Paint sheen is determined by the ratio of resins and binders to pigment levels in the paint. Paints with a high level of resins/binders create a high-sheen, shiny surface, while those where the pigment levels are high, create a less reflective surface. Generally speaking, glossier paints are more durable, while flatter paints are less resilient but cover better.
The frequency of your exterior repainting depends on several factors, including where you live, what your house is made out of, and what it was painted with. In North Texas, we’re protected from the salt sprays our coastal friends down south must consider. Even still, strong sunshine and excessive heat during the summer can take a serious toll on the life of your paint. Dark, oil-based paints may fade especially quickly. The paint may blister, too, or form bubbles on the surface. So there’s no concrete answer for how often to repaint your home — but if you start to see chips, cracks, bleaching, blistering, or any other issue that takes away from the appearance of your home, it’s time to consider repainting.
When the primer is dry, caulk all small joints (less than ¼-inch-wide) in the siding and trim. Most pros use siliconized acrylics—paint won't stick to straight silicones—but Guertin and O'Neil like the new, more expensive urethane acrylics for their greater flexibility and longevity. O'Neil stresses that it's shortsighted to skimp on caulk. "If the joint fails, you're back to square one." Guertin uses the lifetime rating as his quality guide. "I don't expect 35-year caulk will last 35 years, but it should last longer than a 15-year caulk."