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How to Choose Exterior Paint for Your Home

Paint Brush Resting on Can of White Paint

There’s a lot more to choosing paint than just picking a color. When you step into a store and discover your many options, you may want some expert guidance on what exterior paint to use. To help understand how to choose exterior paint, here’s a look at which options work best under what circumstances.

Water-Based vs. Oil-Based Paints

One of the big decisions to make when deciding what kind of paint to use for your house exterior is choosing water-based vs. oil-based paints. By and large, most exterior applications work best with water-based paint. Water-based paint actually expands and contracts along with your home’s siding, and it doesn’t trap any moisture — which helps prevent cracking over time. Water-based paint also dries faster than oil-based options, and choosing water-based paints with an all-acrylic binder can help fend off the effects of harsh weather.

Oil-based paint isn’t great for exterior uses except in some cases, such as when you want to paint bleeding woods, like cedar or redwood, and metal. Oil-based paints provide better adhesion and better surface penetration, though they do take longer to dry. You’ll want to use oil-based paints to prevent wood from bleeding or metal from rusting.

Choosing the Right Finish

When choosing paint, you’ll also find three different finish options. Those finish options are:

  • Satin: Satin is the easiest to clean, and it comes with a slight gloss. A satin finish is good at hiding any imperfections that emerge over time.
  • Glossy: Glossy finishes are great at bringing out details, which makes them ideal for doors and trim. It doesn’t hide imperfections well, which makes it a poor choice as a field color used on siding.
  • Matte: Matte finishes do hide imperfections, but they are not good for cleaning. Matte is most often used as a field color for siding and other large portions.

You may find that you need a mix of finishes — perhaps a glossy finish for trim and a matte finish for your field color.

Different Paint for Different Areas

Freshly Painted White Home Exterior

It also matters what part of the home you’re painting. As noted above, some paints are better than others for cleaning and hiding imperfections, and you may also find that different materials require different types of paint. Masonry, for example, typically requires a latex paint with a pretreatment, and gutters demand a paint that adheres well to metal — while also requiring a galvanized metal primer. Again, seek out expert guidance before you make a final decision on the type of paint that’s best for your home.

Choose Neighborhood Painting

Do you own a home in the Kansas City area that needs painting? Have you found yourself overwhelmed by the many decisions that need to be made? At Neighborhood Painting, we serve the Greater Kansas City area with a team of expert painters who can provide expert guidance before work begins and complete painting jobs that end with outstanding results. Contact us to make sure you’re getting the best paint job and the best service.

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