How Often to Paint the House Exterior?

How Often To Paint The House Exterior
Photo by Ricky Singh

One of the first projects consumers tackle when it comes to home improvement is painting their house exterior. But how often to paint the house exterior? It really depends on a few different factors. 

Since your home is one of your greatest assets, putting off painting for a few years can cause severe damage. 

Painting is an excellent investment that contributes to the integrity of your home while protecting it from other elements. And while you may think that a coat of paint wouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete, this isn’t always the case.

In this article, we’ll discuss how often to paint the house exterior and what materials are needed for the project. We’ll also provide examples of popular color schemes and how they will affect your house’s curb appeal!

How Often to Paint the House Exterior?

We recommend that homeowners paint the exterior of their home once every four years as a general rule of thumb.

Of course, this will depend on several factors, including the color scheme you choose and what kind of weather your area experiences.

You’ll also want to consider if you live in an area that receives a lot of foot traffic while houses are often painted every two years in areas with less traffic.

Not only will you have to factor in climate, but you’ll also have to think about the frequency of use when it comes to things like garages and porches.

The American Coatings Association (ACA), a non-profit organization that represents the coatings industry, suggests using the following guidelines as a rule of thumb:

  • Climate Zone 1: Painting every six years
  • Climate Zone 2: Painting every three to five years
  • Climate Zone 3: Painting every two to three years
  • Climate Zone 4: Painting every one to two years. At high risk for storms and damage, or homes with extensive traffic, painting should begin within the first year after construction or relocation.

You may need to repaint your house exterior more than once yearly. However, as a general rule, you should wait longer to take advantage of the proper prep and primer application required for a fresh coat of paint.

Additionally, waiting too long can result in very uneven paint coverage.

What Paint Should You Use for Exterior Painting?

If you’re planning on painting the exterior of your home, it’s important to use quality paint on the product. For example, if you’re laying down wood stain on your house’s exterior, you want to ensure that pressure-sensitive paint is applied.

This paint usually contains a sealer to help prevent moisture from getting underneath the finish. It can also be applied directly over stains and sealers without issue.

If you don’t live in an area prone to hail or drought damage, we recommend using high-quality oil-based paints instead of acrylic paints. These paints will also require a two-coat process because acrylic paints are known to be more porous.

What Should Be Used for Exterior Trim?

Suppose you’re painting your home’s exterior and want to add trim accents along your ceiling, gable end, or roofline. In that case, we recommend using metal paint that is designed specifically for use with metal surfaces.

This will help prevent any damage to the paint finish and will help prevent mold and mildew from getting underneath the sealer. 

If you plan on doing this part of your painting job yourself, we recommend using a roller to remove all the edges with a brush. This will help prevent paint drips, and you’ll be able to paint your trim faster.

Does My Home Need a New Paint Job?

Even if you have had your home’s exterior painted in the last four years, it’s always advised to have your house evaluated before you start any painting projects.

This will allow your contractor to ensure that the surfaces that need to be painted are the ones that must be prepped first.

If there has been a change in the weather conditions that contribute to water infiltration problems, these areas may need additional preparation before you can paint them.

A professional can recommend what might be required and help select products that will work well with your home’s architecture and finishes.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Longer Lasting Paint Job

Once you’re aware of how often to paint the house exterior, you will know when your house is ready for an update on exterior paint, and you can take a few steps to ensure that the new color lasts as long as possible. Of course, it all starts long before anyone picks up a brush.

Start by treating spots of mildew stains, rotting wood, cracks, holes in stucco, and more. Fill cracks, seal seams, and use putty to fill gaps or holes.

If you have a lot of bubbles or peeling paint, it would be a good idea to power wash or sandblast to start with a smooth surface.

After washing off the peeling paint, make sure your home is completely dry before you begin painting. The same goes for heavy rain: waiting a few days after the storm before painting is best.

You should also pay close attention to the weather. It is always best to paint in dry, relatively warm weather, with an ideal temperature of 50 to 90 degrees. (Although you can still paint outside of this range and get great results. These are only rough guidelines.)

It is always recommended to start with a primer as it prepares the surface for painting and gives a smoother look.

How Can You Save Money on Exterior Painting?

If you’re considering hiring a professional to paint your home’s exterior, you must do in-depth research before making any decisions.

For example, if you are hiring someone charging by the hour, we recommend comparing the prices of several painting contractors in your area and setting up multiple bids for the job.

This way, you’ll get an accurate description of what will be involved with the project and what it’ll cost. 

If you’re doing most of the painting yourself, then it may make sense to purchase some of your paint materials in bulk.

This can save a significant amount of money over time and eliminate the possibility of choosing a color that may not go with your home’s architectural features.

Exterior Home Maintenance

It’s about preventive maintenance and catching problems before they become serious. Inspect your home regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Specific things to watch out for are moisture, rot, chalk, insects or rodents, and mold. If you spot them, deal with them immediately; if you do this, the color will last longer.

In addition, keeping up with general maintenance, the color will remain brilliant over time. This means regularly washing dirt and moss off the surface of your home before they start to break down the paint.

Conclusion On How Often To Paint The House Exterior

Exterior painting is a pretty big job and not an exciting one, but it is worth it after all. With all of this in mind, if you think it’s time to give your house’s exterior a makeover, make sure to do so, and it is always a good idea to hire professional painters if you can. This is the best way to ensure a quality paint job that will last for years.

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