Best Exterior Paint

Open paint can with paint brush.

If you're looking to paint the outside of your home, you're going to want to try and use the best exterior paint possible. While this may seem like a no-brainer, when you visit the home improvement or paint specialty store, you're going to find that your options are seemingly endless and finding the best paint for the exterior of your home may not be as easy as you thought.

What to Look for in Exterior Paint

All of the best exterior paints contain a high amount of acrylic resin, which is what binds the paint to the surface. This type is usually an acrylic latex formula. The acrylic latex makes the paint capable of withstanding such finish-wrecking elements like color fading, mildew and chalking. This type of paint is also very flexible, so it works just as good on aluminum and wood as it does vinyl siding.

If the surface of your home's exterior is in poor shape, look for a latex paint that has polyurethane included in its makeup. The polyurethane gives the paint better adhesion and it makes it even more resistant to cracking and peeling.

Some painters may try to convince you that oil-based paint is better suited for the exterior of the home, but that's not the case. Acrylic latex paint has fewer odors, it's easier to clean up and it doesn't emit noxious fumes.

Best Exterior Paint - Price Matters

Paint is one product where you really do get what you paid for. Inexpensive paint fails to offer the coverage and quality of more expensive paint. While the general rule is to buy the best paint you can afford, the reality is the more you pay for the paint now, the less you're going to have to pay over the life of your home for upkeep, touch-ups and re-dos.

Buying an inexpensive paint to paint your home's exterior could result in you having to do the entire process all over again in five or ten years, whereas a coat of more expensive, higher quality paint will last for 20 years or more.

How to Find the Best Paint

One of the easiest ways to find the best exterior paint on the market is to visit online consumer review websites where you can read reviews and ratings for a wide array of brands. Trusted websites like, and offer ratings and reviews of many of the leading brands. Visit your favorite DIY website and check out the forums, or start a thread yourself asking users about their recommendations or what brands to avoid.

The Best Paint for Exteriors

Overwhelmingly, most of the paint review sites name Sherwin-Williams' Duration exterior paint the best money can buy, and as expected, it's not cheap at over fifty dollars a gallon. This paint features the company's patented PermaLast Technology, which helps make it the longest lasting paint on the market. It's also a self-priming paint which means no prime coat is needed prior to applying and because it's 70 percent thicker than most exterior paints, one coat is suitable for most applications. Sherwin-Williams provides a lifetime warranty on this paint when it is applied to previously painted surfaces.

Prepping the Surface is Critical

You can use the most expensive paint on the market, but if the surface isn't prepped properly, it doesn't matter. Thoroughly clean the entire exterior of your home and repair any damaged areas, prime untreated wood, caulk joints and so forth. Before you scrape away any peeling paint, make sure you follow all EPA rules and recommendations of working with lead paint if your home was built pre-1978.

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Best Exterior Paint