Every property needs a great coat of paint, and not only is the right color an attractive choice, but paint will also protect a property from the elements. Regardless of interior or exterior paint, regular maintenance is a must, and a few warning signs might also point to larger problems within a home.

Painting inside and outside of a house is a big task, and it is also very important for several reasons. A fresh paint job could improve the look of a home, and it might also increase equity. Not only does an attractive coat on the outside draw potential buyers into a home when selling, but it could set the tone for the entire showing.

Even if the homeowner intends to stay put for years to come, a home inspection might spot any areas of concern, as well as figure out where paint was used to cover up serious defects. 

Exterior painting don'ts

Clint McKie, a home inspection professional, recently contributed to real estate website Active Rain about a paint job he witnessed that raised more questions than it should have. 

Since painting the exterior of a property is time consuming, some people turn immediately to the spray can. McKie recommended caution, because an all-encompassing coating might paint over more than just the walls.

For example, he saw a number of items on one home that shouldn't have been painted over. Not only was the plastic dryer exhaust hood covered in beige, it now was stuck together with paint, rendering it inefficient.

The exhaust hood wasn't the only thing covered, and McKie said that the electrical panels weren't taped off, and the areas around them weren't painted by hand. The result was a random coating, leaving only small spots where the original color remained. 

A buyer should have a property inspection completed before making an offer, to discover if any paint has ruined critical home components. A bad paint job not only looks terrible, but it can make a person question what else is wrong inside the home. 

Paint warning signs

Eventually, even the best paint begins to show signs of wear and tear. Regular maintenance is a must for homeowners, and some symptoms that pop up could signal the right time to act.

For instance, peeling pain, both inside and outside a home, might indicate a moisture problem. Wet wood will cause this to happen, according to TLC. That might mean better ventilation is required, or a new coat using latex primer and paint. 

Another moisture warning sign is blistering, which could also appear due to incorrect painting techniques. If a homeowner is curious about the problem, scraping away the blisters might hold the answer. Dry wood behind them may signal a moisture problem - if there's more paint instead, then the source is the wrong type, TLC noted.

If any concerns with paint aren't easily solved, a property inspection might be able to clear up any lingering issues.

Getting rid of lead paint

The older a home is, the more likely there could be lead paint. This is highly dangerous for small children, and it should be removed immediately. The news isn't all bad, however, and if it is present lead paint is a solvable problem, according to Chris Hintz, industrial hygienist, who explained some frequent issues to MSN Real Estate. 

The first step is spotting affected areas. A home inspection could help, and owners should be aware of several indicators of lead paint. Peeling or flaking walls might provide a clue, and small chunks are easier for children to ingest.

In addition, windows are a common source of lead paint, Hintz stated. Constant opening and closing could lead to paint chips breaking off. Simple solutions include painting over problem areas, as long as the lead isn't falling off.