Pro Tips for Selecting the Best Outdoor Paint or Stain

December 27, 2022

Whether you are a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, you need to keep a few key things in mind when it comes to painting or staining your outdoor wood projects.

This blog post will share some pro tips for selecting the best outdoor paint or stain for your needs. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that your project looks great and lasts for years!

Tips for Selecting the Best Outdoor Paint or Stain

If you’re trying to decide whether to paint or stain the deck, the first thing you need to do is determine what type of wood your deck is made from. 

Some woods are better suited to painting, while others are better stained. For example, cedar and redwood are both naturally rot-resistant and tend to stain well, while pine tends to absorb paint more readily.

Choosing paint for your project can be tricky. There are a lot of different paints on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision:

Paint Durability

The first thing you need to consider is how durable the paint is. If you are painting a surface that will be exposed to the elements, you need to make sure that the paint can withstand sun, wind, and rain.

Look for a paint that is specifically designed for outdoor use. These paints will typically be more durable and have a higher level of UV protection.

Also, be sure to read the labels carefully. For example, some paints are only meant for certain surfaces, such as metal or concrete.

If you’re going to stain, make sure you go for the best stain for outdoor furniture that will protect your deck against the elements.

Paint Sheen

Another important factor to consider is the paint sheen. The sheen is the level of glossiness of the paint, and it can range from a high-gloss finish to a flat finish.

A high-gloss finish is very shiny and reflective, while a flat finish has no shine.

For most outdoor projects, you will want to choose paint with a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish. These finishes are more durable and can withstand the elements better than a flat finish.

They are also easier to clean, so you won’t have to worry about dirt and grime building up on your project.

Color Deceptions

The next thing you need to think about is the color of the paint. If you are painting a surface that will be exposed to the sun, you need to make sure that the color won’t fade over time.

To avoid this, you should look for paint with a high level of UV protection. This will help to keep the color from fading in the sun.

You should also be aware that paint colors can look different when dry than wet.

To get an accurate idea of the color’s appearance when it is dry, you should always test the paint on a small surface area before starting your project.

Types of Exterior Deck Paint

There are two main types of exterior house paint: oil-based and water-based. Each type of paint has its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s have a look at each type in more detail:

Solvent-Based (Oil or Alkyd)

This type of paint is made with a base of oil, petroleum, or alkyd, and it is one of the most popular types of exterior house paint.

Solvent-based paints are very durable and resist fading, chalking, and peeling. They are also easy to apply and can be brushed, rolled, or sprayed on.

They are also resistant to mold, mildew, and stains.

However, solvent-based paints can be toxic and release harmful fumes, so it is important to use them in well-ventilated areas. They are also flammable and can be hard to clean up.

When working with oil-based paints, you need to be patient because they require more time to dry and cure properly.

Water-based (Latex)

Water-based paints are made with a water or latex base, and they have several advantages over solvent-based paints.

They are non-toxic because of the low VOC levels and low odor and are easy to clean up. They are also more environmentally friendly than solvent-based paints.

Additionally, water-based paints such as acrylic paints are nonflammable, meaning they are safer to use.

However, water-based paints are not as durable as solvent-based paints and can fade, chalk, and peel over time.

They are also more susceptible to mildew and mold growth.


A primer is a type of paint applied before the topcoat of paint. It helps to create a smooth surface and can also increase the durability of the paint.

For most outdoor painting projects, you will want to use a primer specifically designed for use on metal or concrete.

You should also choose a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you will be using.

For example, if you use water-based paint, you should use a water-based primer.

Paint Finishes


A high-gloss finish is very shiny and reflective. It is easy to clean and maintain, but it can show imperfections on the surface. It’s also more susceptible to damage from the elements.

A high-gloss paint can also make a small surface appear larger.


This enamel paint is durable and has a high-luster finish, making it ideal for doors, windows, trim, shutters, and other surfaces that need to be washed frequently.

If you’re painting any surface that will be exposed to the elements regularly, you’ll want to choose a specifically designed product.

Outdoor paints and stains come in various formulations to suit different needs, so choosing the right one for your project is important.


This paint finish has a low sheen and is best for hiding imperfections on surfaces. It’s also the most durable finish, making it a good choice for areas with much wear and tear.

However, a flat finish is more difficult to clean than a high-gloss or semi-gloss paint. It’s also more susceptible to chipping and peeling.


This is a good choice for painting surfaces that need to be washed frequently, such as doors, windows, and trim. It has a low-luster finish that is easy to clean.

However, it is not as durable as other finishes and can show imperfections on the surface.


Picking out the right paint or stain for your project can be tricky, but it is important to take the time to make sure you choose the best one for your needs. You can check the best stain for ou

Consider the durability of the paint, the finish, the color, and the type of paint before making your final decision.

With all that’s in this article, you can find the perfect paint or stain for your next project!

Next, Read to Know: 10 Best Tips on Choosing the Right Interior Wall Paint Colors for Home

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