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How to Choose the Best Exterior Paint for your Home

choose the best exterior paint for your home

The way you feel about spring storms can change the minute you become a homeowner. Along with rain, wind, and hail come those panicky feelings: What is this going to do to my siding? Will my exterior paint job be able to handle all this rain? Will the work I’ve done on my home hold up in this weather?

Your fears are not overblown! The fact is that when paint begins to crack or peel, moisture caused by inclement weather can seep in and damage your home. If you want your exterior to stand up against the elements, you need to put some thought into what you’re using to smarten up your property.

Experts recommend choosing a coating that contains high quality resin to allow for breathable adhesion that will last, no matter what the weather. When you shop for the exterior paint, pay attention to the ratio of resin to pigment. Elastomeric coatings that allow for flexibility can keep rain and hail out while preventing those hairline cracks that can cause damage over time.

If you’re preparing to repaint your exterior, and you want to do it right, follow these tips to get the best exterior paint for your buck:

Use Alkyd or Acrylic Primer on Bare Wood.

If you’re painting on bare wood, use an alkyd or high-quality acrylic latex primer before you apply exterior paint. While some homeowners prefer the oil-based (alkyd) primer because of it’s tried and true reputation, many professionals select the acrylic latex because of its high quality. Whichever you choose, each primer is designed to fill the pores in the wood and give you a nice base for your paint. Be sure to spread your primer to the proper thickness to reap the rewards come stormy weather. If you run into knots that are difficult to cover, use a pigmented shellac.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to buy paint and primer together, read the labels. Oftentimes, the manufacturer will recommend a primer designed for peak performance.  

If you’re painting over old coatings, or if you have questions about your project, rely on our expertise. Our professionals are here to help you achieve the best results.  

If You’re Weatherproofing Smooth Siding, go for 100 Percent Acrylic.

For smooth siding constructed of either wood or cement board, we recommend 100 percent acrylic latex flat. This paint protects against hot sunlight better than any other paint on the market. It also hides dents or imperfections in your siding and gives you a nice finish for years to come. If you prefer a smoother surface that’s easier to clean, you can select “eggshell,” but stay away from high gloss paint, which is better suited for interiors.

Spending a few extra dollars for higher quality covering is well worth it for the adhesion and smooth coat. Because latex paints are more sensitive to temperature, we recommend that you call a professional if you have questions about which paints to use in your particular region.

Use 100 Percent Acrylic for Concrete and Brick Surfaces, as well.  

For concrete or masonry walls, including stucco, we also recommend 100 percent acrylic latex paint. Not only does this paint bind well to your surface, it also “breathes” to let moisture escape. This is necessary in any region of the country because if moisture gets under the surface, it will eventually ruin your paint job, creating headaches for you in the years ahead.

Whatever you do, don’t use oil-based paints on brick or concrete. The strong alkaline content in those cement blocks will shed your paint and create additional work for you.

Please Note: If the surface you’re painting has small cracks in it, you might want to try a thicker acrylic elastomeric paint. This paint is more flexible than regular acrylic. It is costlier, however, so it’s a good idea to discuss options with a professional if you’re not confident about the product.

When it’s Time to Paint the Trim, go for Acrylic in Gloss or Semigloss

The color you choose for the trim can brighten up your home and give you great curb appeal. For this detail work, you may use gloss or semigloss, as long as you’re sticking with 100 percent acrylic latex. This is the longest-lasting option for painting smooth trim, whatever the material. Because painting trim is such time-consuming work, you don’t want to have to go over it year after year. Thus, choosing a durable, long-lasting paint with a glossy sheen is the way to paint like a pro.

Pro Tip: If you’re painting over an old coat of oil-based paint, sand it first so your new covering will adhere.  

Learn More

If you’d like information about weatherproofing the exterior of your home, or if you’d like a quote from one of our seasoned professionals, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is always ready and willing to help!

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