Exterior Paint

Exterior Paint Buying Guide

Exterior painting is much different from painting indoors because of the conditions the paint will be exposed to over the years. Choosing a cheaper paint may save you money now, but you may end up on your ladder painting every year. In addition to quality, you also need to make sure you are choosing the right type of paint for the surface and area that is being painted.

Choosing the Right Paint Base for Exterior Paint

Exterior paints have two different bases:

Oil (alkyd) – this paint consists of a resin and pigment with a solvent thinner. After being applied, the thinner evaporates and the resins will form a hard coating. The pigment, of course, provides the color.

o   Offers a smoother finish, especially when using a brush or roller

o   Adheres better to the surface

o   Penetrates deeper into the surface

o   Wears better over time

Water-based (acrylic or latex) – a combination of binder and pigment with water being used as the carrier.

o   Much less odor than oil-based paints

o   Dries quicker than oil-based paints

o   Does not trap moisture

o   Nonflammable

o   Clean up is fairly easy with just soap and water

o   Retains color better

For the most part, people prefer to use water-based paints because of the advantages over oil-based paints. However, certain conditions dictate that an oil-based outdoor paint is used.

Priming before You Paint

When painting a bare surface, you will most likely need to apply a primer coat. Primers also come in both bases, but you may need to select your primer based on what type of paint you will be using.

Oil-based primers – can be used with either water or oil-based paints

o   If you are painting a chalky surface, oil-based primer is a better choice because it will adhere to the difficult surface much better than a water-based primer

Water-based primers – can only be used with water-based paints

*Certain surfaces will require a surface-specific primer, such as wood, concrete, and various metals. Be sure to check that the primer you are choosing will work with the surface you want to paint.

Choosing an Exterior Paint Finish

Just as with interior paints, you will have multiple finishes from which to choose when selecting your outdoor paint:

Flat – works very well with both vinyl and aluminum siding. It will hide imperfections such as dents and/or scrapes on the siding. Touch up is also very easy.

Gloss – this paint is fairly easy to clean and holds up well against the elements and abuse. This is a popular choice as an accent, such as doorjambs and window frames or shutters. The downside is that any imperfection is very easy to see with a gloss finish.

Semi-Gloss – offers less shine than standard gloss, but many of the benefits. It is also very easy to clean and quite durable. Can be used in the same manner as gloss paint.

Satin – can also be used on siding, while providing fairly easy cleanup and a moderate sheen.

Prep and Application of Exterior Paint

If you do not prep the area properly, even the best paint on the store will not hold up. Follow the steps below to prep the area for painting:

  • Check surface for loose or peeling paint
  • Scrape all loose paint off and then clean the surface
  • Fill all holes to create a smooth surface with no imperfections (area should be lightly sanded)
  • If you are painting fresh, bare wood, the wood will need to be primed before applying a coat of paint

When you are ready to paint, the weather will play an important role in just how successful your DIY project is. Follow these tips to ensure the weather does not negatively affect your exterior painting:

You should never paint in sub 50-degree weather

o   If it is colder than this, the paint will have a problem bonding with the surface and drying properly

o   If you live in a cold temperature area, check with your dealer for cold-weather paint

Avoid painting areas that will be in direct sunlight immediately after application or on very windy days. This will cause the paint to dry too quickly.

Most paints will have recommended temperature ranges on the container. If this guide is not there, check with your dealer for ideal temperatures for applying the specific paint you are buying.

HippModernBuilders.com offers a wide variety of exterior paint products, but some products are only available in store or as ship to store. If you have any questions prior to purchasing painting products, please give us a call at our store (870-269-3800) and we will be more than happy to answer your questions. Or, for those of you in the Mountain View area, come on in and see us! Our store is located at 1404 E Main St in Mountain View, AR. 

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