The exterior paint of your home not only gives your home curb appeal and reflects your style as a homeowner, but it also serves to protect your home from the outdoor elements. This keeps your home looking nice and also helps to preserve its overall value. You may be wondering, how long does exterior paint last? The answer to this question depends on several different factors that impact the longevity of your exterior paint. Read on to learn what these factors are and how you can set yourself up for a long-lasting, quality exterior paint job.
How Long Does Exterior Paint Last on a House?
As mentioned, the longevity of the exterior paint on a house depends on a variety of factors. However, in general, high-quality exterior paint that is applied properly can last anywhere between 5 to 10 years before needing to be touched up or repainted.
Factors that Impact How Long Exterior Paint Lasts
The biggest factors that contribute to how long exterior paint lasts are the prep work, the paint product you choose, the paint color you choose, and the environment you live in.
Factor One: Prep Work
The first factor to consider is the prep work required when painting the exterior of your home. Skipping necessary paint prep steps will result in the finished paint product not properly adhering to the surface for long-term exposure to weather and sun.
Be sure to give your exterior a good power wash to remove any dirt, grime, contaminants, cracks, peeling or bubbling paint, and any residue that may be present on the exterior of your house. If there is mold or mildew present, you’ll want to seek out a professional to help treat the exterior of your home and ensure it is clean, healthy, and free of these contaminants.
After properly drying, prepare the surface of your exterior by caulking, scraping, and sanding as needed. If the exterior of your home is wood, you’ll want to ensure bare wood is properly primed before applying exterior paint.
It is recommended in the PCA Guidelines for Architectural Painting to perform up to 3 exterior adhesion by tape tests in various locations of your exterior to ensure your paint will properly adhere to the exterior of your home. If you get poor results in isolated locations, you may need to go back and power wash and clean again. If you receive poor results in widespread areas, you may need to consult a professional about restoring/resurfacing the exterior.
Factor Two: Paint Product and Color
After prep, the next biggest factor that impacts how long your exterior house paint will last is the paint product itself. There are exterior products that range anywhere from around $20 a gallon all the way to up over $100 a gallon. This price difference is due to the technology, research & development, the raw materials, and the manufacturing of these premium paints.
Using a high-quality paint product is one of the most important factors in ensuring your exterior paint lasts as long as possible. Lower end, cheaper exterior paints can fade in as little as 2-3 years, especially darker colors. Therefore, it’s worth it to spend a little extra up front on high-quality paint that can last upwards of 10-15 years.
Colors that are richer and darker in color fade quicker than lighter or more earth-tone colorants. This has more to do with the colorant used than the actual paint itself. Red, green, blue and yellow colorants that are used to tint paint often fade faster in the sun.
Higher-end paints do a better job at encapsulating and protecting these pigments to help those colors last longer in the sun.
You also want to consider the sheen of the paint product. Flat paint sheens tend to fade quicker and are more susceptible to collecting and showing dirt and grime. Here in the Raleigh area, that is a really big factor to consider with the heavy pollen season. Having all of that pollen, which is an organic material, stuck all over your home, which then leads to mold, is not the best for your painted exterior, as dirty surfaces tend to break down faster than clean surfaces.
Dirt, pollen, pollution, mold, mildew, and algae all contribute to premature deterioration of the surface. It is recommended, especially if you live in an area that is exposed to these materials, to power wash your exterior every 1-2 years.
When searching for an exterior paint product, look for a high-quality latex paint with a sheen finish, such as satin, or gloss. This type of paint is more durable and lasts longer than paints with a lower sheen.
You can read more about our best exterior paint product recommendations for your home in our blog post here.
Factor Three: Environment
The environment that you live in will also play a large role in how long your exterior house paint lasts. In warm, dry climates, exterior paint can last up to 10-15 years. In colder climates that receive more moisture and weather elements, the paint will wear down more quickly and may need to be repainted in as little as 3-5 years.
Is your home protected from the sun by trees or other homes, or does it sit on a lake or in the middle of a field and get blasted by the sun all day? Is your home next to the ocean with salt wreaking havoc on your exterior surface?
You can ask your local paint companies or reps from the manufacturer in your area to give you a better geographical expectation of your paint project and to help you choose the best paint product.
If you live in a climate that is harder on exterior paint, you’ll definitely want to ensure you’re investing in the highest quality paint product that will withstand the elements.
In conclusion, the longevity of your exterior paint all depends on the prep work you do before painting, the paint product and color you use, and the environment you live in.
The best way to ensure you are doing everything you can to increase the life of your exterior house paint is to work with a professional paint company that can help you prep your home for optimal application, choose the best paint for your exterior, and apply it properly so it looks great and stands up to the environment.
If you are in Raleigh and the Greater Triangle area and are looking to paint your home’s exterior, we’d love to partner with you.
For more information on choosing an exterior paint company to work with, check out our blog post, Four Questions to Ask When Looking For An Exterior Paint Company.