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Choosing Exterior House Paint with Confidence

The paint that you have on the outside of your home is starting to blister, peel or fade. Guess it’s that time of year again? Time to paint the exterior of your home.

Now that you think about it, you feel like you just painted your home only a few years ago? You probably just didn’t choose a very high-quality paint or painter the last time the house was painted? There are several things that should be considered when picking an outside paint.

Let’s make this paint job last a bit longer than the last time you or that inexperienced painting contractor did it! Here is a quick guide, how to pick the best outdoor paint. Also, after reading this you will be fully equipped to start interviewing professional painters.

1. Your Climate

Prior to heavily leaning towards a particular exterior house paint, the first thing that you have to consider is the climate that you live in. If you live in a warmer climate with relatively high humidity and the exterior paint you pick up isn’t meant for these conditions, you could have major issues. You also will likely want to take a look at the recommended temperatures during application.

On the flip side of this, if it’s too cold out when you paint, it won’t dry let alone stay around for very long. Some exterior paints such as Sherwin – Williams Duration, Resilience, and Emerald can be applied as low as 35 degrees. Other brands such as Benjamin Moore Aura require a 40-degree surface temperature in order to apply.

2. How Much Time Do You Have?

If you have any time constraints on this paint job you’ll want to go with water-based paint. Some water-based paints are actually more durable than oil-based paint. Water-based tends to dry fairly quickly and is easier to apply.

While better grade oil-based paints are considerably durable and water-resistant. Oil-based products are typically only used on metal handrails, hardware, mailboxes, and other metal substrates. The problem is oil-based paints dry slowly. So, make sure the weather is clear.

3. The Color Choice

Don’t let painters talk you into considering the wrong colors. As you know, colors are completely subjective. However, there is a way to make sure that you’re picking a color that you’re going to like.

Take the sample paint and apply it to a small spot in your home. Remember to apply the paint to several areas, under various forms of light. Let the paint dry for a few hours. If you still like how the color looks then you know it’s a keeper.

4. Toxins

I know your painting outside but you still want to cut down on the number of toxins while you’re painting. This may be less important to some people. Others may have a bad reaction to some of the chemicals that are found in paint.

Painting with a lower VOC paint will emit less carbon. Water-based paints typically have the fewest VOCs compared to solvent, alkyd, or xylene based paints. Some of those guys can take your breath when you open the can. Let’s not even start to discuss the intensity of lacquers.

5. Finish

Companies and paint quality aren’t the only things that you have to contemplate when you’re considering painting the exterior of your home. You also have to decide what kind of finish you want. Here is a quick run-through of your choices.

Gloss/ High Gloss

Gloss is a pretty tough finish. It withstands scuffs so it’s good for places that see a lot of punishment like exterior trim, windows, and doors. The only issue with this finish is that some consider gloss to be too shiny. A glossy sheen also shows imperfection since it reflects the most amount of light.


In many cases, semi-gloss can be mistaken for gloss. There are often very few differences between gloss and semi-gloss. Dependent on the manufacturer semi-gloss offers just a little less shine. In fact, Sherwin – Williams Super Paint, Duration, Resilience, and Emerald exterior paints don’t offer a semi-gloss.


You may have also seen satin finishes referred to as eggshell. Satin doesn’t have as high of a sheen as gloss or semi-gloss but satin still has a bit of a sheen compared to flat. It’s also easy to clean and is ideal for exterior home siding. If you pick the right product, it can be sprayed or brushed.


If you have natural wood siding you’ll likely want to go with a flat finish. It hides imperfections and subjectively helps keep the natural integrity of the wood. Flat finishes also tend to be easier to touch-up.

6. Characteristics of Quality Paint

If you’re having to repaint your home not too long after your last paint job then you may not have bought quality paint. Quality paint has a few key characteristics that you should be looking for.

Hiding Power

No home is perfect and it wouldn’t be a surprise if yours had acquired a few dings and dents over the years. The paints hiding power is usually dependent on its color, pigment, and how thick it’s applied. However, hiding power can also be the ability to cover up those imperfections.

Chalking Resistance

After paint sits on a house for a while your binder starts to degrade a bit. If you pick up paint with low chalking resistance the paint film will likely start to breakdown prematurely.

As a result of the degradation, a white chalky layer will start to form on the surface of the paint. Over time this can cause the color of the paint to appear uneven. Unless you have a white house of course.

Blister Resistance

With higher levels of moisture, lower-quality paint can start to blister very quickly. Blister resistant paint is less permeable and adheres better. For optimal adhesion make sure you or your painter is applying paint on completely dry surfaces.

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Paint for Your Home

If you having to re-paint frequently you may want to reconsider the paint that is being used. Use these tips for picking out the best outdoor paint for your home to find one that will look great and stick around for a while.

Of course! We don’t expect you to paint your home yourself most people don’t. Contact us to get an estimate on our professional paint services today!

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