How do you choose the best paint for the exterior of your home? With so many options available, it can be a hard task. The average homeowner is usually baffled by the huge selection at a big hardware retailer or a paint store. The sales assistant will probably be able to help, but it’s wise to go in with some knowledge under your belt.
What kind of construction is your home? The only types of exterior that really NEED paint are wood and stucco. Brick can be painted, but it doesn’t have to be. Also, brick is very hard to paint since it’s porous and absorbs paint as fast as you can apply it. For a stucco home, latex paint will work best (plus, it’s easy to work with).
Now: who’s doing the job? If you’re opting to save money and do it yourself, you might want to work with latex or acrylic paint: it’s easy to apply, and cleanup is simple. Another benefit of latex paint–it’s mildew resistant, so if you live in a humid climate, latex can be your friend. Beware, though–if your home was previously covered with oil-based paint, latex doesn’t apply well.
A lot of professional painters still swear by old-fashioned oil-based paint. If you’re hiring someone to do the work for you, go for it. Oil paints are incredibly durable and good at hiding old stains. Unfortunately, they also take a long time to dry–up to 48 hours–and are incredibly messy to work with.
If you don’t know what kind of paint was used before, you’ll want to use an alkyd paint. It’s a little bit harder to apply than latex, but it will adhere to an old oil-based paint.
Once you’ve figured out which type of paint you need, be sure to consider the luster quality that you want. Usually, people use flat paint for large wall spaces and gloss or semi-gloss for trim. You might want to be different, though–especially if your home is in a heavily shaded area, a semi-gloss paint might look great.
Colors are important to consider, too. Of course that’s up to your personal taste, but there are other factors as well. If your house gets a lot of direct sunlight, remember that darker paint colors tend to fade noticeably over a couple of years. A wood frame house usually only needs repainting every ten years or so. Even though the paint might still be in great condition, a darker color that’s faded badly will look shabby and you’ll need to repaint sooner than you (and your budget) might like. A little knowledge is a good thing–once you’ve taken these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to choose the best paint for your home exterior.