When it comes to exterior paint, there’s no fountain of youth, but there are ways to add years of life to a new paint job, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.
Here are the secrets:
1. Carefully prepare the surface. Before starting to paint, it’s important to make sure surfaces are clean and sound, free of all dirt, mildew, and loose or peeling paint. Areas with no paint at all—either because they are new, or because the old paint has completely worn off—should be spot-primed.
2. Work in good weather conditions. For long-lasting results, apply exterior coatings on mild days—ideally, when the temperature is between 60 and 85 degrees F. —with little or no wind. In these conditions, primer and paint “cure” more slowly and form the most protective dry film.
3. Prime the surface. Primer creates a tackier surface to which paint can bond more tightly, thus reducing chances that it will peel or blister. As a bonus, the paint will have more uniform color and sheen. (Alternatively, apply two or more coats of one of the new “paint and primer” products.)
4. Use top quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint. This type of paint is much more durable than ordinary housepaint. It has more flexibility, better adhesion for more resistance to peeling and flaking, and superior color retention. When applied to a properly prepared surface, top quality 100 percent acrylic paints can last 10 years or more, compared to about four years for lower quality paint.
5. Be careful with color choice. According to Zimmer, earthtones tend to retain their color, while other hues, such as bright blue and bright red, will fade more quickly. Ask the counterperson how your preferred hues will fare over time, and choose your color scheme accordingly.
6. Apply thicker coats. The thicker the dry paint film, the more protection you’ll get. So, apply paint liberally….and never thin it with water. Paints are formulated to be used as-is in order to provide the longest-lasting protection.
7. Add one extra coat of paint. This will further thicken the dry paint film, which will enable your home to better withstand whatever nature throws your way. It’s a smart move that may very well add a couple of additional years to the life of your paint job.
For more expert advice on exterior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute blog at blog.paintquality.com.