Care & Maintenance

Person painting a house with a wide brush

All paint coatings require some level of care and maintenance. With a little effort, you can keep your painted surfaces looking new longer and maximize the life of your project.

Maintenance and Service Life

Use top of the line coatings for maximum longevity and performance.  High quality paints provide better surface protection, are easier to maintain, and reduce repaint frequency.

Inspect painted surfaces every 3-6 months and clean, repair, touch up, or repaint as needed.  Routine inspections of your paint job will help to proactively identify maintenance needs and avoid major issues.

Allow up to 30 days after final application for full cure and durability of your painted surface. Although a paint can be dry to the touch in as little as an hour, most paints take up to 30 days to fully cure and to achieve full performance characteristics.

Extra care should be given when using darker colors. Darker paint colors will require more time to cure than lighter paint colors.  They may also show marks, discolor, or damage more easily and require more frequent maintenance.

Cleaning a Painted Surface

General cleaning should wait until at least two weeks after final paint application.   Always test your cleaning method on a small area to ensure that it does not damage the paint film and meets your needs before applying to the entire surface.  Do not use aggressive chemicals or cleaning solutions.  Dirt and other surface contaminants can often be cleaned with a new, soft cotton cloth or sponge and fresh water.  Mild detergent may be added to the water for heavy dirt or contaminants.  A soft bristle brush or power washer on a low-pressure setting can be used for exterior surfaces. Mildew should be cleaned using a 3 to 1 mixture of water and household bleach on a soft cotton cloth or sponge.  Allow the solution to sit on the surface at least 20 minutes before washing off.  Do not paint directly over mildew. Once cleaning is completed, lightly wash down the entire surface with clean water and ensure any cleaning solution is removed.  Repeat cleaning steps if necessary.

Stains that cannot be removed through cleaning should be primed with an appropriate stain blocking primer and repainted.

Touching Up a Painted Surface

General touch ups may be needed periodically to repair or maintain painted surfaces.

Apply touch up paint in light coats feathering the edges to blend the finish.  Whenever possible, touch up using the same application method used when the coating was originally applied to help with uniformity (touch up rolled surfaces with a roller, brushed surfaces with a brush, etc.).  Thinning touch up paint a small amount may help it to blend with the existing finish.

Whenever possible, the paint originally used to complete the project should be used for touch ups.  Each batch of paint will have a natural variance in color and sheen.  Touching up with the same material that was originally used to paint the project will provide the best color and sheen match.  When painting is first completed, retain some of the original material in a tightly sealed container and location where it will be protected from freezing.  If more material is needed, intermix the new material with the original material for a better match.

Paint finish, or sheen, will often impact the overall look of a touch up.  Generally, flat and lower sheen paints will pick up less light allowing touch ups to blend easier.  Higher sheen paints will be more difficult to touch up, as the newly painted area may reflect light differently.  In areas with critical light such as long hallways or rooms with large windows, touch ups from lower sheen paints may still be noticeable and require repainting.

Corner-to-corner painting is an excellent way to blend in areas that need significant touch ups or have critical light.  Applying an even coat to the entire section will help color and sheen uniformity.  Corner-to-corner painting is also helpful when the original material is not available for touch up.

Testing is important to ensure touch ups meet your expectation for consistency.  Apply a small amount of the touch up paint in an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry before touching up the entire project.  If the touch up is too visible, corner-to-corner painting is recommended to achieve consistency.