How often do you paint?

carriem25August 19, 2008

An interior design friend of mine came over to measure my windows for some blinds yesterday. While she was here, we talked about changing the paint colours. Our home is only three years old, but with two kids, a dog, and a seeming never-ending stream of company (like my 2 BILs, 1 SIL and six nieces and nephews that were here over the weekend!), there are plenty of areas that could definitely use some touch ups.

However, I think the colour that I originally chose is a little off, and I am considering painting pretty much most of the entire main floor. Methinks dh will freak out completely when I tell him we need to paint after only three years as we lived in our old house for nearly 10 without ever painting the main areas!

I might consider tackling the feature wall in the family room, but the high ceilings and great room style of the main floor are a bit out of my league, so I would probably have to hire someone.


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With an active household, every 3-5 years is probably a necessity. I don't think there's a rule of thumb, but paint definitely does fade-you can tell that when you take a picture off the wall and see that the paint behind it is more vivid than the rest.

I've also read that if you're painting woodwork that hasn't been painted in the past 3 years, you should prime it first, even if you're painting it the same color.

I have some friends with a 4 BR colonial who make it a point to paint one room every year, so they probably get around to every room in a 9-10 year cycle. They're empty nesters, though.

I'm not that disciplined. I end up not doing anything for several years, then doing 3-4 rooms in one year.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Let's see. We have lived in our house for 12 years. Here's what we've done:
Living room: Painted twice (starting to think about a third).
Sunroom: Painted three times.
Kitchen: 3 times. (and two major kitchen renos.)
Dining room: 3 or 4 times.
Hallways/foyer: Paint, then wallpaper, then paint again.
Bedrooms: All at least twice.
None of these were "necessary" as in the paint didn't look good. All were just me deciding I wanted something new!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:52PM
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Wellllll...see my thread about the Flow Blue Collection and I'd have to say a double coat once each week!

Realistically, prior to two weeks ago when I repainted the kitchen twice, in 18 years since we built this house:

Kitchen: 2 times, then wallpaper, then paint a 3rd time
Living/Dining room, foyer: Paint 4 times
Stairway and upstairs TV room: Paint 3 times
3 bedrooms: Paint 3 times
4 Baths: Paint first, wallpaper redone 3 times each
Master Bedroom: Paint first, wallpaper 2 times, then painted 2 more times

None were "necessary" for ours either, I just like to see something new on the walls every so often, or I'll fall in love with a fabric that I want to use for curtains or a bedspread and discover that nothing else in the room matches the new fabric. I need to stay out of decorator fabric stores, I guess.

When we first built the house my daughter and I painted all the rooms white after the prime coat. The 3rd year we were in the house I painted the kitchen and dinette area a dark, Wedgewood Blue one weekend while my husband was away at work. It took him FOUR YEARS before he noticed it - honestly! One night four years later he looked around at the walls and said, "oh, when did you paint the kitchen?" My SIL, who was visiting at the time, just looked at me and we both burst out laughing hysterically. He'll never live that one down.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:29AM
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I agree with the 3-5 year cycle. I'm in my house 28 years and each room has been painted 5-6 times. Never the same color as before.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 3:08AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Dh and I are by ourselves with my Dad living downstairs in his area. We make a conscious effort to not touch the walls and they still look good after 8 years. However, Dad needs to steady himself and those areas he rests on do get touched up. I use a high quality flat paint.
I have repainted the bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms etc, but not the main great room or dining room.

I feel bad about those areas because I still love the color! When I repaint, I think I will keep the colors the same. How boring is that?!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Molly Brown

Just repainted our bedroom....painted it last in1979 ! The new paint is almost the same color as it was the first time. We don't change things a lot 'cause we seem to like whatever it is we pick!
So why am I reading this forum several times a day??? ;-/

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:57AM
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I paint often but it is because I really like to paint.

We have been here nine years.
Main floor, original paint plus I painted 3 times.
Front door, It has to be around 6 times.
Garage doors, 4 times
Bathroom upstairs, 3 times
powder room, 3 times

And I have paint sitting on the floor to paint all the rooms in the house this fall. Oh and the ceilings as well.

It is a lot of work and each time there is a drastic colour change that it makes it fun. It is like starting over.

If I had to keep repainting in the same colour, I don't think I would repaint as often.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:26AM
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We painted our main living area (family room, foyer, stairway, upstairs hall) only two years ago. In the spring I diligently went around the house touching up the paint and to my horror, when the touchups dried they were a different color! The paint had already faded in only two years. It was expensive paint too (SW Duration Home) and I'll never use it again. I'm probably the only one who would ever notice the color difference. I can't repaint yet b/c DH would have a cow! I'll hold off for another two years before even bringing up the subject.

I think with kids and animals (or anyone who touches the walls a lot) you have to paint more often -- 3 -5 years sounds right.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:10AM
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I've painted every room in the house at least twice (3 times for two of them). I just finished painting the exterior for the 2nd time in 17 years. I don't have children so I mainly repaint to change color. But I've seen homes where there are children and I can understand why they need more frequent painting, mainly because children don't keep their fingers off the walls. One year my sister visited with her youngest child and after they left I had to repaint the hallway! If I had kids I would probably buy SW's paint that is specially made for rooms with children.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:45PM
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We've been in this house nine years and have painted the master bedroom and bath once, kitchen once, and den once. We had the exterior painted once shortly after we moved in, then a few years ago covered up a lot of the original wood siding with Hardiplank and had the trim painted again. That's it. Everything else is the same color painted by the PO (off white), but it's long overdue to be repainted. All our interior trim (except in the kitchen and the basement) and our front and back doors are stained wood, and we've left that alone, too.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:54PM
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I'm like mistybear, I like to paint so it changes often.
We've been in the house 12 years and most rooms on main floor have been painted 3x. Started with builder white, then I tried bolder colors (reds, dark blues & greens, etc) but realized that they're not for me (although I like them in other peoples homes) and now I'm settled on the softer greens & yellows. One specific wall (in hallway) has probably been painted 8 times - something about the way the light falls on it, it never looks right with the adjacent wall. Right now it's sponge painted in very soft colors which everyone else likes but I'm going to change it soon.

Our basement (kids bedrooms & family room) have only been done twice. But tomorrow we turn empty nesters and I might begin to tackle some of those rooms.

Had to laugh at nanny2a's comment about her hubby not noticing the paint color difference. It took hubby & son several weeks to notice new drapes I'd hung. And years ago in our old house, when we'd lived there well over 10 years, I asked my husband to get something from the cleaning closet. He looked at me and asked "and where would that be"? They just don't notice things that aren't important to them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:57PM
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I'm like mistybear, too. I paint each room every 3-4 years. This fall it's time for the kitchen. I usually do it in cycles, one or two rooms a year so I'm not painting the whole house at once. I love to paint because for me, it's instant gratification. And it's cheaper than therapy ;o)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 1:41PM
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We don't paint that often. But when we built our home (most rooms were white, a few had wallpaper when we built), and in 13 yrs. we've painted:
family room - original white paint and 2 other colors
sunroom - original white and one other color
kitchen - originally wallpapered and painted it a month ago
powder room - originally papered and painted it last year
dining room - still original wallpaper (but I really like it)
girl's bedrooms - have been repainted once
master bedroom - original white then painted two other colors
master bathroom - still original wallpaper
spare bedroom - original white then finally a year ago a color!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:29PM
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As little as humanly possible because DH and I both hate to paint! When the walls in this house are fixed-up enough to paint (PO made a real mess of them, between crappy roll-on "texturing" on the plaster walls and atrocious taping/mudding on the sheetrock ones) we'll be finding the most bulletproof non-shiny paint there is because kids aren't the only ones putting their hands on the walls... my balance isn't good so I'm constantly catching myself on the walls, especially in the stairwell which is too narrow to add a second handrail. (Another good argument for serious color instead of pastels or whites, IMO the fingermarks don't show as much!)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 1:55AM
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Every 2-3 years inside and out.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 2:04AM
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I can't wait to show this to my DH. He thinks you shouldn't repaint until at least 10 years! It's been 5 years & I'm ready to repaint!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:29AM
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We've painted a lot in the last 20 years due to smoking years ago. When we smoked I repainted every year. We quit smoking and only painted 2 x's in last 15 years. I think every 5 yrs. would be the norm unless you do have wear and tear and/or want a change of color scheme before then. We were getting ready to repaint 5 years ago when we then decided to start building, so we put it on hold till we're ready to sell. I'm so sick of these walls I could scream. I just try not to look at them. LOL

We use BM's eggshell latex and it's very durable and washable. Color stays true for a very long time without fading.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:17AM
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