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In the desert, the exterior of your home can take a real beating. But repainting those outside walls is a job that many Arizona homeowners fail to do often enough.

Even though quality painting can cost you from $2,500 to $5,000 for the average-sized home, painting every five or six years is cheaper and less trouble than repairing weather-beaten wood and stucco that fresh paint might have saved. Remember, that thin coat of paint is the main protection for your house from the super-hot sun in Arizona.

Signs of Trouble:

How do you know when it’s time to paint? Joe Campbell of the Arizona Painting Co. outlined these possible signs of trouble:

  • Run a dark towel over the stucco on the south and west side of your home. If you see chalking paint coming off or if it comes off on your hand, it’s a sign that your paint is turning to dust.
  • Inspect the stucco for cracks around windows, by the corners and along the foundation. If any cracks are thicker than a business card, it’s time to paint.
  • Check for peeling paint on wooden trim on your house – the eaves and the fascia. If it’s peeling, it’s no longer protecting that wood.
  • Look for rotted wood on the eaves or the corners of your trim. A dark area may be an area of dry rot that needs replacing.
  • If you have wooden siding check near the foundation to see if the siding is bowing out or bending. Look for peeling paint on the foundation as well.
  • If you have a patio ceiling covered in drywall as is the case with many homes in Central and Southern Arizona, look for tape seams coming loose, cracks appearing or texture coming off.

Proper Painting:

When you are ready to paint, here are the steps the painter that you hire should take in repainting your home:

1 | Cleaning

The entire house should be pressure-washed to clean up the surface.

2 | Clearing

Then rocks and soil should be moved away from the foundation so that painting can be done below the grade of the house.

3 | Repairs

Any loose or peeling paint should be removed from stucco or wood and needed repairs should be made. Holes and cracks in stucco should be filled, the drywall on the patio should be retextured if needed.

4 | Caulking

Caulking should be done around doors and windows. Bare surfaces should be primed with paint.

5 | First Coat

Then repainting should begin. Always use high-quality 100 percent acrylic flat paint for doing the outside of your house.

6 | Second Coat

After spraying on the paint, painters should back-roll using a roller that has been dipped in paint again to work the liquid into the stucco. If you’re changing the color of the house you may need another coat to properly cover the original paint job. Sometimes you might need a second coat anyway.

7 | Final Touches

Finally, the painters will be painting the doors and trim with semi-gloss and there will be touch-ups done on the rest of the job.

Now it’s time to step back and admire the finished product. The paint manufacturer may tell you that your beautiful paint job will last six or seven years, but as we said earlier, that might not necessarily be true in Arizona. So, keep an eye out for future problems, and please, don’t wait as long as you did the last time.


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