What Is The Best Exterior Paint For Wood?

What Is The Best Exterior Paint For Wood_ (2)

When it comes to the best exterior paint for wood, each project has different needs.  Some exterior siding that looks like wood, may not require as much care and attention.  But with the real stuff, whether you are painting wooden doors, the deck, frames for the roof, or the entire house, so many factors may be bouncing around in your head that it can get confusing!  Here are some things to consider.

different wood

Special Properties of Wood

While wood is a common building material, there are many types of wood to choose from.  If you are building with raw, untreated wood, the most affordable kind will usually be what grows in abundance where you live.  Because wood can rot or attract insect infestation, it is important to care for your wood exterior and treat it regularly – one to two times every ten years.  It is also important to consistently take note of any holes or splinters and repair them as soon as possible, to seal the area.

Wood is lighter than concrete or brick and more flexible.  While wood is sensitive to moisture it is breathable and is good for insulation.

Painting Exterior

Painting the exterior of your home or a part of it is a big job. If you are painting exterior wood doors, exterior wood siding panels, a porch or fence, you still need durability.  Adhesion is important because your paint job has to stand up to a variety of weather conditions and temperatures.  Depending on where you are painting, it may also have to be resilient to foot traffic, animals, insects, and general scratches and dings.

Wood specifically needs to be treated and sealed so water doesn’t seep in and rot it from the inside out.  This typically takes more primer and/or paint than other building materials because it will soak into the grain and take an extra coat or two, which is good for protection in the long run.  This is why it is very important to leave lots of dry time once you have pressured washed your wood exterior. In perfect weather conditions, it takes about 48 hours for wood to dry completely but may take longer.


Benefits of Priming & Finishing

Once the wood siding or deck is washed, repaired, and completely dry, adding a layer of primer will help the paint job last longer.  Primer will soak into the wood and act as a kind of seal so water can’t seep in as easily.    If the primer doesn’t soak in and is left as surface paint on wood, sometimes water is able to seep behind the paint but can’t as easily find its way out, which leads to mould.

Similarly, after the painting process, using a finish can go a long way.  The finish will act as a water-repellent and stand up to varied weather conditions.

Staining vs Painting

Staining or Painting

When it comes to preference, most homeowners stain if they want to preserve the natural look of the wood exterior but staining also takes less time.  The best exterior wood stain will seep into the grain and will fade gradually before you need to stain again.  Depending on the project, you will need to stain it every 2-4 years.  For example, a deck will need to be re-stained more often than wood siding.

Painting exterior wood lasts a little longer but wood needs scraping and/or sanding before repainting, so it is a tougher project in general.  What is great about wood however, is you can paint it any colour you like.  And paint adds a greater layer of protection from water damage and the sun.

Oil Based Or Water Based

For old weathered wood or wood exterior siding with direct exposure to the elements – the sun, rain, wind, etc. oil-based paints and primers may last longer.  An oil-based primer will soak into the grain better and act as a barrier to water.  It will also act as a barrier for tannin leaking from the wood itself.

However water-based paint or latex tends to be better for the environment and has a milder smell.  And most general high-quality exterior paints are water-based.

Barn/Fence/Siding/Deck or Premium Exterior Paint

The best exterior paint for wood may become chalky, as wood-specific paints can have a less glossy finish.  But because they are made for wood, they are meant to soak into the grain and last a long time.  They are made to minimize mould, mildew, and rot with a matte finish.  While many have a built-in primer, the can itself can be less expensive but painting wood usually takes extra coats to seal it properly.

High-quality premium exterior paint does a good job at minimizing mould and mildew also and is made to stand up to a variety of weather conditions.  It will act as protection and ensure your wood lasts as long as possible before needing replacement – especially if the painting procedure is followed and the exterior wood siding is treated with care.

So there you have it…the most important factors to consider when you are looking for the best exterior paint for wood.  If you love to do things yourself, then a little research goes a long way. But if the steps and stages of painting your wood exterior are a little stressful (or a lot!) there is no need to worry – Home Painters Toronto is here for you!

If you reside in Toronto and the GTA and need some help figuring out the interior painting costs per square foot, don’t hesitate to call us! We will help you pick the colours you want and show you the latest painting and home renovation trends. Our home painting services with the best pro painters have been around now for over 30 years. Call 416.494.9095 or email brian@HomePaintersToronto.com for a FREE quote for your home painting needs. And don’t forget to check us out on our social media channels below! 


From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.



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