Selecting the right paint for your outdoor areas
With so many choices when it comes to outdoor paint, it can be difficult to choose the right one. There are different types of paints for different materials and areas of the outside of your home.
Weather, foot traffic and colour all have a big part to play in your choice, and below we have listed a few points to make your paint selection a little easier.
Use alkyd or acrylic latex primer for exterior wood siding. A primer will fill the pores in the wood and form an adhesion base for the top coats.
Oil based primers (alkyd) are great, but good acrylic latex primers are available and are often used by professionals. They both do the job, but be sure to buy a quality product and spread it to a solid thickness. Read the instructions to determine the proper thickness of the application.
When using a primer on redwood or cedar use and oil based primer or a stain blocking latex primer.
Both of these woods have are water soluble, and when wet, will “bleed” through the top coats, leaving unsightly stains. Stain blocking alkyds will bind the tannins and hold them within the primer.
100 percent acrylic latex in semi gloss or acrylic latex is a long lasting paint for smooth trim (composite or other manufactured) wood.
Trim painting takes a lot of time and preparation work, so chose a quality paint for long lasting results and protection. 100 percent acrylic is more durable than latex because it has a higher resin content. The resin delivers that glossy look, but because the trim covers a small area, the shine isn’t prominent.
Some professionals painters prefer to use oil based trim paints because they have a higher gloss and brush out more smoothly. The only issue is that they will fade over time if the work is done in an area where the sun prominently shines onto the wood. Glossy paints highlight surface flaws in wood, so if the trim is worn, perhaps use a semi gloss paint in areas that are highly visible.
Porch floors and stair treads
Glossy floor paint is the best paint for porch floors and stair treads. It has a tougher and higher resin content than most other outdoor paints.
Outside wood floors that are exposed to the elements always take a beating. Heavy foot traffic will also wear away the finish, and the drying process is always much slower when moisture is around, which will also in encourage rot. No protective painting coats are low-maintenance, and a specially formulated outdoor floor paint generally works the best.
A specialised floor paint usually contains harder resins to enable it to withstand harsher use. You will however need to expect to scrape and repaint the peeling areas every few years. Priming all sides of the flooring beforehand can extend the paint life however.
These paints are usually quite glossy and can be slippery once wet. There are gritty additives that can be added to the product to add grip, but these may wear quickly in high traffic areas. Make sure to look out for “anti-slip paint” at your paint store if this is what you need.
Keep your deck, railings and posts looking great with semi-transparent oil stains and repellent preservatives. These can also help prevent rot.
To put a slow to rot and wear of the deck, with the least amount of effort, simply add a water repellent preservative every year or two. If the wood on the deck is damp throughout much of the year, clean the deck and kill the mildew every few years with the application of a “deck cleaner” which can be found at most hardware stores.
Apply a semi-transparent oil stain for a nice finish, while using lighter stains for the boards of the deck. The heavier types of pigments show wear faster and are harder to renew once worn.
The deck will need to be stripped and the stain renewed every two to three years.
Clear exterior finishes, intended to preserve the natural color of the wood, will last only a year or two before they peel and the wood begins to turn grey.