Top Pick – The Best Exterior Wood Paint
Rust-Oleum Latex Paint is a low odor paint both for your outdoor and indoor wood. Its formula resists peeling and creates long-lasting protection.
If you’ve never done it before, painting exterior wood seems like an incredibly easy task. Simply pick your favorite option and then brush it on, right? Wrong!
Before applying any paint to a piece of outdoor wooden furniture or deck, you’ll likely need to clean the surface, strip and sand it. After that, the priming is recommended. Much of the process described above depends on whether the wood is already primed and painted or raw.
If that seems like too much work, don’t worry. There are many exterior paints on the market that allow you to skip these steps by including them in one simple process. There are also so many styles and finishes you can choose from, from a matte or glossy finish! In this article, we’ll explore 8 best exterior paints for wood that are currently on the market.
Best Exterior Paints for Wood in December, 2023
|#||Paint for wood||Coverage (quart)||Dry time (minutes)||Colors|
|1||Rust-Oleum Latex |
|up to 120 sq ft||30||18|
|2||Kilz Porch and Patio Floor||50-100 sq ft||60||2|
|3||Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Spray||up to 12 sq ft (1 can)||20||8|
|4||Kilz Exterior||50-125 sq ft||120-180||2|
|5||Rust-Oleum Satin||up to 120 sq ft||30||2|
|6||Prestige||100 sq ft||60-120||7|
|7||Montage Signature||up to 100 sq ft||30||20|
|8||New York Botanical Gardens||100 sq ft||60-120||9|
1. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Latex Paint – Top Exterior Paint for Wood
Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch latex-based paint is extremely versatile, with many possible uses. Going to refresh exterior furniture? The Rust-Oleum is for you. If you’re in the midst of a massive renovation or just working on multiple outdoor projects, Rust-Oleum makes painting much easier. Plus, the beautiful glossy finish can be used on much more than just wood. You can use it on glass, metal, ceramic, plaster and canvas (so long as they are not walking surfaces).
Painter’s Touch is made with “double cover” technology. This means you’ll deal with less wear and tear and chipping of the paint. It provides a fresh, clean look to worn-out surfaces and most projects are completed in one to two coats. It’s also a low-odor, safe product that’s easily cleaned up with soap and water should any messes occur during its application.
If you’re applying it to another hard surface, like metal, it does not need to be sanded down. Additionally, this formula is incredibly fast-drying. You can apply one coat and come back and repaint another in just 30 minutes!
2. Kilz Porch and Patio Floor Paint – Best Deck and Wood Floor Paint
A great product by Kilz, specifically geared at painting decks, wooden porch and patio floors that easily get worn out. If you haven’t painted your porch or patio floor for fear of the incredible amount of maintenance, you’re missing out on the added style and protection that painting the floor can give you. If you have invested the money to make a beautiful outside extension of your home, you need to protect your investment with this product.
Kilz’ Porch and Patio Floor paint protects your wood flooring from scuffs, scratches, fading, cracking or peeling. While it can be applied to any hard surface like cement, metal or masonry, the true beauty of this product is seen when painted on wood.
This latex enamel product is really easy to apply. It dries within one hour (however, wait 4-6 hours to apply a second coat) and is available in the popular slate gray or silver gray colors. One gallon covers between 200-400 square feet and can be rolled, brushed or sprayed on to your porch or patio flooring.
3. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray – Top Outdoor Spray Paint for Wood
Rust-Oleum has a number of paints on this list, and it is for good reason. They put out such a high-quality product, and it’s not just limited to traditional paint. This Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover spray is a fantastic choice if you need quick, even application of color on items that would be difficult to evenly cover with paint due to their size or intricacies. It can be used on nearly all outdoor pieces, adhering to everything from wood, to metal, ceramic and even plastic!
The oil-based formula sprays on evenly and dries very quickly, within 20 minutes or less. This enables you to quickly see the level of coverage from one coat and finish your project quickly, anticipating how many more coats you will need within just minutes. Unlike other sprays, it is low odor and has a beautiful satin finish that will create a look similar to that of what a professional painter would create.
This product is also popular amongst car enthusiasts as the clear coat can repair headlights that have turned cloudy with age. If you are using the paint for that, you should also sand down the headlights somewhat before application.
4. Kilz Exterior Siding, Fence & Barn Paint – Top Exterior Paint For Fence and Siding
If you’re looking for an exterior paint that will protect your outdoor wood project from the elements for a long time, then Kilz Exterior Siding, Fence & Barn paint is the right choice for you! Kilz brand has been a top producer of paints and primers for 40 years. They know what they’re doing, and they do it right!
This product is specifically formulated to protect against wear and tear, mold and mildew, rust and more. It resists cracking, drying, peeling and blisters caused by the sun on your outdoor painted wood. It is self-priming, which means you just have to clean and sand down the wood before you apply this product.
The water and oil-based formula sticks well to almost anything and lasts for long. You won’t have to reapply year after year, even in the toughest of conditions. Use this on stucco, cement, wood, metal or whatever surface you have outside that needs some protection.
5. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Satin – Satin Paint for Outdoor Wood Furniture
This multi-purpose latex paint has a ton of benefits, besides the trusted Rust-Oleum name behind it! It’s great for all of your exterior painting needs including painting outdoor wood furniture. It offers a beautiful satin finish that does not chip easily and works well in high traffic areas. The paint can be used on a wide variety of surfaces besides wood, like metal, ceramics or earthenware, plaster and cement. Unlike a lot of paints, the Painter’s Touch Satin is low-odor. It’s really easy to use and very easy to clean up. You just have to wipe it down with soap and wet washrag before it dries.
This one not only goes on thoroughly and evenly but because it is a satin finish it also hides any imperfections; you need not worry about being an expert when using this product! Prior to using this paint, you should sand down your wood project with a 180-200 grit piece of sandpaper and then apply a degreaser. After that, wait about 2 hours (or more) for the wood to be dry and then apply this paint. While it does take a bit more time and effort than other paints, the final result will stun you!
6. Prestige LifeTime – Both Exterior Paint and Primer in One
This ultra-premium paint from Prestige Paints makes your wood project much easier to complete by combining paint and primer in one product. Prestige also offers a match to some Sherwin-Williams paints making it easy for you to touch-up old projects and give them new life! Application of this option is extremely easy. The formula’s smooth finish provides even coverage and hides blemishes or mistakes made by the most novice of painters. It also does a fantastic job on wood, cement, stone works, masonry, metal, and even vinyl siding!
The paint will look great when applied with a high-quality brush, and usually, at least two to three coats are needed to achieve the best look. It usually takes about 2-3 hours for one coat to dry, so this product might take longer to use than others.
Each color is intended for interior or exterior use only. Read carefully before purchase.
7. Montage Signature – Eco – Friendly Paint
Montage a very versatile water-based paint that comes in several versions. You can get a low-sheen version if you prefer a smooth, flat finish, or you can get the semi-gloss variety if you want the wood to shine a little. This paint is available in a bunch of different colors, but all of them are light pastel shades. This presents a slight problem for those who don’t like pastel colors, but their muted nature does make them an ideal choice for home decor. After all, you don’t want your home decked out in a loud color like neon green or hot pink.
After all, they are not under any legal obligation to produce eco-friendly paint, though there is an obvious marketability incentive to do so. Still, environmental protection is very important, and this also makes the paint much less vile on the senses.
I say that it is unusual because most paint doesn’t come with any kind of warranty, let alone a warranty with such a long term. This indicates that the company is very confident in the durability of their product.
This paint applies very smoothly, having no real tendency to chunk up and form clumps. If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it’s finding clumps in the paint. You will get pretty good coverage out of a single can of this stuff, and the thick consistency should do an excellent job of hiding whatever it is that you are painting over.
Protects mold and mildew
Another good thing is that this paint contains substances that are meant to fight mold and mildew. This makes it great for wood in wetter areas that would normally be quite prone to mold/mildew issues. If this paint resists mold and mildew as well as advertised, it wouldn’t be a bad choice for your next bathroom job.
8. New York Botanical Gardens – Warm Tropical Colors for Exterior Wood
This is a lovely pastel paint from the people at New York Botanical Gardens. This is not just one kind of paint, but an entire line of paints designed around a tropical theme. A wide variety of colors are offered, such as “Bird Of Paradise,” “Lagoon,” and “Caribbean Blue.” Obviously, this line of paint isn’t necessarily a good choice for those who don’t like a tropical theme, or for those who have chosen a dark-colored theme for their home or place of business.
Paint and Primer in One
Depending on the size of your painting job, this can save you quite a few hours of work. If you are hiring contractors to paint your home, paint like this will mean fewer work hours, which means a lower bill for you when it’s all said and done.
This paint is advertised as containing a new “high hide” formula. Upon doing a little more research, I see that this kind of paint is intended to do a better job of hiding whatever color or surface lies beneath.
This is a somewhat environmentally friendly paint and has very little odor. It is low in VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), and this makes it less unpleasant to use.
As seen in many of the options above, to achieve the best look, there is a process that must come before painting any exterior wood. Though some products include a primer, most advise that you sand and finish wood before it is painted. Why? Let’s walk through the process.
Wash the Wood
Hair, dust mildew and other particles can get mixed up in your paint. This will cause visible blemishes, bumps and imperfections. Washing down the wood with mild soap and water or tri-sodium phosphate (found at your local hardware store) will save you from future headaches.
Sand the Wood
Even if the wood came from a hardware store, sand it down with a 180-200 grit sandpaper and then wipe off the dust with a cloth. Sanding the wood gives the paint something to attach itself to.
Prime the Wood
Primer chemically bonds to problematic areas of the wood and gives the paint an even surface to rest on, so that the end result is more uniform. I’ve put together great primers for the wood so that you can pick up exactly what you need. After applying primer, lightly sand the wood one more time and wipe it down. Now, you are ready to start painting.
Seal the Wood
Remember if you’re painting wood which is going outside make sure the paint has a built-in sealer or add a sealer once the paint is dry.
While many paints say that they include a primer, be wary about skipping all of the steps above before applying, even if it is high quality. While washing, sanding and priming the wood can be time-consuming, each step gets you closer toward your goal of having a project that is painted in the most professional manner and ensures the longevity. Ultimately, decide what kind of paint to purchase based on what you are painting, where it will live (indoor or outdoor), how much time to have to complete the project and what color and finish you want the project to have. The great projects are those that keep their beauty with minimum maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Never try to paint over an existing wood surface without first prepping it.
Applying a fresh coat of paint directly over the old one will not work and will ultimately peel. Stripping old paint before applying a new one will give you better results.
Yes, you can paint over stained wood. To paint over a stain, sand any shiny surfaces lightly until they are dull, then wash them down with a damp towel soaked in de-glosser.
Allow for drying time. To avoid bleed-through, use a quick-dry primer-sealer in equal strokes. Allow the sealer to dry before applying the final coat.
Yes, you can spray paint on wood. Spray paint dries much quicker than brushed on pain. Spray painting wood is a simple technique to get a smooth, uniform surface.
It is especially true with intricately designed products. Spray paint will give you a near-perfect finish, but painting with a brush might result in drips and brush marks.
If the wood isn’t bare, untreated wood, repair any cracks or holes with wood filler and sand the whole surface with different sandpaper grades ranging from medium to fine before applying the fresh paint.
If you’re painting raw, untreated wood, the answer is: no, you cannot paint directly on the wood.
If the wood is bare exterior wood, you need to prime it before painting. The high-solids content of primer aids in filling the wood grain and provides a smooth surface for the final coat.
Unfinished woods are prone to soaking up paint, and primer helps seal the surface to avoid this.
Yes, Exterior paints repel water. They create a stronger and more durable finish, making them an excellent choice for exterior wood projects.
For many years, oil-based paints were the preferred choice for exterior work, but recent technical improvements in water-based paints have made them superior. Acrylic paint is the most long-lasting. It’s flexible and resistant to fading from the sun and damage from rain and other environmental factors.
You can know if the wood is dry enough to paint by putting few drops of water on the surface of the wood. It is ready to be painted if the water soaks in.
To prepare exterior wood for painting you need to :
- Scrub away accumulated dirt, filth, mold, and other residue using a mild detergent. When you’re happy with the way the wood looks, rinse it down with a garden hose from top to bottom. Allow a full day for the surface to dry before proceeding.
- Use wood filler to repair big holes, nail holes, and gouges.
- Sand the surface to make it ready for new paint. To grind down sharper edges, start with low-grit sandpaper of approximately 60 grit.
- Prime surface for painting. Select a latex-based primer intended for outdoor usage. These materials are more resistant to the heat, dampness, rubbing, and swelling that outdoor wood surfaces are frequently exposed to.
They may bend a little, making them less prone to cracking than paints that harden into a rigid shell. Your paintwork will appear better and last longer as a result.
A clear polyurethane coating can help protect exterior paint on wood and extend its life.
Polyurethane is a synthetic, oil-based varnish that coats painted and bare wood surfaces with a durable and protective layer. It comes in liquid form, which you may apply with a brush or a spray can.
If the wood is simply wet on the surface, it generally only takes one sunny day or two to dry before painting. If the wood is moist, it will take many sunny or windy days to dry it out.
Depending on the size of the wood, you should let it cure for a week to a month.
Painting covers the surface of the wood, whereas a stain penetrates it. Unlike paint, which covers and hides the beauty of your wood, stain protects and maintains it.
Paint lasts longer on outdoor wood. whereas stain provides the natural look of wood. If you are looking for the best protection paint is better. If you are going for a natural look stain is the way to go.
With current advancements in paint technology, they adhere quite well to wood, even without priming. Good quality paint will stick to bare wood flawlessly.
The purpose of primer is to make the wood less porous. It is not the glue that adheres the paint to the wood. It is recommended to prime wood before painting it as it provides a smooth and clean area for the paint to adhere to.
There are two types of paints suitable and durable for outdoor wood: Oil-based paint Acrylic paint.
Oil-based paints dry harder, which provides excellent resistance to wear and tear. It tends to crack and turn yellow over time.
Water-based paints have recently achieved technological advances that make them a better overall choice. Acrylic paint is the most long-lasting between the two. It’s flexible and resistant to fading from the sun, as well as damage from rain and other environmental factors.