How Beneficial is Life Time Paint to Exterior House Painting?

By Nicky Taylor (Marietta, Georgia)

Are you a homeowner who struggles with the decision of whether to use a life time warranted paint on the exterior of their home, or a less expensive 25 year warranted paint? I am often asked what I think about their prospective inclusion of life time paint for their house painting project. I usually respond by saying “it depends”.

The first thing you need to consider is: what are your expectations from life time paint? Are your expectations realistic?

Paint manufacturers love to sell you on the idea of life time paint. It’s good business for them. Although Life Time Paint will add some years to your paint job, it’s certainly easy for you to fall for this seemingly incredible warranty, considering the cost of having your house painted these days. However, are you getting what you believe you’re getting.

There are 4 basic reasons you will need to repaint your home.

  1. The paint you have now is faded and looks tired and dingy.
  2. The caulked joints of your home have separated allowing water too enter.
  3. There are places on you house where the paint is peeling.
  4. You decide you are tired of the old color and want a change.

Let’s take a closer look at these four reasons in relation to life time paint.

The truth is, life time warranted paints fade with exposure to sun light and weather, so if you are expecting it to look fresh 25 years from now, then you have been misled. First, you need to read the warranty of the life time paint.

Most warranties state that they cover excessive fading. Notice this does not mean “no fading”. It reads the same as a lesser grade paint. Life time warranted paints fade. Now you are back to the 1st reason you need to paint to begin with. Yes, it will maintain its fresh look longer than a lesser grade paint, but not a lot longer.

The caulked joints that have separated on your home are not caused from an inferior paint. Caulked joints separate due to expansion and contraction of the materials that constitute your home. Life time warranted paints can’t stop this movement; therefore, reason number 2 will still be in play if you paint with life time warranted paint.

For reason number 3 you have a clear advantage with some life time paints. Some life time paints are up to 70 percent thicker and have a greater ability to stretch. When it comes to peeling from the substrate, (this is important) because a paint that is 70 percent thicker and more flexible will make it much harder for the underlying paint to peel and release. Most warranties do not cover inner layer peeling, however, most life time paints do give a limited warranty against peeling.

It is possible that the inner layers of paint are so compromised that the problem extends beyond the capabilities of life time paint. This is especially true if the wood on the house wasn’t primed before the top coat was applied when the house was built.

Check the specification of the paint carefully. Some life time paints are not thicker than 25 year paints, therefore can’t offer the same protection as the thicker life time brands when it comes to peeling.

How many people want to live with the same color on their house for the rest of their life? I haven’t met anyone yet that could say they did, and I have been in this business for over 25 years. The truth is most people like change. The fresh new look of color change is important to most folks.

The strongest reason for using life time paints really may have nothing to do with the points listed above. It may have to do more with the fact you are planning to change the color.

Life time paints can save you money.

If you are planning on changing the colors of your home you may want to consider using the life time warranted paints. They can actually save you money, even though they cost nearly double the price of 25 year paint.

Consider this: Two coats usually cost you on average 60 to 70 percent more than a single coat for exterior house painting. In many cases the life time paint is thick enough to handle the color change in one coat. The difference between the cost of using one coat of life time paints and two coats of 25 year paint is going to be between $1,200 and $1,400 dollars. That’s a considerable savings.

Most manufacturers of life time warranted paints are counting on the average person moving every 6 to 8 years. The warranty is non transferable. If you do stay in the home long enough and make a claim on the paint, they will prorate any refund on the paint only, but not the labor.




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