Give your exterior surfaces a new look with the right paints
A coat of paint not only creates an attractive appearance for years to come,
it also protects exterior surfaces from moisture, fading and temperature
changes. A high-quality paint will provide better protection, complete
coverage, easier application and longer-lasting results. When it comes to
buying paint, you have lots of choices, some determined by your application
and others that are based solely on your preference. Before you learn about
all of the options available to you, use the following questions to focus in
on the needs of your project:
Quality, Types, Tips and Primer
High-quality paint is important for any project, but it’s especially important for exterior projects, which are subjected to harsh weather conditions day in and day out. Take some time to consider long-term benefits of better paints in addition to their initial cost. A good paint will require fewer coats and last longer, saving you money and time in the long run.
Water-Based vs. Oil-Based: In general, water-based paints are preferred for most exterior applications, but oil-based paints may perform better under certain conditions. Water-based paints are flexible enough to expand and contract with the siding on a house, they’re breathable, so they won’t trap moisture and crack or peel, and they dry significantly faster. Oil paints usually take between 8 and 24 hours to dry, while water-based paints dry in just 1 to 6 hours. Oil-based paints offer better adhesion and stain blocking, so they’re better for chalky surfaces, stained surfaces, bleeding woods (tannin or sap) and metals that rust.
|Paint Base||Description||Major Advantages|
|Oil-based (alkyd)||Consist of a pigment and resin in a solvent thinner. When thinners evaporate, the resins form a hard coating, leaving behind the pigment (which provides the color).||
|Water-based (acrylic; latex)||Consist of a pigment and binder with water used as carrier.||
Primer: Bare wood and some other bare surfaces need to be primed before you paint them. Like paints, primers come in oil- and water-based varieties. Oil-based primers are suitable for use with oil- or water-based paints, so you could prime a chalky surface with oil-based primer for better adhesion and still take advantage of the benefits of latex paint. Water-based primer is not recommended for use under oil-based paint.
Paint Types: Unlike interior paint, exterior paint must withstand a
variety of harsh external influences. For this reason, exterior paint is
offered in several "specialty" formulas designed to meet the specific
requirements of your substrate. Use this chart to select the paint that is
appropriate for your outdoor painting project:
|Paint Type||What You Should Know|
|Pool and Marine Paint||
Surface Preparation: Even the best paints won’t adhere well or produce good results if you don’t prepare the surface correctly. If the surface has been painted, check for peeling paint and scrape it off prior to applying a new coat. Whether or not the surface has been painted previously, it needs to be clean. If unpainted wood is gray or weathered, it should be sanded.
Weather: Just like proper surface preparation, applying paint in the
right weather can make or break a project. In temperatures colder than 50˚F
most paint won’t dry, but cold-weather paints are available for cooler
climates. In direct sunlight paint may dry too fast, causing lap marks. Wind
can also cause paint to dry too quickly, in addition to blowing dirt onto the
Flat/Matte Finish: A flat finish hides imperfections better than a glossier finish but doesn’t clean as well. Flat finishes are generally used for siding.
Glossy Finish: Glossier paints create a hard, shiny, durable finish that’s easy to clean. Glossy paints bring out details, so they’re usually preferred for trim and doors. They also accentuate imperfections, so they’re not well suited for siding or walls.
Satin Finish: A satin finish has a slight gloss, so it’s more cleanable than flat paint yet still hides imperfections well.
The right rollers, sprayers, brushes and other applicators will make your projects faster, easier and better looking.