How long an exterior painting job lasts for depends on what paint you’re using and what you’re painting onto.
It depends on the paint used, ie acrylic or enamel:
Enamel still looks good about 3-6 years after application. Acrylic up to about 15 years. Lighter colours hold their appearance longer than dark, as dark colours fade. Also because dark colours attract the heat more, any bubbling at application stage can be exacerbated as the heat vapours expand. This creates stress on the coverage. Enamel covering can be more prone to cracking.
It depends on the building material you are adhering to:
Rendered brick, wood or aluminium.
The above estimates are for rendered brick surfaces. Wood surfaces don’t hold their finish for nearly as long, but the finish on aluminium will last much longer. Other considerations that come into play are, whether your wall is sun facing or not. A sun facing wall tends to last about a year less than non-sun facing. Windowsills tend to age faster than other surfaces.
Using correct process, i.e. ensuring the right coatings are used in the right combination and sequence is very important if you want a good and lasting finish. Do it right or do it twice!
Surface preparation is also vital to the quality and longevity of the finish. This often is a longer and more involved process on the exterior, rather than interior, of a building. You will probably need to spray or pressure hose an area to get it properly clean.
Some areas may have a rough finish, due to the environmental trauma of previous surface coverings. You will need to sand away this roughness with sandpaper or ideally, an electric orbital sander. To remove an artex coating a heat gun in conjunction with a scraper is necessary, or possibly specialist sandblasting equipment. The cleaner the surface the better application. Always follow surface cleaning and smoothing with a coat of high quality primer.
Weatherboard homes are an important part of our heritage in WA. We love to see weatherboards cared for and preserved. Repainting before degradation sets in will save you time, effort and money in terms of the surface preparation required. If you wait until the paint is peeling then you will have a lot of sanding to do. The older the weatherboards the less their ability to hold the paint, so the older the house the more often you’ll need to reapply. Keeping the exterior painting work fresh will not only improve the look of your home but will also protect it from the onset of risks such as white ant invasion, dry rot and mould. Be wary of any excessive moisture hazards, such as damaged downpipes or gutters. Be sure to repair these without delay as rot can soon set in and cause damage to your weatherboards.
It is really important to get a few different quotes and to compare them. Do this not so much to find the cheapest but as an indicator of what quality service you may be getting. If a quote comes in particularly cheap you will need to check up on the scope of works the painter has planned for the project. If surface preparation isn’t untaken correctly it will cost you more in the long run and, even in the short term, you may be underwhelmed with the look of the finish. Also be sure the painters are registered with the Master Painters Association (MPA), and that they are insured.
Check what public liability cover they have. Up to about $10m is a good standard, to insure you are protected in the case of accidental damage to your property. They will also need workcover protection for themselves.
If all these things are in place and the quote is noticeably lower than other reputable companies in your area, do proceed with caution. Surface preparation is a detailed and time consuming part of most jobs (can account for up to 60%). If surface preparation is cut short or if bad quality products are used, or products watered down, then the quality and durability of your finish will be disappointing.
You can’t depend completely on a painting business’s website portfolio to show you work that was actually completed by them. You can’t even be sure that testimonials that you read are real. However, if the painter you are considering has a testimonial from a commercial business that you recognise in your area, and you are worried, a friendly reference call to that business may be worthwhile.
External natural wood doors, balconies and windows need a polyurethane or oil protective coating. For extra UV protection we suggest a pigmented coating, which just means your coating of choice with a stain. These coatings will last about 2 years. For more durability choose, a resin based alternative such as Sikkens, or something from the Intergrain Ultradeck range. There are some amazing, protective coatings out there that can give an extra 2 years or more durability on your external timber surfaces.
For a list of resources that we use in our business please see our Resources page.