Home Improvement

It’s Time for a Fresh Coat! Signs Your Home is Due for a New Paint Job

Has your home’s exterior paint seen better days? Are your interior walls looking a bit dull and dated? Repainting your house can completely transform the look and feel of your living space. But how do you know exactly when to break out the paint brushes?

In this blog post, we’ll review the telltale signs indicating your home needs a new coat of paint. We’ll also provide some uncommon but valuable recommendations from Ibby, lead painter at Painters Parramatta, on how to prep your home for a smooth paint job.

Peeling Paint

One of the most obvious indicators that your home needs repainting is peeling paint. When you begin to see paint flaking off exterior wood siding or trim pieces, that’s a clear sign that a new paint job is in order. Peeling paint not only looks unattractive but can also allow moisture underneath, leading to rot and decay.

In addition to exterior peeling, check interior walls and ceilings for any cracking or flaking paint. If you have lead paint, this can be dangerous for children if paint chips are dislodged.

Ibby’s pro recommendation: “Use a pressure washer to remove all loose, peeling paint from exterior surfaces before repainting. This allows the new paint to adhere properly.”

Faded Colors

Over time, your home’s exterior paint color will naturally fade from sun exposure. You may also have some interior wall colours that look a bit dull and faded.

Pay attention to areas that get the most sunlight. South and west-facing exteriors tend to fade more quickly. Also, check the top portions of exterior walls that bear the brunt of UV rays.

For interiors, watch accent walls or brightly coloured spaces that can lose their lustre over the years. It’s time for a fresh splash of colour!

Chalky Surfaces

While some exterior paint chalking is normal over time, excessive chalking or powdering on outside walls is a red flag. This occurs when the binders in the old paint deteriorate, causing the pigment to turn to powder.

Check flat or matte finish exterior paints in particular, for a chalky whitish coating. Use a wire brush to scrub a small area – if a lot of powder comes off, a new paint job should be in the cards.

Ibby says: “Wash any chalky surfaces with an oil-based cleaner before painting to remove residue so the new paint adheres properly.”

Cracking Paint

Extensive cracking, or alligatoring, happens when exterior paint becomes too brittle and inflexible to expand and contract with temperature changes. This allows moisture to seep in and leads to further cracking when the water evaporates.

Inspect exterior walls for small cracks in a pattern that resembles reptile skin. Also, check for horizontal cracks where water may pool on window sills, railings, and entrances .

For interiors, cracks usually appear on walls and ceilings around any seams, nails, or screw holes that see movement. This can lead to further damage if not addressed.

Bubbling or Peeling Layers

On exterior surfaces, notice areas where the paint looks bubbled up or has peeling layers. This indicates that newer coats of paint are not adhering properly to old paint layers underneath.

Proper prep work was likely not done to allow for proper adhesion before repainting exterior surfaces. This issue must be fully resolved before attempting to paint over it again.

Ibby advises: “Completely remove all old paint down to the bare substrate in problem areas using strippers, sanders, or pressure washers.”

Rust Spots

Those small bubbled spots surrounded by cracking and discoloration on exterior surfaces are a sign of subsurface rust. This happens when moisture penetrating through paint layers comes into contact with metal beneath, like nails or flashing.

Rust needs to be fully remediated by removing all loose paint, scouring rusted metal, applying a rust converter, and spot priming before repainting. Otherwise, rust will continue to spread and damage your home’s exterior underneath new paint.

Mold or Mildew Growth

Notice any black, green, or brown spots marring your exterior surfaces? This could be mold and mildew growth behind your paint. Moisture getting trapped between your home’s siding and the paint leads to unsightly microbial growth.

Before repainting, correctly identify if the issue is mold or mildew. Then thoroughly clean affected areas with bleach solution or other cleaners to kill and remove all fungi. Ibby warns that mold left under new paint could eventually spread to other areas of the home’s exterior or even the interior.

Low Sheen Finish

While higher sheen exterior paints hold up better, even quality acrylic latex options will lose their luster over time from sun exposure and weathering. Notice areas that appear matte or flat rather than having a satin or semi-gloss sheen.

Flat interior paints can also become burnished over time in high traffic areas. Touch up these areas with a fresh coat in the proper sheen for a seamless, renewed look.

Interior Yellowing

Over time, Nicotine stains or cooking grease can lead to yellowing on walls and ceilings. Be on the lookout for yellowish areas, especially around vents, in cooking spaces, or where someone used to smoke indoors.

Off-white walls can also take on a dingy yellow cast as the white pigments degrade with age. A new coat of bright, fresh white paint does wonders to liven up dull, dated interiors.

Damaged Drywall

Holes, gouges, cracks and other drywall damage worsen over time. Water stains from leaks can spread, cracks along seams can expand, and damage from doorknobs or chair backs deepens.

Once wall imperfections become an eyesore, it’s time to repair any issues properly and apply fresh paint for flawless results. Don’t let damaged drywall detract from the look of your interior spaces.

Scuff Marks & Stains

Walls around high-traffic areas and switch plates are naturally covered in scuffs from day-to-day use. Dirt and grime also build up along baseboards and trim. Oil stains in garages and kid’s sticker remnants in bedrooms add to the patina.

While character and wear-and-tear can be charming to some degree, excessive grime, scuffing, or unappealing stains should be your cue to freshen up walls with clean new paint.

When In Doubt, Renovate

Remember the power of a simple cosmetic upgrade if you’re on the fence about repainting and your home’s interior or exterior isn’t exhibiting any obvious issues.

Reimagining your home with updated paint colors and styles does wonders to breathe new life into your living spaces. Take advantage of the transformative effect of a fresh coat of paint!

Call the Paint Pros at Painters Parramatta

If your inspection reveals your home could use painterly attention, don’t despair. The team at Painters Parramatta can handle all your interior and exterior painting needs, big or small.


Q: How often should you repaint the exterior of your house?

A: Every 5-10 years on average, depending on climate, paint quality, and other factors. More frequent repainting is needed in harsher climates.

Q: What are the signs I need to repaint interior walls and ceilings?

A: Fading, yellowing, excessive scuffs, scratches, major stains that don’t clean up, cracking, holes, and overall dull or dated looking paint.

Q: Does all old paint need to be removed before repainting exterior surfaces?

A: No, only failing paint should be removed to allow for proper adhesion of new coats. Use pressure washing, scraping, sanding, and stripping to remove failing paint properly.

Q: How do I determine the right sheen for repainting interior or exterior surfaces?

A: Use flat finishes on ceilings and low-traffic walls. An eggshell or satin works well for main living spaces, while semi-gloss is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, trim and doors. Exteriors often use satin or semi-gloss for added weather resistance.

Q: What kind of paint should I use to repaint interior walls and ceilings?

A: High-quality acrylic latex paint works for most interior surfaces. Use specific primers as needed on new drywall, previously painted surfaces, wood trim, and for covering stains or discoloration.

Q: How can I save money on an exterior house painting project?

A: Paint off-peak seasons like fall or winter when demand is lower. Use quality exterior paint but go for one grade below top-tier for cost savings. Power wash and scrape paint yourself. Get quotes from at least 3 reputable painting companies.

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