The exterior of your home is the first thing people will notice about your house. Having family over? They’ll see the outside of your home long before they see the inside. The first impression you make is a crucial social construct – and that applies to your home as well.
More often than not, people clean the inside of their homes before having company over – it’s common courtesy. No one wants people to think that they don’t take care of their home. But it’s not just about having an organized kitchen or a clean living room. Granted, that’s important. But what good does an elegant indoor living space do if the outside of your home looks like it hasn’t been cared for since construction?
Exterior paint is a tricky subject for homeowners. Does it last long, what should I buy, when should I paint it? These are all common questions when considering an exterior paint job. Knowing how often to paint your house exterior will help you keep your home looking its best and keep its curb appeal.
Generally speaking, it’s best to get a paint job every five or so years – regardless of the material.
There are many factors that affect how long a paint job will last: temperature, humidity, wind strength, the care put forth by the original painters, etc. It’s hard to know exactly where your home lands on this scale.
So, Do I Need a New Paint Job?
Truthfully, this is a question you can only answer yourself. Are you proud of how your home looks? If your answer is a “no,” a “maybe,” or even an “I’m not sure” – then it’s probably time to get a paint job.
Look at the exterior of your house. Do you see cracks, bubbles, or mismatching colors? It’s not uncommon. Colorado weather can do a number on your home – it was eighty degrees a week ago, how is it snowing?
How often you paint the outside of your home is, ultimately, up to you. Let’s go over some of the basics of house painting so you know exactly how often your home needs to be painted.
Factors to Consider When Painting House Exterior
When deciding whether or not to get a new exterior paint job, you need to look at a few key factors of your home’s exterior.
- What material is the exterior made of? Examples could be brick, vinyl, wood, etc. The material will affect how long a paint job will last.
- What type of paint was used originally? There are several different types of paint – water-based, oil-based, latex-based – these all have different lifespans.
- What is the weather like where your home is located? If your home is in an area with extreme weather (like Colorado), you may need to paint more often than those who live in moderate climates.
- How well was the original paint job done? If shoddy work was done on your house originally, then you’ll need to paint much sooner.
Exterior House Material Makes a Difference
Different materials all hold a paint job differently. You need to figure out what your home is made of when deciding whether or not to paint.
The lifespan of a paint job differs between construction materials:
- Wood siding – needs to be painted somewhere between 3-7 years, more often if in an extreme climate like Colorado.
- Stucco – holds paint better than wood, should be painted every 5 years.
- Brick – a paint job on brick can last between 15-20 years.
- Cement board – becoming extremely common among homebuilders, it should be painted every 10-15 years.
- Aluminum siding – should be painted every 5 years.
- Vinyl siding – paint jobs on vinyl siding last around 10 years.
These are the most common types of siding. The material of your home should be the first consideration when debating whether or not your home needs to be painted.
Different Paints Have Different Lifespans
Determining what type of paint was used during the last exterior paint job might not be easy – but it will make a difference on when you’ll need to paint again.
Typically, house painters will use acrylic or latex-based paints for exterior painting. These paints dry the fastest and are generally the easiest to apply. An acrylic paint job should be good for around ten years depending on exterior material. This is a slightly longer life span than latex and oil-based paints.
The quality of the original paint is also a determining factor. Cheap paint won’t last nearly as long as the high-quality, more expensive variants.
What’s the Weather Like?
Weather plays possibly the biggest role when considering a paint job. Moderate climates lead to ideal conditions – you don’t have to paint as often.
In Colorado, we’re far from moderate. The often-low humidity mixed with high precipitation in winters contributes to a paint job not lasting as long as it would elsewhere.
Instead of painting a home every five years, in Colorado, it’s slightly less. This also depends on the above-mentioned other factors. A wood-sided home in Denver will need a paint job likely every two years.
How Well Was the Last Paint Job Done?
Obviously how you paint your home contributes to how long it will last. Factors like when it was painted last, how many coats were applied, and what time of year it was painted in will all affect how likely it is that you need a new paint job.
See if you can get in contact with the original or last painters to find out everything you can about your home’s last paint job.
The Bottom Line
How often should you paint your house exterior? In most cases, once every five years.
But there are many variables that you need to consider when asking this question – weather, quality of the last paint job, type of paint, and type of material.
Each home is different. If you’re unsure of exactly when you need to paint your home again, consider talking to professionals.
We can tell you everything you need to know about exterior paint jobs and answer any questions you might have.
If you’re debating on a new paint job right now, contact us to get a free quote and start improving your home.