Exteriors should be painted every 5 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the paint and the craftsmanship with which it was last painted. The aluminum coating should be painted approximately every 5 years. Most homes need to be painted every 7 to 10 years, but the actual time frame varies by material and region. For example, fiber cement siding needs to be repainted every 10 to 15 years, but the more traditional coating needs to be painted more often.
In areas with intense sunlight, stucco, vinyl or aluminum coatings should be painted approximately every five years. The wood coating may need to be painted every three to seven years. In regions where sunlight is less intense, the paint should last four to 10 years on wood and 20 years on vinyl or aluminum coatings. In addition to discoloration, damage caused by the sun can also cause blisters (i.e., when paint bubbles), as well as a phenomenon called chalk, which occurs when the surface of the paint becomes dusty and discolored (the likely culprit is alkyd paints).
How often you paint the exterior of your home depends, in large part, on the materials in your home. Painting the house ahead of time minimizes damage to the outside of the house and also minimizes the need for preparatory work, such as scraping off the paint on flakes, sealing the seals, or replacing the wood. For homes in the Bay Area, California, high-quality paints and primers are needed to withstand a pressure washer, high humidity, intense storms, heat and salty Pacific air. At the other end of the gloss spectrum, you'll find flat finishes, which are fairly easy to treat when it comes to paint maintenance, but tend to become calcareous and prone to mold over the years.
In general, high-quality paint in lighter tones tends to last longer, especially if applied in two or three layers rather than just one. Buying a lower quality paint because it's cheaper will only cost you more money when you have to repaint too soon. This means regularly cleaning dirt and moss from the surface of the house before the paint starts to decompose. When you're ready to upgrade your exterior paint job, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that this new paint job lasts as long as possible.
In fact, you can extend the life of your exterior paint job by spending time on regular maintenance of your home's exterior. It's a good idea to try to find out, because having detailed information about the paint job can make a big difference. And while glossy and semi-gloss paints can have a durable finish, their shiny and reflective qualities tend to show any imperfection, such as small cracks.