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How To Make Exterior Paint Last Longer

Whether you’re looking to paint a brand new house for the first time or repainting an old home, you want a paint job that will stand the test of time, weather the elements, and protect your home’s exterior. Luckily, Pizzazz Painting has been in the business long enough to know precisely how to make that paint job last—and keep it looking as if it were painted yesterday!

The factors that add up to a high-quality, time-tested paint job are nuanced. You can use the best paint on the market, but if your prep work isn’t good, your paint job will be of poor quality. This article will help you successfully navigate the many pitfalls that await the unwary homeowner. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to know to get a paint job that will last over a decade!

Tips For Maintaining Exterior Paint

The surest way to maximize your exterior paint job is to practice a regular maintenance routine. Pizzazz recommends that you seasonally perform the following maintenance:

  1. Wash Your House Regularly With Detergent, Soft-Bristled Brush, and a Hose 
  2. Touch Up Chips, Cracks, and Rough Patches
  3. Clear Vegetation Like Vines and Moss Off of Exterior
  4. Keep Gutters Clear
  5. (For Wood) Regularly Seal Your Wooden Siding

How Long Does Exterior Paint Usually Last?

A decent exterior paint job will generally last anywhere from five to ten years. However, many factors will influence whether or not your paint job will be on the smaller or larger end of the range (or even outlast it entirely).

What’s The Best Outdoor Paint?

The consensus is that 100% acrylic latex paints are best for exterior use. Acrylic paint can expand and contract easily without getting damaged. This relative elasticity makes it ideal for outdoor surfaces because it can endure temperature fluctuations and humidity fluctuations with little risk to its integrity. Additionally, acrylic latex paints resist sun damage than non-acrylic paints. This means the color in acrylic latex paints will last longer than in other options.

Which Exterior Paints Last Longest?

Again, the best paint goes to high-quality acrylic latex paint. Because of its superior flexibility, resilience, and adhesion, 100% acrylic latex paint will last up to a decade and even longer in some situations. Though the type of paint you choose is very important, many other factors affect how long your exterior paint job will last.

Non-Paint Factors That Affect Your Paint Job’s Lifespan

Surface Material

You may not have given it much thought, but the properties of the surface you are painting directly influence how long your paint job will last. Though we live in the ‘macro world,’ much of the magic of painting happens on the molecular level. Essentially, a good exterior paint job is directly tied to how well the paint can bond to the surface of your home. Paints are better at gripping semi-porous materials like brick and stucco than gripping non-porous materials like aluminum or organic materials like wood. If you want your paint job to last as long as possible, you’ll need to account for the material you are painting. 

That’s why it’s always a best practice to apply a primer coat before painting the final color. Different primer coats are engineered to adhere to various surfaces and create the ideal connective layer between your house and the paint. There are different varieties of primer that are designed for aluminum, stone, or wood, for example. 

Climate Factors

Another factor that affects your paint job’s lifespan is the type of climate you live in. Your paint job will last longer if you live in a temperate climate. If your hometown experiences severe weather events, significant temperature fluctuations, seasonal weather changes, or has to endure direct sunlight, your paint job will have a shorter lifespan. High humidity is another climate factor that can undermine the lifespan of your home’s exterior paint job. 

The area you live in will help determine which types of paint and painting techniques you’ll need to use for your home’s exterior. Certain paints are more resilient to sunlight but might be more vulnerable to moisture or vice versa. That’s why an expert opinion from a professional painter is essential when painting your house.

Prep-Work

How you prep your home for paint will also affect how long your paint job lasts. If your home is dirty—literally covered in dirt, dust, pollen, or other particles—the paint will stick to that instead of your home’s surface. This can cause surface imperfections by prematurely chipping, streaking, and breaking off. Once your paint job is chipped, natural forces will erode the area and make the chip larger, compromising more of your paint job.

Make sure your home’s exterior is properly cleaned with detergent and a (not too harsh) power washer or by some other thorough means. The importance of this step cannot be overstated!

Conditions Day-Of

Another important consideration is the weather conditions when you paint. Ideally, the humidity will be low, and the temperature will be between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates optimal conditions for the paint to ‘cure’ on your home’s exterior. If it’s too hot, too cold, or too wet, the paint might dry with irregularities, leading to an increased chance of chipping and cracking.

Another day-of consideration is the wind. If it’s too windy, dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles—even insects—can get trapped in the paint, leading to uneven surfaces and an increased chance of chipping or cracking.

How Often Should A House Be Painted?

Generally, a house needs to be repainted every 7- 10 years, but this is a general rule rather than a requirement. As mentioned above, there are many factors that you need to consider when deciding whether or not to repaint your house.

If you live in an area that receives direct, intense sunlight for much of the year, your paint will definitely fade faster than if you lived in a shady, temperate area. Certain materials are more likely to cause cracking and chipping than others. For example, wood expands and contracts more severely than stone and is more likely to require a fresh coat of paint.

Your Eyes Are The Best Judge

Use your own judgment! If your house isn’t as vibrant or bright as it once appeared, you might want to consider a fresh coat of paint. You should inspect your home’s exterior paint job for cracking, chipping, moisture damage, and separation. If you see any of these indicators, then your home might need some “paintenence.”

Is It Better To Roll or Spray Exterior Paint?

It depends! Both techniques are important, and each has its own particular strengths. Depending on the surface material, it might make more sense to choose one over the other, and sometimes we perform both in the same area—a process called ‘back rolling.’ We ‘back roll’ an area when its surface area is very rough or uneven. First, we spray the area and then manually roll it to ensure maximum coverage. 

At Pizzazz, we don’t limit ourselves to one method over another. Instead, we take each project and consider all the variables when choosing the best method for painting a home’s exterior.

How Pizzazz Painting Keeps Your Home’s Exterior Paint Fresh

If you can’t tell by this post, Pizzazz Painting knows a thing or two about high-quality paint jobs. If you think your home may be due for a paint job or you are simply curious about our professional painting services, don’t hesitate to contact us at 609-702-8200 or fill out our contact form.

Also, check out our blog for actionable tips on interior and exterior painting!

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