Choosing the type of paint for the home exterior


Once you\’ve decided on the colour of paint that you want for your house, the next step seems simple enough. Head to the hardware store and get some paint and brushes. Sounds simple? Not really. You\’ll discover that there is just one type of house paint, but a whole range of paint, latex or alkyd, different types of colours, varnish, enamel, shellac, water paint etc. Paint is designed to provide you with colour and gloss retention, to provide mildew resistance and to withstand expansion and retraction due to exposure to weather. You will also have to consider the kind of surface that you are painting on and the finish that you want. 

Types of paint

Latex – Originally referred to the use of rubber in one form or another as the resin, or solid in paint, latex paint uses water as the solvent or thinner. There are many paints these days made with water as the thinner but with resins that are not latex, such as “water-thinned” or “water-reducible” paint. “Acrylic latex” is more often used to refer to latex paint now, because they contain a plastic resin made of acrylics or polyvinyls rather than rubber.

Latex paint has high durability that will last you a long time and retains the colour of your paint. It dries quickly, works well on a porous surface, and is easy to work with. Another advantage to latex paint is opacity which allows it to completely cover one colour with another. You also do not need volatile thinners and brush cleaners to wash the brush or roller as it comes clean in just a few minutes, thus erasing the potential fire hazard. 

Latex paint also works well on porous surface, which allows moisture to escape and helps to prevent your paint from peeling. It is also easy to cleanup latex paint, simply clean with soap and water. It also works well on surfaces previously painted with latex or oilbase paints and can be used on unprimed drywall and unpainted masonry. It cannot adhers to high-gloss finishes, and is not recommended for use with wallpaper as the water in the paint may cause the paper to peel away from the wall. Latex will cause bare steel to rust and will raise the grain on raw wood.

Oil (Alkyd) – Alkyd paint is one of the most well known type of oil paint in the market. It utilises a synthtic resin as a binder in the paint, which is normally oil. Alkyd paint comes in a wide variety of finishes that make is ideal for different types of projects. It provides durability and stain resistance, has good adhesion and can cover problematic or glossy surfaces. Alkyd paints tend to dry slower, giving time for the roller marks to fade away and dry to a more cleaner surface. Alkyd paint is used commonly in “high traffic” areas, including doors and trim within a home and cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. Weather resistance feature in these type of paint also make them ideal for surfaces or objects outside the house. Alkyd paint will hold up under rain and snow and will not crack or peel in cold temperature.

However it does require more on the cleanup, as it requires mineral spirits usage on brushes in order to get them clean. Some places will not even allow this kind of paint, due to air-quality regulations. Always be sure to check into these things prior to actually purchasing your paints. Alkyd paint do not hold their pigment well.