10 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes When Choosing Exterior Paint

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When starting your project, understanding the material that you’re working with is a crucial step. Without knowing how certain paints will adhere and respond to the material, you risk compromising the look and durability. Picking the wrong formula can lead to chipped paint, weathering, susceptibility to water damage, and ultimately, the need to repaint.

Housing exteriors are constructed with a wide variety of materials. Stucco, vinyl, and wood, to name a few, all take paint differently. For example, Paint expert Mauro Henrique tells This Old House, that he uses “a 100% acrylic base, which adheres really well to vinyl siding.” He also agrees that acrylic is a great choice for wood siding. On the other hand, stucco requires a paint formula designed for masonry.

Many experts recommend oil-based paint for exterior trim materials. Because trim can be more susceptible to wear and tear, oil paints provide a strong, hard-wearing finish. They also tend to dry with a glossy sheen, which makes them a good option for highlighting architectural details. That being said, you can also find durable semi-gloss and high-gloss acrylic paints, like this Sherwin-Williams option from Lowe’s. These can be used for the same effect if you are trying to avoid the use of oil-based paint in your project. 

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