Implement a painting maintenance plan

Property maintenance directly impacts a school’s reputation, appearance, and general morale.

So why does it tend to be low on a School Board’s list of priorities? When budgets are tight, working preventative measures into your financial plan can grease the wheels with executives and send a positive message to your school community.

The simple strategy schools neglect

Painting maintenance sets school buildings apart—even if a school is struggling on the inside, well-kept walls work wonders to keep up appearances. On the other hand, shoddy paintwork puts off prospective parents and does little to instil pride in a student body.

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To get on top of finances and keep your school in tip-top condition, implement preventative maintenance by scheduling lower cost regular cleaning and carry out preventative fixes. The goal is to avoid the need for another full-scale renovation down the road once complaints and hazards start to roll in. Choice of paint is important too—opt for higher quality, durable paints that won’t wear as quickly and ask the manufacturer for specific cleaning and maintenance advice.

Schools can schedule an audit first to identify any areas of concern, recommend and/or carry out necessary  repaints and work with you to schedule routine maintenance. An annual wash, depending on the location of the school, can help paint last longer while re-coating faded areas can improve overall durability.

Planning 101: What needs to be maintained?

First, check the damage. Weather is a critical offender when it comes to paint longevity. Strong UV rays cause fading and colour morphing, while winds and rain dirty paintwork and eventually cause cracks and splits. Ignored for too long, the only remedy is to strip the walls and repaint, but scheduled maintenance can stave this off by brushing, sanding, and treating where needed.

Water damage is a nastier offshoot and can be hard to spot unless you specialise in building maintenance—another benefit of scheduling regular professional attention—but bubbling paint, mould, peeling, and staining are all tell-tale signs that need to be assessed for health and safety. This is important for interior and exterior painting both. Another maintenance woe for schools involves vandalism and graffiti. Along with general wear and tear from rogue soccer balls and illicit skateboarding, these kinds of marks are likely to attract copycat behaviour, so regular deep cleaning works as a deterrent.

Supplier Specialists Sound-off: Colour and design trends for educational environments

To seek advice for schools on selecting colours that can enhance learning and encourage interactivity, School News sat down with three industry specialists from Dulux New Zealand, Specification Consultant Megan Meads, Colour and Design Specialist Davina Harper, and National Specification Manager Simon Blincoe.   

“We are seeing a trend towards more sophisticated colour palettes and more refined colour combinations. The key with education colours is to keep them relatively earthy and neutral in learning spaces like classrooms and lecture rooms, while using brighter and bolder hues in break-out spaces.   

“More schools are wanting to blend into their surroundings too, so we are seeing more use of timber and concrete. We recommend that schools choose a paint range that has independent third-party certifications from environmental programmes, a washable finish, and uses very low volatile organic compounds that are ultra-low odour. For the exteriors, we are seeing a lot of new builds and extensions, wanting to create large open spaces with moveable walls, so paint that is specially designed to provide a tough, hard-wearing finish for the exterior walls helps ensure weather protection.    

“Free colour and coating consultation is available for advice so that facility managers and school authorities can make informed decisions when refurbishing an education facility.”  


Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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