Exterior paint that is in good condition doesn’t just make your home look good: it can play a key role in keeping the building weathertight.

Check the condition of exterior paintwork at least once a year, and wash it down with warm water and a soft brush. Don’t use a waterblaster – with some claddings, that can force water into the wall assembly, which can lead to rot and other problems.

Repainting may be necessary every 8–10 years, but the timing depends on many things, from the material that is painted, surface preparation and paint quality to the environment, including sun and salt spray exposure.

When it comes to repainting, getting the preparation right and selecting good quality paint mean the paint will stay looking good, and keep protecting the house, for a much longer period of time.

For many homeowners, colour and finish will be the key factors when choosing paint, but environmental matters should also be considered. There are paints available today with extremely low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds, which can be harmful to health). Some manufacturers also take back and recycle unwanted paint and paint tins.

This maintenance guide gives the key information for painting, but it is important to read and follow the paint manufacturers’ instructions on suitability and application for each type of paint. Larger paint companies also have a lot of content on their websites.

There is an Australian/New Zealand standard, AS/NZS 2311:2017 Guide to the painting of buildings.

You may also consider the BRANZ publications Bulletin 633 Removing paint coatingsGood Repair Guide Repainting textured finishes and Good Repair Guide Interior Painting.