Painting your house is a major project requiring thoughtful planning, investment, and time. Waiting too long can make an otherwise well-kept property look unsightly and, beyond that, allows for damage to the wood.
How long a house can go between paint jobs varies greatly based on several factors. Knowing these factors can help you come up with a solid plan and can also help your paint job last longer. Recognizing the early signs and quick care steps between paintings can also help you prevent damage to the wood.
Consider these factors when planning a painting and touchup timeline:
- Location and climate: Weather and temperature extremes are harmful to exterior paint over time. Here in Atlanta, we typically have less to worry about with seasonal changes. The drastic transitions between winter and summer in northern U.S. states is much harder on paint. However, a very hot summer or too much sun exposure can cause fading. And if you own a home along the coast or in an industrial area, wind and debris can chip away at paint.
- Type of paint: The most popular exterior paint is latex, which is beneficial in its breathability to withstand temperature changes; and it can be used on stucco, wood, cement, vinyl, and brick. Oil-based paints dry hard and maintain well in high-traffic areas like railings and porch stairs. Over time, oil based paints crackle: a primer or stain can be used for the natural wood look and is easy to apply, but it requires less time between paint jobs, as the wood can start to fade and change under the clear coating more quickly.
- Maintenance and signs: Prepping the surface area before painting is critical in protecting the walls and siding and for prolonging the paint life. This includes scraping, sanding, washing, and sealing the surface. Inspect siding, stucco, or trim around windows for chipping or peeling. Look for yellowing of paint. Saying on top of maintenance by caulking cracks or doing touch-up paint jobs right away can help prolong the time between complete paint jobs.
These are just some of factors that impact how often you need to paint your house. It’s a complicated system of related and sometimes unpredictable variables. The type of paint and materials you use as well as the material used to build your house is just as important. Talk to a professional and make sure to cover these topics when planning for your next paint job.