Painting your house is the best way to update or create stunning designs. But the paint doesn’t last forever. So how do you know when the time is right to paint your home? How often should you paint your house? Does the exterior differ from the interior?
As a general rule, it’s best to paint your house every three to ten years. The average is five to ten years for exterior and five to seven years for interior paint. The exact time range depends on factors like location, climate, paint type, and the surface.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about exterior and interior paint longevity. Use the information for details on how long your paint should last based on averages, and explore our top picks for your next paint job.
How Long Does Exterior Paint Last?
On average, exterior paint lasts from five to ten years. Factors like where you live, the climate and weather, the surface material, and the previous paint job alter the time range. The frequency of your paint retouching could also depend on how your exterior material was treated.
For example, wood siding lasts an average of three to seven years or about four years if the wood is stained.
No matter the surface type, a few signs that you need to paint your house exterior include:
- Fading colors
- Chalky appearance
How Often Should You Paint Your House Exterior?
Unfortunately, there is not a timeline for painting frequency set in stone. Every home is different. However, rough guidelines say you need to re-paint every five to ten years.
The frequency may also depend on the material used for the exterior of your home. Painting each surface is a slightly different process. Thus the amount of time your exterior paint lasts depends on the material. Check the following surfaces for more details relating to your home.
Brick is a low-maintenance option, whether you decide to paint the surface or not. While unpainted brick only requires regular cleaning once in a while, painted brick can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years.
Wood siding is a popular house exterior because it comes in various textures, styles, and finishes. It’s lightweight and easy to install. Plus, the durable material allows your paint to last anywhere from three to seven years. However, stained wood siding requires re-painting every four years or so.
A typical wood siding type, cedar is a natural and popular siding material. The wood’s natural oils make cedar a top pick because it resists rot, decay, and insect infestations. High-quality paint or stain should last five to seven years on cedar. Depending on the weather and your application process, the color could make it up to ten years.
Aluminum SidingAluminum siding is highly durable. It’s resistant to exposure and wear. If you paint aluminum siding with acrylic latex paint, the paint job may last from five to ten years. Most aluminum siding paint needs replacing in about five years.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding, sometimes called cement fiberboard siding, is a low-maintenance and long-lasting material. It can resemble stucco or wood grain, and the newer material is excellent for homes because it’s fire-resistant and has a high resale value. The paint on fiber cement siding typically requires fewer touch-ups too. Expect the color to last between ten and 15 years.
LP siding looks like traditional wood, but the material is made of wood strands and fibers treated to resist termites, decay, and wear. The engineered wood is often less expensive than natural wood siding. The paint on LP siding could last from three to 15 years. Some acrylic latex paints for the surface even come with a 15 years warranty.
If your home has a bare metal roof, you could paint the surface with acrylic latex paint. With primer, the paint job should last an average of ten years. Some metal roofs don’t need re-painting for dozens of years. The time between painting also depends on the manufacturer.
Stucco is a durable and beautiful exterior finish, but it typically requires re-painting every five to six years. Some paint jobs could make it up to ten years. Re-painting stucco regularly is highly recommended because it prevents hairline cracks from growing.
Applying paint or stain is a fantastic way to make a wooden deck look stunning. However, paint lasts much longer than stain because it offers more protection against the elements. Deck paint is typically acrylic or oil-based, both of which last around ten years. Re-stain your deck between every two to three years.
How Often to Paint House Interior?
The frequency you re-paint the interior of your house varies from five to seven years. Some walls require painting more often than others due to wear and tear. The rooms you use the most may require more touch-ups, for example. Use the following room-by-room averages to know when you should re-paint your house interior.
Living Room and Dining Room
The living and dining rooms are typically highly used. A durable paint could last anywhere from five to seven years. If you use less robust paint, you might need to paint more frequently. If you only use a formal dining room on rare occasions, you may wait longer between paintings.
Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen and bathroom are constantly used and messy rooms. They’re often the rooms that call for durable, waterproof paint for easy clean-up. Otherwise, the moisture in the air of these rooms could make the paint peel. Re-paint the kitchen and bathroom around every three to four years. Look for paint specific to restrooms for the best results.
BedroomsBedrooms need re-painting every two to three years. The frequency you re-paint bathrooms depends on who the room belongs to. Adult bedrooms typically require less painting than children’s rooms unless you want to change the color. Children tend to play in their rooms more, causing more wear and tear, and thus, more frequent re-painting.
Hallway paint tends to hold the most scuffs and dings compared to other areas of your home. The most walked-through regions of your house need re-painting every two to three years. You might be able to wait a few more years if you don’t need to repair any dents or scuffs.
Painting the interior ceiling is required every ten years or so. If you have a water leak or must cover stains, you may need to re-paint more often. The time may vary based on the room as well.
Trim and Baseboards
The trim and baseboards take on tons of damage over time. When you re-paint a room, make sure to cover the trim and baseboards. They require re-painting every two to four years, on average. How often you paint them depends on what the room is used for, however. If the trim or baseboards appear worn, it’s time to retouch the paint.
Factors That Affect Exterior Paint Longevity
A few other factors affect the longevity of your exterior paint job. Like interiors, the most significant three things to think about are how your home was previously painted, the climate and weather where you live, and how you maintain your home. Let’s dive into how these factors play a role in how often you re-paint the exterior.
The exact surface type determines how sensitive the material is to damage, regardless of whether you paint it or not. For example, wood siding made from softwoods like pine or cedar is more prone to damage than hardwoods like oak. Hardwoods may cost more, but the material’s durability could save you money and maintenance time down the road.
Your home’s location significantly alters your paint’s longevity. Consider both your geographic location in terms of climate and weather and think about the direction your house faces.
For example, the north side takes on less sunlight and typically shows wear long after the south or southwest-facing walls. Areas of your home with prevailing winds may also need re-painting more often.
Climate and light determine how fast your paint deteriorates. Temperate and humidity are the most important factors to consider when it comes to house paint. Keep an eye on your paint if you live in an area with extreme weather, regular moisture, or extreme temperatures. A desert climate or wood finishes in these areas typically show wear faster compared to other locations.
The weather on the day your home was last painted plays a massive role in the paint’s longevity. For example, painting on a hot summer day with lots of direct sunlight could result in paint that bubbles and fades more quickly. Alternatively, a cold climate with harsh winters, high humidity, or intense storms could cause exterior paint to age faster.
Regular preventative maintenance keeps your exterior paint job in ideal shape. It helps you notice issues before they become serious problems. Watch out for dampness, mold, moss, rot, insect and rodent infestations, and chalkiness. Spotting and taking care of these issues can help you paint last longer and look great over time.
Previous Paint Job
Detailed information about the previous paint job is crucial for re-painting your home’s exterior. If you recently bought a new house, make sure to ask when it was last painted. The paint type you choose, how many coats you need to apply it, and the color can alter the durability.
For example, darker shades absorb more heat and sunlight, making them typically last for shorter periods. Both the paint’s quality and color significantly affect the longevity as well. For truly long-lasting paint, you may also want to know what time of year the house was last painted, as the weather could determine how well the paint dried in the past.
General guidelines say high-quality paint in lighter shades lasts longer when applied in two to three coats. Acrylic paint is the most long-lasting and resistant to fading. Properly priming and sealing the surface is also highly recommended.
Best Time to Paint House Exterior
The ideal time to paint your home’s exterior depends on the weather where you live. But fall or spring is an excellent painting season for most locations. The proper season to paint your home depends on the average rainfall in your area. Pick a time with clean, calm forecasts.
If you live in a place that has consistent, sunny weather and stable temperatures above 50 degrees F, you could paint any time. Colder than that, and the paint may have trouble adhering to the wall. Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity, like the summer. Temperatures over 90 degrees F damage exterior paint just as much.
With exterior painting, you also need to keep an eye on the weather. Never paint when it’s going to rain. Allow your home’s surface to dry completely before priming and painting. The wind is another concern. Too much wind could ruin the paint job.
Best Time to Paint House Interior
Painting indoors allows you to take fewer variables into account. The best time to paint the interior of your house, regardless of the room, is during the winter. The colder months of the year typically offer less humidity and heat, so your paint dries faster and better.
However, interior paint typically takes more dry time. The paint could take longer to dry if it’s humid, so wait for dry weather or use a dehumidifier in the room you’re painting. You’ll also want to make sure you use paint brands free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so you don’t release toxic chemicals into the air of your home.
How to Make My House Paint Last Longer
If you prepare your home before painting and adequately seal the paint, your paint job will last longer. Performing regular maintenance like cleaning also helps keep your paint in top shape. If you’re ready to update your paint, consider the following tips to boost longevity.
Step 1: Treat and Remove Mold or Mildew
Before you pick up a paintbrush, check the surface you’re going to paint for signs of mold, mildew, and rot. Treating the material first stops issues like these from becoming a huge problem later. Use products made for mold or mildew to remove them, following the directions on the label.
Step 2: Remove the Old Paint
Removing old paint from the walls before re-painting helps the new paint stick to the surface in a smooth, flawless coat. Scrape or use sandpaper to level out rough areas. A power washer works well for removing peeling or flaking paint on a home’s exterior and reduces prep time because it cleans simultaneously.
Step 4: Caulking and Patching
Also, check your walls for cracks, holes, dents, or any other damage. Fixing these problems helps you create a smooth surface for the paint. Fill in cracks with caulking or fill holes with putty. Patch small holes yourself, or hire a professional to fix considerable damage.
Step 4: Cleaning and Powerwashing
Next, clean the surface thoroughly. If you’re painting interior walls, scrub them off with soapy water to vinegar to remove dirt and sticky residue. Powerwashing the exterior is a quick method for cleaning and removing any peeling or bubbling paint to create a smooth surface.
After cleaning, allow the wall to dry before you start painting. Interior walls may take longer to dry. You could open a window or turn on a fan to help speed up the process. Exteriors may need to dry for a few days before you can re-paint.
Step 5: Prime the Surface
Prime the wall before painting for an exceptional, long-lasting paint job. With only a single coat of primer, you can help your paint become much more durable. Primer also helps hide the color underneath your fresh coat, no matter how dark the shade. Allow your primer to dry for no less than 24 hours before painting.
The primer you select may also come down to the paint type you use and the surface type. Some brands make exterior paint specific to wood or aluminum siding, for example.
Step 6: Seal the Paint
Finally, sealing the paint is the easiest method for extending your paint’s lifespan no matter what you’re painting. Exterior paint and rooms with the most moisture, like the kitchen and bathrooms, especially require sealant. Follow the label’s directions to determine how long to wait before applying the sealer and how long it takes to dry.
A suitable sealant depends on your paint and surface. Latex sealer is ideal for new construction homes with wood or vinyl siding. On the other hand, stucco may require a specific product. A chalky wall sealer may help if you’re re-painting old walls.
The Best Paint for Your House
Whether you’re painting your home’s exterior or interior, use high-quality paint. A 100% acrylic latex paint is ideal for exteriors and most rooms because it binds to the wall well and provides intense color for a long time. They’re also highly durable against moisture and other elements. Consider the following brands for your house paint.
When choosing interior paint, consider the size and architectural details of your room. Consider how you use each room and how frequently they see wear and tear. For example, paint with an eggshell finish may show more smudges and marks than a satin or gloss paint finish.
Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Interior Chalked PaintChalked paint, like Rust-Oleum interior paint, creates a unique matte texture on your walls. It provides a rustic, vintage appearance, making it perfect if you want to bring some charm into your room.
This Rust-Oleum interior chalked paint comes in various colors. It’s great for surfaces like wood, metal, canvas, glass, ceramic, and walls. The paint offers a low odor, cleans easily with soapy water, and dries to the touch in as little as 30 minutes. A single coat is all it takes for full coverage.
The paint also adheres easily to walls, making it a great paint option for amateurs and DIY projects. The application requires minimal prep work.
Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly PaintMontage Signature eco-friendly paint works well for both indoors and out. The paint comes in tons of neutral colors like Dove Gray or Desert Tan. Plus, the U.S.-made paint is available in both low sheen and semi-gloss finishes.
The versatile paint looks professional-grade, and it’s fantastic for residential spaces or large commercial buildings. You can expect to brush the paint on smoothly every time, as it offers superior coverage. The improved sealing technology also protects against water damage.
People love Montage Signature paint because it’s also eco-friendly, unlike many other paints on the market. It’s free of pollutants while maintaining the highest quality. The best part of buying this paint is that it also comes with a ten-year warranty.
The most critical factor to exterior paint is durability. A water-based acrylic or latex paint with a flat sheen is the best option for your home’s exterior. The finish you select depends on the material. For example, satin and eggshell finishes are excellent for siding. Semi-gloss is more resistant to moisture, though.
KILZ Exterior Siding PaintKILZ is a massive brand in the exterior paint business. It offers maximum coverage and protects against the elements. You can even use it to cover fences, barns, and other vertical outdoor structures and surfaces. The all-purpose exterior paint resists issues like blistering, cracking, or peeling over time. KILZ Exterior Paint’s unique feature is the water and oil-based formula, which allows for ultimate adhesion, versatility, and longevity in multiple conditions. Use this paint for exterior sidings like wood, stucco, or other masonry surfaces. Remove mildew, dirt, peeling paint, and other debris before painting for the best results.
Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer in OnePrestige Exterior Paint and Primer is a two-in-one that can save your time and money. The paint comes in a flat finish and cures in as little as two hours. The acrylic latex blend creates an ultra-premium formula, and the added primer allows you to provide excellent coverage in half the application time.
The paint from this brand is entirely safe, as it contains low VOC levels. It’s easy to clean spills using soap and water as well. However, the paint remains durable and provides a mildew-resistant coating to keep your home in top condition. It’s ideal for wood, vinyl, aluminum, or cement board siding.
How often you need to paint your house, both exterior and interior, depends on the surface, how much wear and tear the paint sees, and the paint type you use. A more durable paint is an excellent way to maintain your home with less work. You can also extend your paint job’s lifespan with high-quality products and the right primer and sealer for your project.
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