Top 5 Exterior Home Paints
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The Best Local Top 5 Exterior House Paints

Choosing the best exterior paint for your home can be difficult. Most homeowners revert to paint manufacturers’ websites and painting contractors for influence. Others make selections based on product reviews, not realizing that most reviews are actually paid advertisements.

Paint Manufacturer Sites

Paint manufacturers leverage their websites to boost sales by marketing their brand. However, there are a few independent sources that conduct lab studies to gather data. These kinds of tests are legitimate but are limited to a lab. It’s almost impossible to replicate weather conditions and time. Therefore, field tests typically generate more accurate data and feedback.

Trusting People That Apply

Knowing the composition of the paint and having daily field experience enables the ability to experience really outstanding products. Our evaluations primarily focus on application, coverage, durability, versatility, and a few other notable mentions.

As the owner of A Touch of Color Painting LLC of Raleigh,  I personally have over 24 years of experience. I started painting when I was just 14 years old.

Daily we experience using some of the best paints offered in our market. Here we are going to offer our experience with exterior paints and offer our top 5 choices. Since exterior house paints are ever-changing, our list has also been revised since the last time this was originally written.

We have updated this post in 2019. However, since we only cover a select area, we are limited to products available specifically in the South East region.

#5 Sherwin – Williams Resilience

In terms of binders and consistency Resilience is very much like SW Super Paint. But make no mistake, Resilience is noticeable easier to work with, and covers slightly better than Super Paint.

However, the consistency of Resilience could be improved and to Sherwin-Williams, more titanium dioxide, please! If you’re spraying an off-white onto a new or dark surface, be prepared to use a lot of paint.

Resilience places its mark in the department of leaching. Meaning, if it rains directly after the paint has dried, there are no watermarks or discoloration left behind.

This is a great paint for exterior siding and dark colors. Using this product during the humid summer months is a must. Its resistance and ability to bond during extreme humidity are simply impressive.

#4 Benjamin Moore Regal Select

This paint doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Not even from Benjamin Moore. This product, in a Benjamin Moore stock white, covers better than most, right out of the can.

In 2019 the consistency and coverage of this product have taken a dive. But still covers better than most. However, it’s not as impressive as it once was.

Offering excellent trim paint that covers is extremely important and is an area that most paint manufacturers miss the mark. Benjamin Moore Regal’s select high build was the long-reigning exception. But no longer has the story of remarkable coverage held to be true.

Most paint manufacturers don’t offer trim paint that covers. We brush the trim on most exteriors and in some cases, these products used to cut our time in half. We hate to have to experience the change. But for this reason, it no longer is the reigning champion.

Regal Select offers good coverage instead of great coverage and is no longer the easiest exterior house paint to use. Regal used to cover black stains found on white gutters from roof tar in one brushed coat.

But what still remains true is that Regal select exterior can be brushed in a satin finish on siding with no lap marks. It levels closely to a sprayed finish even when brushed. This means brushed columns and doors look smooth and uniform.

The adhesion properties are what Benjamin Moore improved when this product was introduced and boy was it noticeable. But now the product seems to have lost that charm.

We real weakness of Benjamin Moore Regal exterior house paint is its inability to be applied under less than perfect conditions. If the humidity is above 60%, forget about using this product.

I will leach and it loses bond really easy, even after allowing multiple days to dry. Humidity really gives this paint a hard time. Benjamin Moore Regal exterior is not cheap. We feel as if it should have no adhesion issues under any conditions outside of extreme cold or wet surfaces.

However, to be fair it is considered a high build, and ticker paints typically require more cure time and are non to be problematic under humidity. But Regal didn’t always have this problem.

Another application limitation is temperature. It doesn’t tack up well in cooler temperatures. So, while spraying during seasons other than summer the temperatures have to be above 55 or so.

We still consider Benjamin Moore Regal Select a well above average exterior paint. It is good for almost any exterior house painting application. And for this reason, it’s still on our list at #4.

#3 Sherwin- Williams Duration

Duration was once known for how thick it was. Some exterior painters didn’t like the learning curve during application. Since inception, the product is now easier to apply but consequently is not as thick.

Sherwin – Williams still promotes the application of 7 mils thick wet and 4 mils dry.  Since the latest reformulation, we have found it nearly impossible to reach these specifications. However, it’s still a well above average product.

Duration is great for rough surfaces and exterior trim. It also offers great adhesion during gutter and downspout applications.

The problems of dripping and runs occurring under cold or humid conditions is why this product is only a contender holding the #3 position.

#2 Sherwin – Williams Emerald

Everyone knows that Sherwin – Williams has a huge catalog of price point products. But one thing is clear if you want good paint from Sherwin – Williams you going to pay a lot for it! We would say overpay.

We found it hard to overlook the price tag of Sherwin – Williams Emerald exterior house paint, compared to other SW products. After using this product, we can tell that at the initial launch Sherwin-Williams had made a conscientious effort to listen to customer feedback. It wasn’t sticky, gummy, or hard to work with at all.

But now in 2019, the product feels like what Duration used to be. Most of their exterior paints are known to dry tacky and drag during application. Using a paint that drags will encourage painters to load more paint onto brushes in order to create a better flow.

Such products make the overall job harder and slow productivity. Emerald had solved both of these issues. Being zero VOC didn’t hurt either. But like clockwork, the formula for Emerald exterior house paint has recently changed.

Emerald was not the first exterior zero VOC paint on the market. But it was a bold move from such a large company like Sherwin – Williams.

Emerald does not level like it once did. However, Emerald is still good for just about all applications. Which can be a tall task for exterior house paints.

For the price paid, it could use more pigment to help with coverage. Especially in lighter colors, which are often used for trim. But make no mistake, this is an extremely good product. Even after the reformulation, it’s easily the best exterior paint Sherwin – Williams offers. This product continues to be the next runner up at #2.

#1 Benjamin Moore Aura

The new king is here! The binders found in Benjamin Aura are mostly acrylic. Some products are labeled acrylic while still containing high amounts of vinyl, not this one.

Like most exterior paint that contains high amounts of acrylic – by comparison – Aura has not always been the most user-friendly product. Plus, it now is the thickest paint we have ever used on any exterior house painting surface.

After getting used to the application learning curve and constantly cleaning out brushes when applying in the sun these small inconveniences don’t trump the advantages of the coverage this product offers.

And looking at the finished coat is just as rewarding as the coverage. Aura is a very durable product. In fact, in terms of durability, the new Benjamin Moore Aura exterior paint may be the best exterior paint that we have seen!

Even when using the old Aura formula, viewing some of our exterior projects that date back over 5 years still look new. No loss of lustre, cracking, fade or any other signs of failure were present.

How should this set your expectations for this product? I guess time will tell!

Benjamin Moore Aura is especially great on door and window applications. It also offers the best color retention of any product we have used. Benjamin Moore Aura is now even thicker and really durable. For this reason, it is now rated #1 for local Raleigh, NC exterior house paints.

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