Nothing brightens up a house faster than a fresh coat of wall paint. However, while you would like to give your walls a new lease of life, painting is an expensive affair. Hence, there is a whole set of factors to consider before you decide to repaint your home. Naturally, homeowners often find themselves wondering how often should you paint your house. So let us break down this wall painting dilemma for you.

Here is a comprehensive analysis by the Paints team at Livspace to explain how often should you paint your house and why. 

Factor #1: Exterior vs Interior
how often should you paint your house-yellow exterior paint
Does exterior paint wear off faster?

It is a well-accepted belief that exterior paints wear off faster than interior paints because they are exposed to all kinds of adverse weather conditions. However, this is a misnomer. Exterior paints are more durable because they are infused with additives that make them weather-resistant.

“Both interior and exterior paints last for 5 years if they are of a standard quality. However, most often, the decision to repaint is related to aesthetic sensibilities instead of a real need.”

Srikanth MVS, Paints Expert, Livspace

Having said that, in regions that have high salinity (seaside cities like Mumbai, for example) or heavy rainfall, exterior paints tend to wear off faster. In such cases, repainting is also a protection against mould and mildew. 

Factor #2: Underlying Plastering
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Smooth plastering equals better painting?

While trying to figure out how often should you paint your house, we must consider the fact that painting does not happen in isolation. Painting happens only over layers of putty and plastering. Hence, the durability of paint also depends on the quality of the plastering and leveling underneath. The smoother the plastering, the longer your paint will last.

This also results in some unique problems on a regional basis. For example, sand, which has high salinity, is used for plastering walls in places like Mumbai. This is done in an attempt to protect the walls from the salty marine climate. However, it can lead to cracks appearing in the exterior walls in a short period of time. 

Factor #3: Part of the House
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How much are you touching the walls?

The most obvious way to know how often should you paint your house is to figure out how much you use each area in your home. Wear and tear of the paint is directly proportional to use. By use, we mean the event in which you may end up touching or washing the walls. This explains why ceiling paint lasts twice the duration of wall paints; there is little or no occasion for us to touch the ceiling. 

But, we do not ‘use’ every part of our home equally. The living room, kitchen, passageways and bathrooms are used much longer and more rigorously than bedrooms or entertainment rooms. Hence, wall painting deteriorates much faster in these high-use areas. Bedrooms used by adults stay clean and in good shape well beyond the 5 year mark. 

Factor #4: Type of Family
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Kid-friendly wall paints

It is pertinent to distinguish between two types of wall painting degradation here ‒ walls getting dirty and the paint wearing off. The second is usually a result of the first. In a house where you have toddlers or growing children, there is a high chance of the little ones touching the walls or painting/dribbling/scribbling on them. This makes the wall dirty and you try to wash it. The washing makes the paint wear off. 

“The easy solution for families with kids is to opt for paints that have high washability. This ensures that even if the walls get dirty and have to be washed, the colour doesn’t fade to a great extent.”

Srikanth MVS, Paints Expert, Livspace

Factor #5: Type of Paint
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What type of paint are you using?

This brings us to our next factor determining how often shoud you paint your house ‒ the type of paint. Everything in life comes at a cost. So if you save some bucks on cheaper paint, it will wear off quickly. We are mainly talking about distemper paint here and some low-quality emulsion paints. A standard emulsion paint should last its course of time. But, if you have high chances of spillage (in the kitchen, for example) or a pair of naughty kids, you should opt for emulsion paints that are highly washable. The downside of using this type of paint is its distinct and often unpleasant odour.

Factor #6: Colours
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Do darker colours last longer?

When it comes to wall painting colours, we tend to believe that darker colours will last longer. This is actually a widely propagated misconception. Firstly, darker colours tend to wear off faster. Secondly, darker colours also need more coats of paint, which increase the cost of painting your house per sq. ft

“Darker colours work for rooms that have better lighting because they absorb light. Whites and lighter colours brighten up darker rooms by reflecting light. So choose your paint colours accordingly.”

Srikanth MVS, Paints Expert, Livspace

If you have figured out how often should you paint your house, also find out the exact cost of painting your house per sq. ft

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