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How Often You Should Repaint Schools, by Space, and Why

By February 15, 2023Painting Tips, Uncategorized

How often you should repaint schools? That answer may vary. The general rule of thumb is that over ten years, your entire school should have been repainted, inside and out, at least once. However, there is a lot that goes into deciding how often you should repaint, which could mean you need to repaint more or less, especially in high-traffic, high-used spaces. Here is all you need to know about how often you should repaint your school.

Why might you need to re:paint

It is necessary to know why you might repaint your school, so it can help you determine if it is time for a repaint or if you can patch and touch up. The top five reasons why you might need to repaint your school are:

  1. Your paint is chipping. That is a safety, and even health hazard, to your students.
  2. The color has changed. Over time, the sun and lights can make colors fade, often unevenly.
  3. Enhance school spirit! Painting your walls in your school colors, and even adding your school’s mascot and slogans, can get students in the school spirit!
  4. The colors no longer serve the same purpose. Maybe a room painted a dark color used to get a lot of light. However, since then, a tree just outside the window grew bigger or was just planted. Now, that once bright room is dark. It may be time to repaint that room a bright color.
  5. Those paint patches from years past are starting to show!

Re:painting your schools exterior

When repainting any exterior, it’s best to repaint every 5-7 years. However, some elements affect how often you should repaint your building. Here are the top four reasons:

  1. The biggest thing is location. If you are closer to the ocean, or a large body of salt water, then the increased salt in the air will make your paint chip easier and sooner. If your building gets a lot of sunlight, your paint will fade faster. Because of this, you may also notice that some sides of your building will fade faster than others. The more a wall sees the sun, the more its colors will fade. However, when painting the exterior of your building, it might be easier and cheaper to do all sides at once.
  2. Building surfaces. If your building is exposed stone or brick, you will need to power wash it every 5-7 years. Doing so will clean off moss, mold and other goop that can be dangerous to students. If trim work around windows and doors is wooden, it is best to get them repainted when the building is being power washed. Before painting, you will need to get it washed anyway, plus it will make that wash sparkle!
  3. If it’s painted stone or brick, then you’ll need to repaint closer to seven years, since paint sticks to stone and brick well.
  4. Stucco. You can even go up to ten years before you resurface it. Most stucco systems today are designed to help make that freshness and color last.

How often should you re:paint your school’s interior based on room and why:

Bathrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms, swimming pool rooms, or any rooms with increased moisture

These spaces will need repainting more than the rest because the increased moisture in the air will make the paint chip and peel more. You should repaint every 3-5 years.


Just as often as the locker rooms. Gymnasiums may also have increased moisture in the air, but not as much as bathrooms. However, gym walls see more action and damage, with balls bouncing off them, people hitting them with equipment and carts, and even mats on the walls falling off. Because of these incidents, it is best to repaint them every 3-5 years.

Cafeterias, Kitchens and Home Economics Classrooms

With all the food and prep work that goes into these spaces, if they are not tile or sequential walls, it can be harder to clean the walls in these spaces; This can cause a build-up of grease splatter, stains, and smoke. To help keep your walls clean, you should repaint them every 4-5 years. If you have tile or sequential walls, you should still repaint any trim or painted parts of the walls within this timeframe.


You can get away with repainting your auditorium less often. If your auditorium is the typical dark room with a lit-up stage, chances are you are not taping posters around the room since the room tends to be dark most of the time. You might want to repaint the stage area, depending on if you have big curtains or not, more often than the rest of the room. In general, you can get away with a total repaint every 7-10 years. If your auditorium is more like a gymnatorium or is very well-lit, then you’re going to want to paint closer to every seven years.

Offices and Meeting Rooms

It is easier to keep your walls clean in these spaces. They see less action than the rest of the school, and you can install corkboards and tell the staff working in these areas to only post on them. That will limit tape, tacks, screws and nails in and on your walls, therefore increasing the life of your paint job. You should repaint these spaces every 7-10 years.

Halls and Lobbies

These spaces may differ depending on the type of school. For example, it may be easier to do the corkboard trick in a high school or college. However, in an elementary school, or a school that focuses more on being creative, students and faculty may venture out more in these spaces. Back when I was in 2nd grade, my class decorated my school’s lobby like a rainforest. We had paper vines taped on every wall and ceiling, trees made out of giant cardboard and paper animals all over the place! It was so fun, plus, we learned a lot about the rainforest and animals.

However, all that tape ruined the school’s old walls. They repainted the lobby (and classrooms) every year. It would not have been as fun and memorable if we had to post within the bulletin boards. So, if your school is going all out like that, then repainting every four years with touch-ups yearly would be best. If not, you can make it last every seven years. These rooms still get worn down with high traffic and doors opening into the weather, so touch-ups, or even just hitting some spots with a Magic Eraser, are still needed between repaints.


Since we are talking about my schooling experience, I remember in elementary school and middle school at the end of the year, we would have to help our teachers remove everything from the classrooms, piling it all in the hallways because the 1st day of summer break they would have every classroom repainted. Now that may be too much for your school. If your school building is newer than the schools I went to where the walls were made of horsehair, and if you use high-quality paints, then you can make your repainting job last longer. These newer walls will only need to repainted every 3-4 years, while doing damage control, every year. High school and college classroom paint jobs can much last longer without a repaint job.


Dorm Rooms and Student Housing

Okay, we all know these areas get a lot of foot traffic, so there may be a lot of damage repairs needed in these rooms. It is safe to say every 3 years, all housing rooms should be repainted. However, if a room is in really bad condition, then repainting is needed on a case-by-case basis. It is also common for schools to repaint dorm rooms every summer. This is used more as a marketing reason to say, “look how new our rooms look!”



Why should you hire an experienced painting contractor to re:paint?

Painting can be a bigger project than one thinks. Having your current maintenance staff execute the painting, can make the project take longer since they will still have to attend to other maintenance duties. Schools need to use their time wisely. They most likely will repaint during a break and would like it finished before school restarts. This can lead to half-fast jobs, requiring the in-house team to redo the job, costing you more, to fix unfinished/uneven painting. This is where re:fab can help! Whether you need to do some touch-ups and wall repairs, or you need the whole school repainted, re:fab’s team of experts can get the project done, on time and on budget. So, your maintenance team can worry about the day-to-day, you can worry about everything else, and your school buildings will get the proper refresh it deserves.

Now that you know when it is time to repaint your school, you can contact re:fab today for your free quote. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to paint a school!  


Source: How often does my school need repainting? 5 factors that affect the lifespan of your paint — National Group (

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