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Brushing up on a big paint job

If you’re investing for the long term, there’s a good chance you will have to repaint the exterior at some point, so it’s prudent to plan in advance, writes Caleb Pearson.

By: Caleb Pearson

31 March 2023

LEFT Take into account your style of property with colour choice.

ABOVE Whites and neutrals are trending on Resene’s current top 20.

BELOW Touch-ups can extend the life of your exterior paint system.

The exterior paint system over our homes acts like a giant overcoat protecting us from all the elements thrown at it. Rain, wind, snow, sunlight, storms... it safeguards your house, keeping it safe from moisture, mould, and rot, as well as offering a chance to add style or personality through a wide range of colours.

However, when you think about property maintenance, keep in mind that paint doesn’t last forever.

If you're investing for the long term, there’s a good chance you will have to undertake an external repaint at some point, so it’s prudent to plan in advance for this one. The hands-on DIY approach is possible, but given the amount of time involved it’s one that most of us will happily outsource if we have the funds set aside.

Here’s some advice to get you started when it’s time for you to repaint.


An exterior paint system typically has a seven to 10-year life, although with regular cleaning and maintenance it can last longer. You’ll typically get some early signs that the life of your paint system is almost up. This might be from peeling or cracking paint, fading colours or damaged sealants.

Isolated touch-ups where needed can be done, and recommended, but these signs will indicate a repaint will soon be needed. Leaving this unaddressed for too long can cause bigger problems and bigger costs such as rot and damage to cladding and moisture issues inside your property.

Research and good advice are key when it comes to paint choice. Make sure you have the right paint for the right application.


Picking a paint can be daunting, but there is a range of quality options. There is almost a paint available for every surface you have, so make sure you do the right research or get the right advice. As you need to pick the right paint for the right application keep in mind:

- the surface you are painting onto: wood, brick, fibre-cement, concrete, etc. Products will vary depending on the material they are being applied to.

- your local climate. NZ weather conditions do vary based on where you live. Select paints that are best suited for your local climate, be it coastal, high moisture, snow, sun.

- quality and technology between paints vary; consider which options work best for you and your project.

Your local paint shop will have an expert on hand to answer questions. Consulting a professional is free and helps you make an informed decision for your property.


Picking a paint colour is not an everyday decision we make, and is an expensive one to replace. You might be the type of person to get 10 test pots and agonise
over each shade of grey, or happy to get on with it and use a colour you have seen next door, or on a previous house. There’s no right or wrong, but here are a
few tips to steer you if you can’t decide:

- For the safe and easy choice, pick one of the colours everyone else is using. See what’s trending, and what’s common in your neighbourhood. Resene publishes an annual list of top 20 paint colours, currently filled with whites and neutrals, a safe choice.

- Consider the style of your home. Different styled homes can suit a bit of colour, or be more suited to a neutral.

- Keep in mind the full picture of your exterior. What colour is/will be your roof? A darker roof suits a lighter colour scheme, whereas a lighter roof can be more flexible with colour range. Your joinery, baseboards, deck, may have different colours. Consider how they will tie in together.

- If you want a splash of colour, why not paint the front door as a way to bring in personality without it being overwhelming.

- Test your colours. If you are uncertain do a test on a small area before you commit.

‘There’s almost a paint available for every surface you have, so make sure you do the right research’


It’s likely most of us will work with a painting contractor to get this job done. Do some homework on who you’re considering to make sure you get an experienced contractor who won’t be cutting corners.

Cost is always a key driver in a project of this expense, so I recommend getting several contractors to price your project. But it’s not the only factor: make sure they are fully aware of the scope of the project (a site visit is essential), allow for the right paints and correct health and safety measures and you have it all in writing.

As with any project, preparation is key, and this especially applies to painting. Make sure your contractors are fully aware of the existing conditions when they price and will do the required preparation before any paint is applied.

In reality many of the above steps overlap and will tie in together. Reach out for advice if you need it, as there are paint experts who can help you work out the best product and what’s needed for your project.


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