How Long Does An Interior Paint Job Last

Interior Paint Job

In this article, you’ll learn the answer to the age-old question about how long an interior-paint job will last, as well as several tips to help your beautiful new paint job last longer than average.

How Long Does an Interior Paint Job Last?

So, how long does an interior paint job last?

Typically, the average paint job will last between 5-10 years, but can sometimes last longer than that depending on a variety of factors that we will discuss in this article.

Some factors, for example, depend on the activities the room will be used for, or the quality of paint that was applied. The amount of sunlight, smoke, or heat that the room will be exposed to will also affect how long the paint lasts.

While some homeowners may be more forgiving of general wear-and-tear of their interior paint, it is important to ensure that the paint you apply will last as long as possible.

How Long Does It Take for Paint to Fade?

How long take for Paint to Fade

As a rule of thumb, the quality of paint that you use for the interior paint job bears a direct result on the life expectancy. The higher the quality of paint, the longer the paint tends to last – and it looks better on your walls, while lower quality options tend to wear out, scuff, or fade much more quickly.

Latex or acrylic-latex paints have an expected lifespan of 2-10 years, while oil-based paint is much more durable and is typically expected to last longer, however, oil-based paints require a lot of ventilation to properly dry without chemical exposure to inhabitants.

No matter the life expectancy of your paint, the amount of activity in the room and exposure it has to sunlight and heat will factor into its overall lifespan.

How Long Does a Coat of Interior Paint Last?

The lifespan of a coat of paint is the same as the lifespan of two or three coats of paint, in many cases. While a cheaper, lower-quality paint may look as good in the can as a more expensive one, the quality of the paint bears a direct impact on its longevity once it’s on the wall. (1)

While all those cans you’ve got stacked up in storage may look the same, it’s important to understand that there are big differences among paint types that affect how long they’re good for.

– Forbes

For an evenly distributed, rich color that lasts, it’s important to always coat your walls in two or more coats of paint. This will ensure that the paint is coated enough to not show individual strokes or roll lines, and it lasts for a long time.

Wash the Walls on a Regular Basis

Washing Walls

Frequently washing your walls can go a long way in keeping an interior paint job from looking worn, even if it’s a quick wipe down with a soft cloth.

First, a quick bi-weekly dusting of the walls can prevent dirt stains and pollen buildup. Then, a quick washing can help keep everything spotless.

Avoid any abrasive cleaning methods such as scrubbing, alcohol, or any acetone-based cleaners. Try to keep in mind which type of paint was used, to ensure that you’re not applying a chemical that will take the color off.

Oil-based paints are more durable, while water-based paint can be washed, but it will diminish the color over time.

The best homemade cleaner you can use is liquid dish soap or vinegar that has been heavily diluted in warm water. Wash your walls carefully with a soft sponge or white cloth to ensure that the walls stay pristine.

Protect Your Paint with Corner Guards

The corners of a room are most susceptible to damage, often receiving more than the rest of the wall, particularly in high-traffic areas. Accidental impacts with bodies, furniture, or items diminish the overall appearance and lifespan of your interior paint job.

Corner guards are the perfect way to prevent this from becoming a problem and provide protection for your walls. These guards wrap around the corners and come in a variety of materials such as metal, vinyl, or rubber.

Install Window Treatments to Keep Sunlight from Fading Paint

Window Treatment

Sun exposure is the bane of interior paint. Direct sunlight bleaches your walls and diminishes the life expectancy of your paint. The sun gives off UV rays that react and change the pigment of your paint, breaking it down and causing the intensity and richness of the color to fade.

To prevent this from happening, windows should be treated. Interior shades or drapes are useful in blocking or deflecting this solar radiation from directly impacting the paint over time. Another option is to install exterior shades, which have the added functionality of protecting your windows from damage from wind or debris throughout the year.

Repair Damages Quickly

Interior paint does receive wear and tear over time from stains, getting chipped, peeling, or accidental bumps and dings. To keep your walls from becoming an eyesore, it’s recommended to repair them quickly as soon as you notice damage.

While it is possible to do this on your own, it is highly recommended to have a professional perform these repairs to ensure that you get the perfect match in paint quality and color. With DIY work, it is easy to cause even more blemishes on your walls with improper techniques.

A professional interior painting specialist will know specifics on how to go forward, whether you need a paint touchup or some sanding and spackle.

How Often Should You Repaint Interior Walls?

Repaint Interior Walls

An interior paint job should last anywhere from 5-10 years when maintained properly. This depends on the level of activity, the quality of paint, and other factors previously mentioned; however, it is common to repaint walls much more frequently than that.

Most homeowners repaint their walls every 3-7 years. Outside of general wear and tear, your sense of style or use for certain rooms will change. Remodeling is one of the main reasons a new paint job might be required.

The Main Reason Why Paint Won’t Last: Activity, Smoke, and Water

Interior paint does eventually fade over time, but paint that is subjected to certain elements may not last nearly as long. The most common issue is high activity in the room; a child’s playroom or busy kitchen will have paint fade much faster than others.

Smoking within the home can build up a layer of residue that will stain your walls a dingy yellow. Kitchen smoke can have the same effect, discoloring the walls and creating a residue along the affected areas.

Water damage is another frequent cause for your interior paint to fade faster than normal. A room that sees moisture and condensation often, such as a bathroom, is liable to suffer from fading faster than most other rooms unless a moisture-resistant paint is used.

How to Keep Your Walls Looking Great for a Long Time

Proper maintenance and care to protect your walls from the elements goes a long way in extending the lifespan of your paint.

Dusting keeps debris and pollen from building up on the wall surface and giving them a dingy appearance. You can prevent blemishes along high-traffic corners by applying corner guards. Installation of window shades and treatments can help prevent sun damage from UV rays where appropriate.

Paint Quality and Color

Paint Quality and Color

A high-quality paint will last longer and is easier to clean than a less expensive, lower quality paint. Likewise, the color and type can affect its longevity as well. For example, a high sheen finish is more durable than a matte finish.

The gradual fading of pale colors, such as eggshell or ivory is far less noticeable than a dark or vibrant color, though pastels fit into the midground where they fade much easier and are much more noticeable. These colors will need more maintenance to keep them in top condition.

How Can You Tell if Paint is Bad?

Paint can go bad even in storage if it is not properly kept. Fortunately, it is easy to tell whether the paint has gone bad before you use it. Sometimes, paint may give off a moldy or musty scent from bacterial contamination. Unused paint will settle and separate over time, becoming chunky or watery. A can of paint may also dry out if it is not stored correctly.

Hire a Professional for Longer-lasting Paint

While you may want to do your own interior painting, the results aren’t likely to turn out in your favor. Don’t just get to painting after a quick trip to the hardware store and a YouTube video; consider hiring someone experienced and skilled in the field.

A professional painter has the exterior and knowledge to help you find a long-lasting, quality paint for your home no matter the conditions. If you need help finding a local interior painter, just use Same Day Pros’ professional directory today!


  1. Forbes, How Long Does Paint Last,

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