Painting can be a delightful task if done properly with the correct type. And when you have a wooden exterior, what’s a better way to create a lasting impression than painting them creatively?
If you’ve never painted on woods yourself, it’s not that hard. But before applying any paint you need to clean the surface, strip and sand it. However, currently many best exterior paints for wood allow you to skip most of these steps. They also come in many styles and finishes for you to choose from.
So, get creative and bring stylish new colors to your outdoor space along with much-needed protection from elements with some great paints suggested in this article.
Table of Contents
8 Best Exterior Paints for Wood
Although picking the perfect external paints all by yourself isn’t easy provided the huge number of options in the market, we’ll suggest here some of the top products currently available in the market to make it easy for you.
1. Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint
Starting off our reviews with Rust-Oleum which makes multiple comebacks in this article. This is because of their wide range and varieties of products with the highest quality.
This flat-white colored paint comes in a Half Pint pack that can cover up to 55 square feet area which is actually not that much compared to the other candidates on our list. However, it beats others in terms of durability as well as premium quality at an affordable price.
Weather and corrosion-resistant, the paint’s formula has been made to be used on exterior woods as well as interior surfaces like metal, concrete, etc. Its oil-based formula provides a rust-resistant, durable formula that lasts for many years.
Once applied, the paint dries within 2 to 4 hours and becomes ready for another coating. You can also spray this paint by thinning it with water. Don’t forget to check the recommendations for thinning on the label.
After application, this protective enamel paint becomes very easy to clean also. Moreover, it holds its edges like a pro with a beautiful and fresh look.
2. KILZ Porch & Patio Latex Floor Paint
Are you used to worrying about the incredible maintenance of a painted porch and patio? Then you’re actually missing out on a lot of style and protection such paint can bring.
Porches and patios get subjected to more traffic than all other exterior locations, and that’s why you need something tough to protect them. The KILZ’s enamel paint was specifically geared for this task.
You can apply this paint on wooden porches, decks, patio floors, etc., to protect them from scuffs, fading, scratches, or peeling. Although used on many other surfaces like cement and metal, the KILZ Latex Floor Paint especially works wonders on wood.
Highly durable and easy to clean, the KILZ is also very easy to apply. You can use a roller, airless sprayer, or a brush to apply this coating. One gallon of this item can cover around 300 to 400 square feet.
It also dries within one hour and becomes ready for recoat in 4 to 6 hours only. This allows you to complete the job faster than most other substandard coatings out there.
Creating a low-luster enamel surface, this acrylic paint can also be used on siding, furniture, trim, and trellises. With a gorgeous finish, this low sheen acrylic formula makes one of the best exterior paints for wood.
3. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint
The Rust-Oleum has several paints on our list, and for a good reason. All of their paints are of such quality and varieties that it is almost impossible to ignore them.
Unlike all other options in this write-up, this one is spray paint. And when you want to paint areas difficult to cover due to their size or intricacies, spray paints always come to the rescue.
The item in question comes in 6 packs of 12-ounce cans. It is such a convenient paint and primer one that you can use it on nearly all outdoor surfaces from wood to ceramic, and from metal to even plastic, etc.
When you have a shortage of time, then this oil-based formula can be of great help. The spray dries quickly in only 20 minutes. This is the fastest drying time of all the paints we traditionally find. However, to fully cure, it can take up to 48 hours. The reason being, oil-based wood formula usually takes longer to dry.
This impact-resistant paint also has a low odor, so you don’t inhale noxious fumes while spraying. Besides, its satin finish creates a beautiful coating on any surface you want. Luckily, this unit will let you attain the best finishes for wood kitchen tablebest finishes for wood kitchen table as well.
Moreover, since this product is both a paint and primer, you don’t need to apply anything before application.
4. KILZ Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint
One of the most prominent exterior building materials is the siding. Besides if you happen to live in the countryside you can’t do without a fence and bar. And all of these have one thing in common, they need to be painted.
And the KILZ Exterior paint for siding, fence, and the barn is the best choice for them if you’re looking for major protection from elements for a long time. Coming to our list for the second time, the KILZ is a prominent paint producer for nearly forty years.
With such a long experience, they definitely know how to make it right. The paint in question has great durability as well as longevity. You can go on for many years without noticing many visible changes in it.
Able to stick to almost any wooden surface, it covers all vertical walls with minimum dripping and splashing. As a result, there is little to no wastage. This paint coats from 200 up to 500 square feet of surface depending on the type of material. Moreover, you don’t have to wait too long to have a second coating of this paint
Made of advanced water and oil-based formula, the paint has a very high penetration ability, fade resistance, and durability. The formula also makes it easy to clean the painted surface using water and soap only.
With a great color retention ability, the KILZ Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint also protects against all types of mold or mildew, wear and tear, cracking, or peeling. It provides good UV protection as well.
5. Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painters Touch Latex
This latex-based paint from Rust-Oleum is extremely versatile as it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Apart from wood, you can apply it on ceramic, metal, and canvas. Plus, these look gorgeous on tables where best wood slab epoxy is also applied.
Designed to resist chips, it is very adhesive and can, therefore last very long. Without any need for a prep layer or primer, this Ultra Cover paint can be applied to any house walls or outdoors. Its double cover technology also helps it to withstand much wear and tear over the years.
This item creates a nice Satin Nutmeg finish that gives a fresh and clean look on any old or worn-out surface you have. Since it has a latex-based formula, you can also clean it with water only. This means, when it is raining, the exterior walls get cleaned automatically.
The Rust-Oleum Painters Touch can cover up to 120 square feet of area with a drying time of only 30 minutes. This means you complete your project very early and within a very short time.
6. Prestige LifeTime Exterior Paint and Primer in One
This exterior paint from Prestige LifeTime can make your life a lot easy because it is an ultra-premium paint that can be used on a wide variety of exterior surfaces by combining paint and primer in one product.
Usable on surfaces from wood to metal to masonry, the Prestige LifeTime’s smooth application gives you exceptional coverage. Even a novice can hide their blemishes or mistakes with such a smooth finish.
Like most latex paints, a gallon of this Exterior Paint and Primer can be applied using a brush, pad, or roller to cover 400 square feet. You can also dilute it with water to use it in a paint sprayer. Since it is an outdoor product, some preparation is necessary before application.
To get the best result, you need to remove any older paint, dirt, or mildew off the surface. And glossy surfaces need to be sanded and applied with paint when the temperature is over 50ºF. Using a high-quality brush also gives you a better result.
The paint takes about 2 to 3 hours to get dry. You can go for three coatings to get the most premium look, although two coatings work perfectly fine. Since the product appears to have primer in it, no further priming is necessary on the wood unless it is raw.
The Sherwin-Williams color of this item gives your projects a new life as well. And since it is acrylic latex paint, cleaning or washing it is very easy. It is also low in VOC, which is a huge bonus for safety-conscious people out there.
7. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Paint
For a super versatile water-based paint, get the Montage Signature’s paint that can be applied on the exterior as well as on interior surfaces. This paint is a perfect option to take for painting on outdoor furniture.
The most important and interesting characteristic of this paint is its eco-friendliness. Although the company has no legal obligation for it, you can still produce a much less carbon footprint with this item. Since it is environmentally friendly, it also doesn’t produce any toxic VOCs.
With a formula that lets the paint dry quickly, it can also be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer. You can apply this paint without feeling rough or bumpy at all.
Another important thing is that the paint is made to fight mold and mildew. So unlike some other options in our list, this one doesn’t have any problem applying in humid conditions. So, this is not a bad choice for your next bathroom job either.
Since it is a water-based paint, it can contract and expand according to heat or humidity. This makes the paint withstand any harsh weather conditions and last for years.
Moreover, the paint applies very smoothly with a pretty good coverage area. Its thick consistency also allows you to apply it on darker walls without worrying about previous paint affecting the result,
Offering excellent quality, coverage area, and easy cleaning solution, the Montage Signature Interior/Exterior is the best paint you can get in terms of sheer value for money.
8. New York Botanical Gardens Tropical Escape Collection
The last addition to our list of top exterior paints is this lovely pastel paint from the people at New York Botanical Gardens. This item comes from the Prestige Designer series, which is a well-respected brand for its attention to quality and convenience.
Offering you up to 100% acrylic latex paint and primer, this item also presents an entire line of paints, all for a tropical theme. The discussed color of this review is the Bird of Paradise.
In addition to being a painter, the item is also a primer. So, you can apply this paint on any exterior surface without priming first. But for glossy surfaces or those with much dirt, mildew, or grease, the paint needs preparation before being applied.
The quality of this paint is also very good as it takes much less time and effort to coat a surface. Moreover, its special “high-hide” formula helps in hiding previous colors and surfaces beneath the coatings.
This is actually a good thing if your purpose is to make the exterior beautiful. But if you just want to preserve the wood-grain, a better choice would be to use other kinds of paints.
Besides, the color codes of this item may not be a good choice for homes that are dark-colored themed. But when we talk about the quality, it doesn’t hold back a bit. Also, its environmentally friendly formula releases low VOCs, which makes it less unpleasant to apply.
What to Look for Before Buying?
If our suggested paints don’t suit your specific needs, you can easily lookout for the following necessary considerations. And, please, don't just start painting your outdoors with the paints for plywood. Those are formulated differently.
Let this buying guide help you figure out the right item for your task at hand.
Exterior paints tend to be more durable than interior ones and runs anywhere from $8 to even more than $50. Expensive item usually has higher quality ingredients and are more durable than inferior ones. Look for paint giving you at least 5 to 10 years of warranty.
Let’s face it, all paints are made of chemicals, and they are bound to produce some smell and fumes. These fumes are toxic and are known as VOC or volatile organic compounds. If inhaled in a large quality, this can cause vomiting, headache, and nausea.
However, there are a few high-quality options out there that are labeled as “Low-VOC” or “Zero-VOC.” It is better to choose them over others.
Paints have different drying times varying from 2 to even 24 hours. And to apply the second coating, the first one needs to dry properly. So this is something to consider while buying your exterior paint.
Water-based paints dry quicker than oil-based ones, which could sometimes take up to 24 hours. You can check the drying time of the paint on the can.
Since the paint is to be applied outside of the home, they will get plenty of exposure to direct sunlight and rain. And since low-quality paints tend to fade fast, look for “titanium dioxide” on the ingredient list to make the paint last longer.
You need good paint that will handle whatever nature throws its way. Generally, oil paints are very good at withstanding any weather conditions, but presently acrylic-based latex paints are also not far behind in terms of weather resistance.
Dirt & Stain-Resistant
Low maintenance paints are perfect for the grubby world of the garden. Dirt and stain resistant paints are also water-resistant to a great degree. This makes them self-cleaning when there is rain. Besides, you can also wash it anytime you want.
The paint on exterior wood fades due to the UV ray falling directly on its surface. This can also change the color of your stain, oil, or varnish over time. Therefore, look for UV protected paint for a longer-lasting effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can one exterior paint be used for everything in the garden?
It is not ideal to use one single paint for applying on anything and everything in the garden. The things that are used heavily need to be coated with more durable paint, like decks and windows. On the other hand, furniture paints don’t need to be that hard-wearing.
2. Can I use exterior paints for indoors?
Technically you can use any paint anywhere you like. But they might not look as good as where it was supposed to be used. Some exterior paints give off more VOCs than interior ones. So, you need to ventilate the room very well before using it.
3. Can I mix my Paints?
It is very difficult to try mixing indoor paints with exteriors ones due to the difference of fundamental qualities in them. Besides, since exterior paints are specifically made to stick to specific materials, it becomes almost impossible to mix different paints.
4. Does wood stain protect wooden surfaces?
Actually, no. Wood stain’s only job is to color the wood. It doesn’t protect the wood from elements or scratches. For that, you should apply extra layers of varnish.
5. How many paint layers should I apply?
For outdoor wooden surfaces, we recommend applying at least 2 coatings. But if you want to get the best result, three coatings will do the trick.
There you have it! Our suggestions for the best exterior paints for wood and some guidelines for what to look for before buying them. We sincerely hope this article has helped you navigate through the different kinds of paints and helped you make an educated decision.