It is that time of year when many folks are painting the exterior of their homes in Portland. Our season got off to a very slow start this year with the wet spring we had but we have been working hard for the past few months now to get all of the exterior painting done.
I give hundreds of exterior painting bids every year and I hear a lot of stories about the previous painter or paint job and what must have gone wrong. Many people expected to paint their home and not have to do it again for many years but this is not always the case. When something goes wrong it is assumed that the painter may have done something wrong or the brand of paint was no good. This is sometimes the case but not always.
Here are a few ideas on how to get your paint job to look amazing and last much longer. The easiest thing you can do to get your paint job to last a long time is choose colors that do not fade easily. If you choose extremely dark colors for the body of your home you are much more likely to see them fade faster. Lighter colors will fade so slow and you may never notice the fade on lighter colors. Choosing a dark trim color for gutters and other trim will keep your gutters looking cleaner. White or light colored gutters will look pretty dirty after a year or so and will need to be cleaned often.
In most cases choosing a little higher sheen for your home will help resist fading and will not attract dirt so quickly. Flat paints are good for hiding flaws in old siding but do not last as long as a satin or similar sheen. We have found that the colors will fade faster in flat paints. A higher sheen paint will be much easier to keep clean with pressure washing. Some siding will not look as good with a higher sheen paint so we do recommend flat paint on some homes but usually for a very specific reason.
Choose your paint brand wisely. Ask your painting contractor what paint brands they like using and why. When I give a bid I always give choices to the customer on paint brands and quality of paint we can use and explain the differences. I don’t want to sell a low quality paint to anyone as it just makes us look bad if it fails in a few years. You may save a few dollars per gallon by going with a less expensive paint but that may cost you money in the long run if it has problems.
A good painting contractor will be able to guide you in the right direction on these issues so you know what to expect. We are always doing testing of products to find out what works better for our customers. Feel free to call us with any questions you have on exterior paints and how you can get the most life out of your paint job.