When considering different types of exterior house paints, it isn’t as simple as strolling down the paint aisle of your home improvement store and picking out a color. Various factors need to be considered in paint selection, but by evaluating your specific application you can find the right paint and be on the ladder in no time. Before you buy, consider the location you’re painting, the conditions you’re painting in, the surface you’re painting on, whether an oil or water based paint is ideal, and what type of finish sounds most appealing.
Location: What are You Painting?
Paints are available for specific projects. For painting the outside of your home, go with paint for siding, formulated to endure exposure to the elements. That leftover bucket of indoor paint is not suitable for the outside of your house and you need siding paint which will resist changing temperatures, precipitation, and wind erosion. Paint manufacturers will even break down blends by specific climates. Some paint has trouble drying in cold weather or dries too fast in hot weather, which could lead to ugly lap marks in your paint job if you choose the wrong paint. If you have a deck, buy a separate porch or deck paint. Pools, masonry, roofs, and aluminum gutters all have their own specific formulations available, so make sure the paint matches the job, according to Home Depot.
Prepare the Surface Ahead of Time
Avoid wasting paint, extra work, and an uneven appearance by power washing any accumulated dirt or grime off an exterior before painting. Wooden surfaces can be sanded to a uniform color that may reduce the need for extra coats. Chipping paint should be scraped off siding before adding new paint. Holes in wooden exteriors can be filled with wood filler so you have an even surface to paint on. Some ultra-smooth surfaces may need a little bit of texture for paint to stick to, so sanding such surfaces with a fine grade sandpaper can create an improved surface for paint to adhere to. For most jobs, selecting a primer to paint on your surface before the actual tinted paint will provide the most even results. A good primer will help to create a smooth surface to paint on and helps to cover up small flaws or the heads on nails.
Oil Versus Water Based Paints
Different types of exterior paint come in oil (alkyd) or water-based (latex or acrylic) varieties. It’s important not to apply oil-based paint to a surface that has previously been painted with a water-based paint, as the oil paint may withdraw from the water-based surface and fissure as it dries. A water-based paint has better breathability, dries faster, is not flammable, can be cleaned up easily with soap and water, has less of an odor, is low in volatile organic chemicals, and retains color better. Gloss finishes on water based paints are arguably better as well. Oil-based paint is more durable over time, flows and levels more evenly on a surface, adheres to and penetrates a surface more effectively, and doesn’t leave as many roller or brush marks with a smoother overall finish.
Oil and water-based paints come in three finishes: a matte (or flat) finish, a satin (or semi-gloss) finish, and a glossy finish. A glossy finish with its somewhat shiny look is easiest to clean. A matte finish is on the opposite end of the spectrum, lacking shine, and doesn’t clean as easily. Somewhere in the middle, a satin finish is more cleanable than a matte but hides flaws similar to a gloss.
Know and Go
Know the surface you’re going to paint before you paint it. Since there are different types of exterior paint, you only want to buy once. Know the climate. Know what look you’re going for and don’t hesitate to prime a surface before you paint it. Seek out the advice of the paint sales staff, since they are likely to know which paints their customers praise most. Knowing the different types of exterior paint is the first step in what will turn out to be a job you’re proud of.
Related Resource: Difference Between Window Film and Window Tint