For interior paint jobs, the best paint used to be oil-based paints. These paints lasted the longest for two reasons, durability and that they dried rock hard. Many oil-based paints have been taken off the market because of their Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels and in some states they are even illegal. VOC’s in the paint cause a very strong odor and are dangerous to human health and can cause harm to the environment. If oil-based paint is still available in your area, it is beneficial to use it on risers, treads and stair stringers because these are high traffic areas. The paint will last a long time on these surfaces just be prepared for a strong odor that may last a few months. Painting during the warm months is a good idea so you can plan to leave the windows open.
Can’t get oil-based paint? Don’t worry! There are some great options that are actually easier to use and clean up. Look for water and alkyd based paints, both are safe for the environment and will look great on your walls! Some recommendations of brands that have high-quality paint products are Benjamin Moore Royal Classic and Aura and from Sherwin Williams Duration Home and Emerald. A good trick to knowing if the paint you pick will last for years is the price. If it sells for more than $30 a gallon retail, chances are that it is an excellent paint.
When thinking about spending the money on high quality paint, you want to know how long it will last and continue to look good on the walls of your home. The great news is that a quality paint job will last about a minimum of ten years. If there is heavy traffic in your home, or dogs, kids and parties, then it may age a bit faster. Most people end up repainting sooner not because of the paint chipping or fading but because they want to change the look of their home with a new color.
For exteriors, the paints that will last the longest are high quality acrylic paints. Some examples of good high quality choices are Benjamin Moore Aura, Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior and their Emerald line and certain Behr products from Home Depot. These big companies will stand behind the quality of their paints to make sure you are a satisfied customer.
The length of time that your exterior paint job will last depends on the region where you live. For example, if you are painting your Stucco home on the West coast in San Diego, the paint should last 5-7 years. The wood trim on the house or siding is a different story. It will start to fade and show its age within 3 years. This is due to the sun exposure. The darker the color, the more sun and heat it will absorb forcing you to repaint sooner. So select a lighter color and the paint will last longer!
For East coast homes, your exterior paint can last for 5-7 years as well. The sun is not a huge factor but excess moisture can damage your paint. If you live in a very rainy area, some areas of your exterior paint may need to be touched up every 2-3 years. This is because the paint is not able to withstand the extreme temperatures and weather.
The biggest reason that paint will chip, peel or fail is that quality paint is applied over an existing painted surface. Sometimes the old paint will delaminate under the new paint in some places and start to peel. To prevent this from happening and to help extend the life of your paint job, you should always scrape off the loose paint or strip the entire surface. The key is using a quality primer on the raw wood and then using several coats of the correct premium paint and you’ll have a beautiful paint job that will last for years.