porches and steps, as well as the exterior walls of your house. If you are painting over an oil or water based primer, an acrylic latex paint may be your best choice. These paint don’t attract mildew as much as other types of paint, and they don’t blister. If one of your concerns is going green when painting your house, acrylic latex paints give out fewer VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Always use a premium brand of paint – it’s one area where you don’t want to cut corners.

Preparing the outside of your home for painting is almost as important as the type of paint used. Before painting, take the time to check for and sand down any bubbled, flaked or peeled spots, and the better job you do in preparing for painting, the longer your exterior paint will last. Before painting, you should also remove any exterior features such as lighting, address numbers, gutters and hooks for hanging baskets. Finally, choose the time of year carefully to carry out your exterior painting project; extremes of weather such as excess heat, cold, wet or dry weather can affect the longevity of your paint. The task of prepping the exterior is also harder in extreme weather.

You may not be able to do too much about where you live, but the climate can affect how long your exterior paint can be expected to last. If you are painting a wooden home an area where temperature extremes are common, you should expect to paint more often. However, you can expect the paint on a stucco home in a temperate part of the country to last longer. Over time, heavy rain, snow, sleet, dust and pollution can all damage the paint on the outside of your home. Painting the outside of your home can be time consuming and expensive, especially if you hire someone to do the job. You can increase the chances of the paint job lasting longer by adequate preparation, using quality paint and painting during the optimum time of the year.

Recommendations for getting your house painted:

Other important thing to note.  If you are in a neighborhood that has a home owners association (Excel AM, for example) you will need to make sure that the new color you choose is approved.  Some places have guidelines on the paint colors that you can choose.  You definitely don’t want to paint the entire house and then find out that the color is not allowed!