- Exterior paint has to stand up to a whole lot of punishment, from rain to sun to snow to wind to mud and so much more.
- So before you pick exterior paint colors, make sure you pick a brand you can trust.
- Behr Premium Plus Satin Enamel Exterior Paint is our top choice thanks to its celebrated durability and great color options.
The most challenging decision you’ll have to make when selecting an exterior paint has nothing to do with the type of paint, and everything to do with the color (or colors). And friend, I’m not going touch that issue with a ten foot pole. Picking the best paint colors for your property is a process that involves time, effort, and the occasional marriage counselor. So good luck with that, and send me pictures once it’s all over and done with.
What I can do, however, is recommend a few great brands of paint that will work well for various exterior painting applications, because not all exterior paints are equally suited to different surfaces. Before we talk about specific brands, lets have a quick primer on what type of exterior paint to use on different materials.
Latex-based exterior paints are generally the best choice for outdoor painting projects like a home’s walls and trim. Latex paints dry quickly, imperfections caught during the process are easy to clean, and latex paint expands and contracts well with seasonal temperature changes. However, it will bubble and peel if applied over existing oil-based paint, so if you’re painting a new coat atop existing paint, you have match the substance applied earlier.
As for finish, it’s mainly a matter of aesthetic choice, but there are a few things to note. Gloss paints are the most resistant to damage and the easiest to clean, but a gloss finish shows imperfections and looks out of place when used on a larger scale. Gloss or semi-gloss paints are ideal for window trim and doorframes, while semi-gloss is a good choice for exterior doors, provided the door to be painted is in good condition. This is also a good choice for brick, as it helps seal the porous material.
Eggshell finish exterior paint, also often called satin finish, is well suited to vinyl, wood planks, or fiber cement siding that’s newer and/or in good repair.
Flat paint finishes are generally less popular for exteriors these days, with one exception: Older homes, or those with a fair amount of wear-and-tear and imperfections on the exterior regardless of age, can benefit from the flaw-masking ability of flat paint finishes. Flat paint probably won’t last as long as glossier options, but it can make the place look better in the shorter term, and it’s easy to touch up.