Pick the right paint for your house

Pick the right paint for your house

When painting the exterior of a house, the first choice is obvious — use outdoor paint, not indoor paint. The binders and additives in outdoor paint are formulated to resist the elements well, while indoor paint most likely will not.

The materials of the home’s facade should be considered. When painting flat surfaces like siding or wood, you can opt for standard outdoor paint. When painting a textured surface like stucco or brick, elastomeric paint is ideal. This type of paint can stretch more than normal paint, which allows it to bridge over small gaps and crevices, painting smoothly over texture.

Climate is another factor to consider. Sunlight, wind, rain and salty weather can all wear out paint. Oil-based paint is durable against wind, rain and temperature changes, but sunlight tends to degrade it. Alkyd paint chalks and sheds very thin layers when it begins to wear. Therefore, latex paint is the more durable option for very sun-drenched and relatively dry climate areas. Latex paint with high vinyl content should be avoided, however. Acrylic resin is by far the more durable binder for outdoor latex paint.

Areas that are subject to a lot of moisture, like the skirting around houses, may require mold-resistant paint, like outdoor paint with fungicide added. Another specialty paint to consider is a flame-resistant brand. Paint that resists fire rather than combusting could be a life saver for homeowners in wildfire-prone areas.

Though buying high-quality, specialty paint and getting a professional to apply it can be expensive, the expense will pay off with a high-quality, long-lasting paint job. Low-quality paint often lasts half as long as high-quality paint and even shorter if it's not applied properly.


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