Choosing the Right Exterior Paint Types for Your Home

exterior paint types

When you’re tackling an exterior house painting project, selecting the right paint type is crucial for both the appearance and longevity of your home’s façade. Understanding the differences between various exterior paint types can help you make an informed decision, ensuring your home not only looks stunning but also stays protected against the elements.

Your Guide to Exterior Paint Types

Understanding Paint Basics

Before diving into specific exterior paint types, it’s important to understand the two primary components of paint: the pigment and the binder. The pigment provides color, while the binder ensures that the pigment adheres to the surface. Solvents and additives also play roles, improving application and durability.

Exterior paints are formulated to withstand weathering, resist mildew, and fend off fading from sunlight. They come in various types, each with its own set of properties and benefits.

Water-Based Paints (Latex)

These paints are well known for their ease of use and environmental friendliness. They dry quickly, resist fading and cracking, and clean up with water. Latex paints adhere well to most surfaces, making them a versatile choice for various exterior applications.

Oil-Based Paints (Alkyd)

For a durable finish that stands up to rough weather and resists wear, oil-based paints are a strong contender. They take longer to dry, which allows for a smoother finish, although they require mineral spirits for cleanup. If your exterior surfaces are previously painted with oil-based paint, sticking to the same type ensures better adhesion.

Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is one of the best options among exterior paints. Known for its durability, it offers excellent adhesion and flexibility, reducing the likelihood of cracking and peeling. It’s also resistant to mildew and fading, making it a top choice for many homeowners.

Elastomeric Paint

Elastomeric paint is a heavy-duty option that creates a waterproof and durable layer over your home’s exterior. Its elastic properties allow it to fill and bridge small cracks, providing an added layer of protection against water intrusion.

Low VOC Paints

For those concerned with environmental impact and indoor air quality, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints are a fantastic choice. These paints emit fewer harmful chemicals, making them safer for both the environment and your family.

Heat-Reflective Paint

In areas with intense sunlight, heat-reflective paint can help keep your home cooler and reduce energy costs. By reflecting sunlight away from your home, these paints minimize the heat absorbed by your walls.

Direct-to-Metal (DTM) Paint

For metal surfaces, DTM paints provide rust protection and strong adhesion without a primer. They’re available in both water-based and oil-based formulas, catering to various needs and preferences.

Selecting the Right Sheen

The finish of your exterior paint also plays a significant role in both aesthetics and functionality. From flat to high gloss, each sheen level offers different benefits.

  • Flat/Matte: Offers a non-reflective finish, great for hiding surface imperfections. However, it’s less durable and harder to clean.
  • Satin: A popular choice for exteriors, satin offers a slight gloss with good durability and easier cleaning.
  • Semi-Gloss: Highly durable and easy to clean, semi-gloss is perfect for trim and areas that require frequent washing.
  • Gloss: While offering the highest durability and ease of cleaning, gloss finishes can highlight surface imperfections and are typically used for trim and doors.

Proper preparation is key to ensuring the longevity of your exterior paint job. This includes cleaning the surface, making repairs, sanding rough spots, and applying primer if necessary. Choosing the right primer is just as important as selecting the paint itself, with options available for different types of surfaces and conditions.


Choosing the right exterior paint types for your home involves considering the material of your home’s exterior, the climate you live in, and your aesthetic preferences. By understanding the different options available and preparing your home’s exterior properly, you can ensure a long-lasting, beautiful finish that enhances your home’s curb appeal and protection.

Remember, while selecting the perfect paint might seem daunting, the right choice will pay off in the long run, safeguarding and beautifying your home for years to come.

Ready to bring new life to your home’s exterior with the perfect paint type?

Better Painting has you covered. With over 20 years of experience, our team of skilled professionals uses only the highest quality materials to transform your space, ensuring durability and beauty that lasts. We pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail, from preparation to the final brush stroke.

Whether you’re unsure about the best type of paint for your home or you’re dreaming of a fresh new look, Better Painting offers free estimates and color consultations to guide your decision.

Call us now at (636) 698-4574 to get started!

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Choose the Better Painting Company

Better Painting is dedicated to delivering top-quality painting services to homes and businesses in the St. Louis, MO and Phoenix, AZ areas. Our expert team ensures meticulous attention to detail and a flawless finish in every project. Choose Better Painting for reliable service, durable materials, and a transformation that makes every space shine. Trust us to bring your vision to life with precision and professionalism.