Unlike interior paint, exterior paint must withstand the weather. This is a much more complex process than most people imagine. When it comes to summer, it must withstand the heat. Of course, as with anything that dries out, cracking occurs. Consequently, exterior paint must not crack. In terms of expanding and contracting due to varying temperatures, exterior paint must either not expand, or it must do so without cracking. Every winter, it must withstand freezing temperatures without swelling, cracking, or chipping. Finally, when it rains, it must not erode or dissolve, and when the rain disappears, sunlight must not be allowed to fade it.
In terms of people, exterior paint does not exist in a vacuum. Deck paint, for instance, must withstand constant foot traffic. Siding paint must withstand painting and washing. Door paint or window paint must withstand the sliding and scraping that comes with opening and closing doors and windows, respectively.
In short, the best exterior paint must be among the toughest, most resilient materials on the planet–and it is.
That said, not all exterior paint is as hardy as it should be. When selecting exterior paint, you must consider a variety of factors, such as type, sheen, and how many coats are required.
Best Exterior Paint Buyers Guide
Exterior paint comes in two types: oil and latex (water-based). Oil-based paints are impervious to water. Latex paints are more susceptible to dissolving.
Exterior paint comes in a variety of sheens or finishes. For instance, gloss is the shiniest of paints. It is preferable to trim and shutters. It cleans easily with water, and it is easy to maintain.
Semi-gloss has a moderate amount of gloss, but it is somewhat flat in comparison to gloss. Semi-gloss is also easy to maintain, and it resists water.
Satin is a low-luster paint that is popular for siding. It provides a light sheen, yet it is not reflective like semi-gloss or gloss.
Flat is the dullest. It works well on worn surfaces such as scratched metal, vinyl, or scarred wood. It is thick and fills in imperfections, so it is often used as a primer or by itself to give old surfaces a new appearance.
Different paints apply differently. Consequently, some require one coat while others require several. Although one-coat paints might generally be more expensive than thinner paints, they require less work and are often better able to combat the elements.
Best Exterior Paint Reviews
This exterior siding, fence, and barn paint from Kilz features a water-and-oil-base formula that ensures extraordinary penetration, longevity, and adhesion throughout a variety of weather conditions.
Depending on the substrate porosity and the method used for application, Kilz exterior paint will cover between 200 and 500 square feet (sf) per gallon. Within two to three hours, the paint will be dry to the touch and ready for re-coating in as little as six to eight hours. For best results, it is recommended that all loose dirt, debris, and peeling paint be removed before painting.
This paint is versatile in its application. For instance, you can use a 3/8-inch or 3/4-inch nap roller or a brush made of nylon or polyester. For professional application, it is recommended that you keep an edge of the brush wet and always back-roll or back-brush throughout whichever method of application you choose.
- comes in white and red
- ready to re-coat in six to eight hours
- clean with water and soap
- is mildew resistant
- award-winning paint
- available in red and white only
You can revitalize the look of your home with the exterior, mildew-performance paint from Rust-Oleum. Manufactured in the United States, 03101 is guaranteed for five years against mold and mildew.
In terms of sheen, this is a water-based paint with a satin finish. When painting, there is no need to apply primer as this paint is self-priming.
- resists mold and mildew
- 15-year warranty
- comes in white only
If your patio is showing signs of wear and tear, you should consider the interior-exterior, porch-and-patio, floor paint from Kilz. This latex paint is extremely durable and is resistant to fading, peeling, and cracking. It is very easy to clean and includes a mildew-resistant film.
The low-luster enamel ensures a finish that is less porous and much harder than other latex paints. Consequently, it will withstand the daily use of your porch, deck, and patio floors. That said, due to its durability, this pain is also perfect for any previously painted or primed surfaces, including siding, trellises, and trim.
After application, this paint has a low-luster finish that dries smooth and evenly. Finally, it is ready for a second coat in just four to six hours.
- mildew-resistant film
- covers 200 sf to 300 sf for rough surfaces
- covers 300 sf to 400 sf for smooth surfaces
- can be used in an airless sprayer
- not self-priming
You can bring your patio furniture back to its original luster with this exterior paint from Rust-Oleum. The hammered metal finish expertly hides any imperfections or flaws you can see in rusted, pitted, or scratched metals. Additionally, this paint will make your interior and exterior surfaces virtually corrosion and weather resistant.
This paint is comprised of an oil-based formula that delivers a highly-durable coating. Once the paint dries, it will withstand a variety of weather conditions. Additionally, it provides superior rust prevention and is resistant to chipping, fading, and abrasion. Because it is so durable and has superior adhesion, this paint is a perfect match for a variety of surfaces, such as stone, metal, and wood.
- variety of colors available
- dries to touch in 30 minutes
- covers 100 square feet
- no primer needed
- covers imperfections
- a minimum of two coats required
You can be sure there will be no more unexpected slipping or sliding with RTG deck paint. This anti-slip paint for decks, porches, and patios delivers a fast-drying, textured finish that provides extra traction. That said, the finish is attractive–not abrasive like some other anti-slip coatings. The end result is a beautiful deck capable of withstanding the damage harsh weather conditions and heavy foot traffic are known to cause.
To apply it, you can either use a brush or roller. However, when using a roller, a 1/4-inch nap is recommended for smoother surfaces. For applications on surfaces with deeper textures, such as masonry, a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch nap is highly recommended.
- covers 80 sf to 100 sf per one quart
- four neutral colors available
- traffic resistant
- rough texture
If you are looking for an all-purpose latex paint, the white, latex-enamel paint by Olympic will provide you a primer-paint solution that is resistant to both mold and mildew. It is 100-percent acrylic, so it will dry hard and secure, providing superior protection to siding, decks, or sheds. Additionally, its adhesive properties make it a good choice for siding, wood, or brick.
In terms of sheen, it is a semi-gloss paint, making it also a good choice for garage, window, or door trim. In terms of performance, Olympic backs this paint with their lifetime-satisfaction guarantee, which simply states if you do not like it, for whatever reason, they will replace it. Additionally, the five-gallon container makes it a more economic investment than purchasing gallon cans. For large painting projects, Olympic One White Latex performs.
- all-in-one primer-paint
- lifetime-satisfaction guarantee
- can be mixed with other paints colors
- superior adhesion for use on a variety of surfaces
- slightly higher price than budget paints
This gallon can of Rust-Oleum is designed to do one thing: stop rust. It is a black, oil-based paint designed for variety of metal surfaces, including automobiles, mailboxes, or sheds. Its superior coverage eliminates the need for additional coats, and its superior durability ensures you do not have to touch up the paint season after season. For instance, it is fade resistant, and its enamel coating resists scratching and chipping.
- In terms of ease-of-use, it dries within four hours, making it a good paint for weekend or evening projects.
- Additionally, it will cover up to 100 square feet–in one coat.
- does not work on plastics
Of course, most exterior paints are hardy paints. However, few interior paints are hardy enough to withstanding the punishment dealt by mother nature. Behr’s white, semi-gloss, enamel paint, however, works well for interior projects–as well as exterior ones. Yes, this paint is just that tough.
- In addition to drying tough, this enamel paint resists a variety of chemicals, making it easy to wash and upkeep.
- Maintaining the paint, for instance, is easy in that you can spray it with a power washer. Additionally, you can wash it with window cleaner or spray cleaner, and it will not fade.
- Finally, it is mildew resistant, so deck surfaces will not turn black over the course of the season.
- premium paint comes at a slightly higher per-gallon price
Valspar is another premium paint designed to protect just about any surface from harsh, seasonal elements. It is a perfect choice for multiple surfaces. Additionally, as a latex-enamel paint, it is easy to clean and maintain. In fact, it dries hard enough to be impervious to scrubbing, and it can take a significant impact without chipping.
Its semi-gloss finish makes it perfect for trim, but is also good for broader expanses, such as sheds, requiring a fresh, clean appearance. Regarding safety, it is non-toxic. Basically, this paint is so easy to apply and maintain that it is a perfect choice for professionals as well as for people who do not like to paint.
- tough and resilient
- fade resistant
- available in a variety of volumes
- variety of colors available
- for interior and exterior application
- use on a variety of surfaces
This paint-and-primer, exterior paint by Nikki Chu is a top choice for people requiring large volumes of paint for large projects. For instance, it comes in a variety of neutral shades, making it a great option for whole-home projects, sheds, or other large structures. It comes premixed in a variety of sheens, and it is imbued with a high-hiding formula that provides it superior coverage capabilities. As such, it is perfect for both smooth or rough surfaces.
Finally, as the paint repels stains and debris, it can be maintained with soap and water. In terms of its chemical makeup, it offers a low odor, so painting is as pleasant as painting will ever be.
- low odor
- premium coverage capabilities
- available in a variety of neutral shades
- more expensive than many budget paints
Note: budget paints require multiple coats. This paint is designed specifically to create a lustrous coat–in just one application.