The Best Exterior House Paints Tested

The best exterior paints provide increased outdoor surface protection and resistance against fade, blistering, peeling, bubbling, and oxidation. Exterior paint qualities that offer the best surface protection include moisture resistance to rain and humidity and increased long-term durability in warm and cold climates.

Flexible exterior acrylic paints provide extra resistance to cracking, expansion, and contraction, nearly as much as exterior caulking. Caulk and paints’ ability to expand and contract together prevents surface hairline surface cracks, leading to water entry, wood rot, and repairs.

Exterior paints containing exceptional adhesion properties enable application on multiple surfaces. Additional features of quality paint include:

  • Being Easy to Spread Evenly
  • Not Drying too Quickly or Slowly
  • Being Conveniently Available to Purchase.

Best Exterior Paint Based on Surface Type

Using one paint type is not always possible when painting over multiple surfaces. However, the home’s primary surface must be considered before recommending the best exterior paint. 

Paint for siding, stucco, and brick surfaces will vary. Because these areas often contain the largest surface area, they must be considered first.

Paint Based on Siding Type:

Masonry Coatings:

Cost & Overall Performance:

  • Best Overall: Sherwin Williams Latitude (Satin)
  • Best For Wood, PVC, & HardiePlank Trim: Sherwin-Williams Duration (Gloss)
  • Best When on A Budget: Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec
  • Best For Old Homes/ Peeling Paint: Benjamin Moore Peel Bonding Primer

Porch Floors:

Concrete/ Brick Steps:

Best Exterior Paints Based on Use & Durability


Sherwin-Williams Latitude

  • Can Be Applied Over Multiple Surfaces
  • Class-Leading Moisture Resistance
  • Easy to Brush

Latitude is the best exterior paint to prevent leaching and offers excellent performance in humid climate.


Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior

  • Thich Brushable Finish
  • Leading Single Coat Protection
  • Superior Weather Resistance

Emerald exterior offers optimal long-term protect against fade, oxidation, blistering, & peeling.


Benjamin Moore Regal Exterior

  • The Best Hide & Coverage
  • Thick Consistancy & Easy Application
  • Low/ High Temperature Applications

Benjamin Moore Regal offers flexiable applications and provides the easier high-build usage.


Sherwin-Williams Duration Exterior

  • Outstanding Adhesion over Mulple Surfaces
  • Improved Spreadability & Drytime
  • Blister & Peel Resistance

Another high performer overall, Duration offer protection and advanced adhesion over serveral surfaces.

Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior

  • The Most Durable Paint Finish
  • Advanced Long-term Color Retention
  • Heavy Paint Coatings

Aura exterior is the longest lasting paint we have used. It’s resistance to paint failure and fade make it the best paint that we have ever used.

The Gen-X colorant platform provides class-leading color retention in deep and vibrant colors.

How We Compare Performance

We are expert residential house painters in business for over 20 years and have nearly 30 years of experience. Paint performance remains a top question among our clients, and we answer based on user experience through usage and long-term field tests.

Paints with the most frequent warranty claims fall off our list of recommendations. If the paint has lost its natural shine, adhesion, or elasticity or has oxidized prematurely, we not only stop using it but no longer recommend it.

Our research, experience, and ongoing assessments enable us to suggest exterior paints that we know will last the longest based on the surface and conditions.

Factors When Considering Exterior Paint

Where you live will also impact the paint’s performance and the most vital protection needed to withstand the climate. 

More factors to consider:

  • Paint Finish
  • Horizontal vs. Vertical Surfaces
  • Areas Subject to Standing Water
  • Abrasion, Foot Traffic, & Direct Sunlight

There is not one paint brand or type that will excel in all categories. So, it’s essential to determine the primary protection needed and to choose the best paint based on the primary function and need.

Call us if you live in Raleigh, NC, and need help with your exterior painting needs!

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