5 Ways to make your exterior paint last

Exterior paint can last from 5 to 7 years on average under good conditions. But what are good conditions and is there anything you can do to help your paint last longer? Absolutely! There are a lot of things you can do to improve the length of time your exterior paint will last…and some of it starts before you even begin to paint. Here are our top 5 tips for making your exterior paint last.

Make Smart Paint Choices

It isn’t about buying the paint with the biggest price tag. It’s about getting the best quality paint for your home’s surface and climate. Working with a professional painter who can help you choose the best paint for your exterior is a big help in picking the right paint for the job.

Picking the right color is also important. Some colors fade faster than others regardless of paint quality.  Bright reds and blues, for example, are more likely to fade faster than more subtle color choices.

Surface Prep

Before the first drop of paint touches your home’s exterior, the preparation of the surface can determine how long your paint will last without peeling or cracking. The process for surface prep will vary with every surface and situation.

Some surfaces will need power washing. Others will need mildew, mold, or moss removed and treated to kill roots/prevent regrowth.  Still others will need sanding and scraping.  At times you may need to repair surfaces before repainting and that process will change based on damage type and surface. For example, wood repair is far different than stucco or siding repair.

Apply the Right Way

Even the best paint will sag, crack, fade, or just not protect your home’s exterior if applied improperly.  Every paint has different application requirements.  Professional painters understand these differences and have the tools and knowledge to get it done right.

For example, if you apply the paint in bad weather conditions the paint may not cure properly to protect the surface underneath.  Likewise, if you paint too thickly the paint may sag or crack.  Paint too thin and your home’s surface is at risk and the paint may flake. Skipped the prep or priming? The paint may not adhere at all.  

Keep Up the Upkeep

Paint is a wonderful protector for your home but it doesn’t free you from all upkeep.  For paint to last as long as possible and do its job properly you need to give it a helping hand.  Keep surfaces clean and free of mildew, mold, dirt, or plants like moss and vines. This includes your gutters and trim.

Likewise, any damage should be addressed quickly.  If you have surface damage it should be repaired and paint reapplied quickly. Soft wood or other underlying damage can damage the integrity of the paint and allow the problem to compound if left too long.