How to Choose the Best Paint for Your Exterior Painting Project

When it comes to exterior painting, you want to be confident that you are choosing the right products and best contractor for your project. But choosing the best paint can get confusing with so many different finishes and types.

We’re going to break down the variety of available paints out there and share some tips that will lead you in the right direction to find the best paint for your next exterior painting project.

Types of Exterior House Paint

Types of Exterior House Paint

Since there are several different types of exterior house paint, you want to be sure you are choosing the right one for your job.

Solvent-Based (Oil) Paint

Oil-based paint works well for exterior doors and metal railings. It takes longer to dry than latex paint, but when it is dry it is smooth and stands up well to the elements. 

Water-Based (Latex) Paint

Latex paint dries quickly. It expands in warmer temperatures and contracts in cooler temperatures. This means you don’t have to paint as often. 

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint provides extra protection from cracking and blistering which is why it’s often used on exterior wood surfaces. For these surfaces, you want to use paint that will protect from moisture and water damage.

Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is used for brick or stucco surfaces. It bonds firmly to the surface and comes in a flat finish to mask any imperfections on the surface.

Paint Finishes

Besides knowing the type of paint you want, you need to decide on the finish. This is especially important because it will impact the degree of light reflection the paint has. 


Many people choose gloss or high-gloss paint for exterior painting projects because they’re easy to clean. This makes them popular for high-traffic areas like doors. 

If you’re using gloss paint on shutters and trim work, it will provide a good contrast to your home’s siding. But, if you have doors or other surfaces that aren’t in the best condition, high-gloss paint will show imperfections more than other finishes because it is extremely reflective.


Semi-gloss has less shine than gloss and is best for trim work and casings. Semi-gloss paint is usually a good choice for areas that are exposed to the elements because it is more durable.


Satin paint is typically used for wood or cement siding that is still in good condition. It offers a moderate sheen and is easy to clean.


Flat paint is a good choice if you have scratched or dented siding because it’s good at hiding imperfections.

Don’t Forget the Primer…

You also need to choose a primer for your exterior painting project because it will help paint adhere to the surface better and provide a longer-lasting finish. Primers are a must if you’re painting over bright or dark colors.

Exterior primer is more durable and can help protect against mildew, cracking, and erosion.

Tips for Your Next Exterior Painting Project

Besides considering the type and paint finish you want, keep these things in mind for your next painting project:

Do You Want to Blend in or Stand Out?

Do you want your house to blend in with the landscapes around you or stick out from other homes on the block? Your answer will weigh heavily on the paint you choose. Remember, the best exterior paint will bring out the best features of your home and add curb appeal . Give plenty of thought to how you want to portray your home. 

Think About Your Color Choices

Neutral colors are popular because they are warm and tend to complement other elements of the home. This is also a safe option if you plan to sell your home in the near future. Reds and yellows are bright options, but they also make a bold statement. If you’re looking for some color scheme ideas, be sure to check out our image gallery.

Test Your Colors

You don’t want to have your entire home painted only to realize you hate the color. If you go off the colors you see only in the store, you’re not going to see how the color looks at different angles of sunlight and shade. Take some samples home to see what the colors truly look like.

Trust CLH Painting for Your Next Exterior Painting Project

CLH Painting is your trusted exterior painting contractor in the Raleigh area. Our team of licensed painting contractors is here to give your home a fresh, new look. If you’re ready to experience exterior painting at its best, call us today at  919-795-5481 or send us a message online to get started.