Seven common questions about exterior painting

What’s the best exterior paint or stain?

This is the last of our 7 common questions regarding exterior painting.

It is important to know what makes one painting product better than others. What are the qualities that make one paint perform better than others? Durability is one characteristic that is of great importance, but fade resistance, moisture resistance, toughness, hiding of the previous color, and ease of application are not to be neglected. 

Now that we know what characteristics we are looking for, let’s get into how to identify better quality exterior paint or stain.

Black Mildew

Black Mildew

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide

Benjamin Moore Products

Benjamin Moore Products


Acrylic Vs Oil

In general, 100% Acrylic paints are better than oil based paints for the exterior of homes or commercial buildings. These products contain latex binders which help them adhere to the surface strongly and that can provide longevity for painted exterior surfaces.

As mentioned in previous blog posts oil paints and stains act as food for mildew. Oil products change color over time and turn yellow or even darker whereas acrylic products maintain that fresh look for much longer.


Good quality paints contain titanium dioxide pigments which is one of the most expensive ingredients that go into a can of paint. Titanium dioxide gives paint its brightness and is very good in scattering light. It even stays white when wet or when the surface is washed.

In general, more costly paints contain more titanium dioxide and therefore are better quality for exterior use.

Thickness of Paint

Another important fact about better quality paints is the thickness of the paint film that goes on the exterior surface. The thicker the film the better protection it provides against the elements. As an example, Benjamin Moore Aura paint lays a thick coat on the surface and it is very durable against the elements.

Aura also has other characteristics such as fade resistance (important for exterior painting) as well as moisture and scuff resistance that make it a good quality paint.

Quality vs Price

Not all paints are created equal!

You can’t just compare paints by their brand. All paint manufacturers have many different lines of products, from cheap commercial grades to better and best. You need to compare apples to apples when deciding on what brand and product to choose from for the exterior painting of your home. Most people ask painters what brand of paint are they going to use on their house. They should rather ask “What brand and product line do you use?”

When considering an exterior painting or staining project, remember that paint and stain make roughly about 15% of the total cost of your exterior painting. If you are spending 85% on the cost of labor to paint your home, please don’t try to save by going with a less expensive paint!  

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