Why is My Exterior Paint Peeling?

Did you know that the very same paint that peels on some surfaces can bind firmly on other surfaces for ten to twenty years? 

When you spot peeling paint, this is usually a signal that you need a new paint job. It can also alert you to other maintenance and repair problems. 

A professional exterior painting job in Vancouver should last five to ten years, but a number of factors can affect this. 

Reasons Why Exterior Paint Peels 

It’s normal for peeling to happen over time, but taking the right steps when you first paint, as well as maintaining it properly through the years, can help to prolong this. 

A few factors which can cause paint to peel include: 

  • Lack of surface preparation or painting an unclean surface
  • Painting in adverse weather conditions
  • Using a low quality paint that has poor grip and flexibility
  • Using indoor paint or another type not suited to stand up to weather 

Here’s more information about why paint peels. 

Type of Paint

High quality acrylic paint typically lasts longer than oil-based paints. Look for exterior paint with all-acrylic binders as they are typically more weather resistant than vinyl paints.


Most exterior paint peels when the coating gets too thick and the paint film becomes rigid. Old homes that have undergone several repaints through the years can be covered by 15 coats or more. 

But even on recently built homes, paint peeling can be attributed to construction errors such as using soft pine lumber for trim, and failing to prime cut ends. 

Temperature Changes 

Changes in temperature and humidity cause the wood to expand and contract, causing the paint film to split. Total failure of the paint occurs when dry paint film tears through at least one coating. 

These splits in the paint surface appear as very thin cracks at an early stage. These later on lead to chipping paint and the inevitable peeling. 

Water Damage 

Water vapor trapped between wood and paint breaks the paint’s adhesion to the wood’s surface. As a result, water working its way outward causes cracking. 

External moisture finds its way in through the small cracks, which leads to bigger cracks. Paint peeling and flaking caused by water damage can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior paint job.

How to Make Your Exterior Paint Last Longer

When it comes to exterior paint, there are a few things you can do to make paint last longer, including: 

  • Annual inspection, repair, and maintenance of peeling areas 
  • The use of high-grade caulk 
  • Keeping the house exterior well-maintained can lower the cost of repainting by doing away with much prep time. A ruined paint job has to be entirely stripped off and may entail the huge job of repainting.
  • Painting cycles that are far between can prevent paint from building up fast. Multiple layers of paint tend to get rigid and crack more easily.

If annual maintenance means too much work for you, you can always take a load off by hiring a professional painter for maintenance every year or two. They will be able to make recommendations on how to keep your paint looking pristine. 

Hire Lower Mainland Professional Painters  

If you’re looking to hire dependable painting experts in the Vancouver BC area, Tall Guy Painting is just a phone call away. 

We offer professional home exterior and interior painting jobs at competitive rates, and with excellent results that last. 

Call (778) 683-5397 or drop us a note to get a free quote.

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