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Guide to Buying Exterior Paint

When painting exteriors, it’s important to buy the right paint for the job. Exterior paint has to withstand extremes of temperatures, not to mention constant exposure to sun, wind and rain. Your exterior surfaces might not be paint-friendly either, with dust, mould and uneven surfaces to deal with. To make sure you’re getting the right paint, here’s a handy guide to buying exterior paint.

Wood Paint

Wood paint is opaque, adding colour to your outdoor space. It’s often used for sheds and fences, and is weather resistant and durable, unlike interior emulsion. The opaque finish means you can add blocks of colour in almost every shade imaginable, unlike stains or varnish. The paint is especially designed to withstand the flexing of wood, and resists cracking.

Wood Stain

Rather than painting the wood in a single block of colour, staining is a thin wash that allows the texture and grain of the wood to show through. Staining helps protect wood from rot and pests, and is an essential if you aren’t going to paint the wood. Commonly used in decking and fencing, it’s perfect if you still want a natural wooden look.

Metal Paint

Used for painting exterior features, including iron pipes, gates, lighting and railings. Metal paint has to be durable, withstanding the vast range of temperatures that metal can reach - it can be freezing cold in the winter and too hot to touch in the summer. You may need to apply primer first so that you have a smooth and solid surface to paint onto. You’ll also need to consider if you’re painting onto non-galvanised or galvanised metal, as some paint can’t be used if there’s rust.

Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is mainly used for painting walls such as brick, stucco and concrete. It adheres to the stone and resists fading, providing a waterproof layer over the surface. It will apply thick, and can be used to cover up cracks and uneven surfaces. Masonry paint is more absorbent than other exterior paints, so you'll need more than if you were painting an interior wall. Masonry paint should always go over primer, as outdoor surfaces are prone to being dusty and porous.

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