The single biggest factors that influence the durability of your exterior paint are the quality of the paint itself and the techniques used to apply it. This isn’t a straight case of premium paints lasting longer, although that’s usually an accurate rule of thumb. The type of paint matters. Modern latex-based acrylics hold up better than older oil-based paints. Even the colors you choose influence how long you can last between paint jobs. Light colors stand up to sunlight better while dark shades fade and degrade more quickly.
Technique may be even more important than paint selection. Even the finest paints will start to peel and crack quickly if they are slapped on in an amateur fashion. For maximum durability, your home’s exterior surfaces need to be thoroughly prepared (cleaned, sanded, and patched) and primed before painting. The paint then needs to be applied in multiple thin coats for the longest possible lifespan.
Strangely enough, a lot of professional painters are willing to give you blanket answers to the question how often a home needs repainted without learning anything about your home first. (This is a notable warning sign to look out for if you’re hiring professional painters.) The durability of an exterior paint job also depends on the material the paint is applied to.
Wood siding or shakes need to be repainted roughly every four to seven years. Aluminum can go five years between paint jobs, while stucco lasts for six years. Modern synthetic cladding materials like cement fiberboard can usually last for 10 years or more between paintings. If you paint exterior brickwork, it should be good for at least 15 years before it requires repainting.
Your local climate also plays a significant role in dictating how long a coat of paint will last. Excessive humidity, lots of summer sunshine and harsh winters are all known to subject your exterior paint job to extra wear and tear. Coastal environments, which add in frequent high winds and loads of salt water in the air are well known for being the very toughest environments for paint. In the nastiest coastal climates, homes may need to be repainted on a yearly basis.
Erring On The Side Of Caution
There is always a little leeway in how long you let your house go between exterior paint jobs. It is generally better to repaint sooner rather later. The more you let the condition of the current paint deteriorate, the longer it will take to prepare the exterior for new coats. This extends the time required (and the cost!) of your next exterior paint job. You should probably start saving and planning for repainting as soon as you start to see significant patches of wear in your existing paint.
Not even the most experienced painters can tell you with certainty just how long an outside paint job is going to last. The choice is ultimately yours to make, but the information provided here should hopefully help you make a wise decision