Exterior Paint Options and How to Choose


June, 2017


The color of your home can be a way to express yourself to the entire block. Over time, an old paint job can start to look drab. Plus, freshening things up can do a whole lot more than just make your home look pretty. In fact, fresh paint can help protect your home’s exterior from moisture and fading. Many people are taking advantage of the nice weather by grabbing a paint roller. Educate yourself about the different types of exterior paint, and which is best for your needs.

Exterior Paint Types

Before you start anything, you should know the difference between exterior paint types and which will be best for your home. You can’t just slap on any ole kind of paint and call it good. There are two main types of exterior paint types: water-based paint (also known as latex) or oil-based paint.

First, we’ll go over the characteristics of water-based paint. Most of the paint sold for residential use is actually water-based. That’s because water-based paint is a lot safer to use on the exterior of your home than others. Also, a lot of people consider water-based paints to be much easier to use, and it dries quickly. Water-based paint is also called latex paint and is very flexible. This is important because it will expand and contract with the siding on your home. Water-based exterior paint is also breathable, and won’t hold in moisture or crack or peel.

On the other hand, there is the option to use an oil-based paint. About fifty years ago, oil-based paint was basically the only option. We’ll start with the good qualities of oil-based exterior paint. It’s very durable and is used by a lot of professional painters. Additionally, oil-based paints are water-resistant so they protect the siding on your home. However, these paints have a very strong odor and take a lot longer to fully dry. Plus, they are more hazardous to both the environment and your health.


No matter which kind of exterior paint you choose, make sure to do your research. Water-based paints and oil-based paints do not mix well. Before buying a certain kind, make sure to find out which kind of paint your house currently has. Oil-based will crack easily, but water-based paint will bend slightly. Or, you can always take a sample to your local hardware store, where they can easily identify it.

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