Exterior paint guide: What paint you should be using – the 7 types you need to know about

Exterior paint guide: What paint you should be using – the 7 types you need to know about

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The sun is finally shining and it’s time to apply a fresh lick of paint to your garage door, shed, decking and other outdoor surfaces. Bright coloured paint will brighten up your garden or outdoor space, but it’s important to use the right type of paint to ensure the look lasts. Express.co.uk chatted to property expert at HomeHow.co.uk, Natalie Mitchell, to find out what paint you should be using outside.

Outdoor paints aren’t just an easy way to liven up a dull garden, they can actually help to protect structures and surfaces against external elements such as sun and rain.

Natalie said: “The task does not need to be a big DIY project if you know what elements you are working with.

“Before you decide on paint, you need to understand the type and quality of your surface as this will indicate the preparation needed. For example, older surfaces need to be dry, and any rust must be sanded down.

“Ultimately, each paint type has pros and cons, dependent on the size and texture of the area.”

How do you know what type of paint to use?

There are seven main types of external paint that you’ll likely need to use for outside your home or in your garden.

These are:

  • Galvanised metal paint
  • Exterior paint
  • Exterior high gloss paint
  • Weatherproof paint
  • Anti-slip decking paint
  • Decking oil
  • Decking stain

Natalie has revealed which of these paints to use for three key exterior surfaces.

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Exterior paint guide:

Exterior paint guide: The paint you use outdoors is different from regular paint (Image: Getty)

Exterior paint guide:

Exterior paint guide: Use galvanised mental paint or exterior paint (Image: Getty)

Garage doors

Garage doors quickly become rusty and dull-looking, but a splash of paint is a great way to neaten up the outside of your home and protect the door.

Natalie said: “Before choosing the colour, you need to consider what type of paint is right for your door.

“It’s important to pick a day that is above 10 degrees otherwise the paint won’t dry and will leave you with an uneven finish.

“Before you start, use a flat scraper to remove any old paint as this will leave you with a smooth workspace.”

Once you’ve prepared the surface, you can use galvanised metal paint (£12 to £50 per litre) or exterior paint (£4 to £20 per litre) to paint the door.

Exterior paint guide:

Exterior paint guide: Use exterior high gloss or weatherproof paint (Image: Getty)

Natalie said: “If you have a metal garage door, galvanised metal paint will produce an effective finish and prolong your garage door’s lifespan.

“Galvanised metal paint is temperature-resistant which means it is not worn down by UV rays or ice.

“If your garage door is rusting, metal paint can easily cover this up without the cost of making repairs.

“For beginners, the application process for metal paint can be quite difficult as the solutions are thick.

“Patience is required as the process can take longer to finish but the colour will withhold.”

Exterior paint can also be used on any surface that is exposed to weather conditions, but it isn’t as hardy.

Natalie added: “Exterior paint is made to tolerate adverse weather conditions and protect against rusting.

“However, the paint tends to change colour once it has been cured, and over time the colour will fade, so regular maintenance is needed.”

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Sheds

Sheds are used to house gardening tools and furniture, so it’s important to look after the wood to protect these items.

Natalie said: “Whether you’ve had a new shed built this year or the existing one needs renovating, you should always scrub before painting.

“Sheds can attract cobwebs, mud and mould, so use a diluted general-purpose cleaner and a hard wire brush to scrub away any excess.

“The removal will make the paint application effortless. Just make sure that the wood is completely dry before painting.”

After preparing the wood, you can use either exterior high gloss paint (£5 to £40 per litre) or weatherproof paint (£15 to £30 per litre) to change the colour of your shed.

Exterior paint guide:

Exterior paint guide: Use one of three paints on your decking (Image: Getty)

Exterior high gloss paint is the best choice if you want your shed to be a statement in your garden.

Natalie said: “Exterior high-gloss paint is ideal for improving the colour of your shed while protecting the wood from damage.

“It’s also easy to clean, meaning the maintenance of removing any dirt or debris takes minutes.

“High-gloss paint can highlight imperfections, if you have any large damages to your shed, this paint might not be the best option.

“During application, precise coverage is needed to avoid evident brush marks.”

Another option for your shed is weatherproof paint, which will protect the wood against severe weather conditions.

Natalie said: “Weatherproof paint is water-resistant, meaning any heavy rainfall will leave your shed intact.
“It can help to lower humidity and protect against UV rays.

“Whilst weatherproof paint can limit the damage caused by weather, you may have to use extra precautions such as a primer or oil to prevent widespread damage.”

Decking

Garden decking looks effective in any garden and can even help to make a small garden look bigger.

However, it does need to be painted frequently to maintain the appearance.

Natalie said: “Paint helps to refresh the look whilst protecting it against external elements such as UV rays and rainwater which creates cracks.

“Always prepare your decking before and only paint in dry weather conditions.

“Decking paint won’t dry in cold weather and if it has recently rained, the wood will be wet in texture.”

Once you’ve prepared the decking, you can apply any of the following three paints: anti-slip decking paint (£4 to £8 per litre), decking oil (£8 to £16 per litre) or decking stain (£8 to £12 per litre).

Anti-slip paint is made up of epoxy resin which is a protective coating for garden decking.

Natalie said: “The resistant surface makes the decking safer. It can also extend lifespan and durability by protecting against damage.

“If the decking is not prepared properly, it will reduce the efficiency of the anti-slip paint. It can take up to four days to complete your entire decking with anti-slip decking paint.”

Decking oil, on the other hand, is used to penetrate timber decking which protects the installation from the inside.

Natalie explained: “Decking oil is water-resistant, preventing damp from damaging your decking when hosing or during heavy rainfall.

“It also contains UV protection. Decking oils are not suitable for exotic hardwood decking as they are naturally oily woods and wouldn’t react well to further oil being added.

“Decking oil tends to change colour once it is applied and cured.”

Finally, you could use a decking stain. A decking stain is like varnish which lays on top of the surface for protection.

Natalie said: “Decking stain will provide a shielding surface layer to maintain protection and durability.

“Unlike decking oil, there are a variety of different shades available. However, if the seal is broken on the decking stain layer, it can flake off, allowing moisture to enter the timber.”

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