Exterior Paint: Ratings of Sources
Editors review many brands of exterior paint at ConsumerReports.org, subjecting each product to extensive and ongoing lab tests. Paints are rated on how well they hold up over time in simulated weathering tests, approximating durability over three-year increments, as well as whether or not they resist cracking, color change, dirt and mildew.
Stains for exterior wooden decks are reviewed separately from exterior paints at ConsumerReports.org. Here editors analyze a handful of deck stains in three types of finishes -- clear, semi-transparent and solid. Much like the publication's report on exterior paints, wood stains are rated on how well they hold up over time, in one-year increments for periods up to three years.
Technicians at the Paint Quality Institute put products through rigorous tests including tests of durability in simulated laboratory settings as well as real-life, outdoor testing to evaluate performance with exposure to sun, rain, humidity, ice, and snow. Several articles identify the top-performing exterior paints in various categories, such as the best-performing paint-primer combos, fade-resistant exterior paint, mildew-resistant exterior paint, and more. A few exterior paint products stand out in nearly every category.
J.D. Power conducts research gauging consumer satisfaction for products across a range of categories. This study measures satisfaction (rated on a 1,000-point scale) across six factors: application, design guides, durability, price, product offerings, and warranty/guarantee. Also useful are consumer satisfaction ratings for paint retailers. The J.D. Power Paint Satisfaction study includes responses from 7,840 customers who purchased interior and/or exterior paint within the previous 12 months.
Brian Havanas and Troy McNeely have been reviewing paint since 2009. Most reviews are of individual products, rather than pitting multiple paint brands against one another in head-to-head testing. Havanas and McNeely say they spend hours with a product before writing a review, relying on real-world testing and benchmarking without using artificial sunlight, artificial rain, or added preservatives. They review a variety of popular paint brands.
This Old House offers tips for selecting the best exterior paint for your project, comparing three different acrylic paints, recommending several oil-based paints for exterior use, and several recommended paints for masonry. This article also offers tips for paint stripping, priming, and choosing colors. Several examples are shown in photos accompanied by descriptions of the paint used for each result.
HomeDepot.com is a good place to find user reviews of exterior paints. Several exterior paints have accumulated several hundred reviews or more, although some of these reviews are drawn from manufacturer sites. Verified purchasers are noted, and reviewers can state whether they'd recommend a specific exterior paint to a friend.
Like HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com carries a good selection of exterior paint and stain. Some products get only a handful of reviews, others get hundreds. Some reviews are drawn from manufacturer web sites.
Amazon.com sells a variety of exterior paint products. Search results in this category also include art paints and painting accessories, although users can select a category including spray paint, house paint, or primer paint to narrow the search results. Many paints have just a handful of reviews, but a few have accumulated several dozen to hundreds of reviews, offering valuable feedback on how well a brand coats surfaces and holds up over time.
A handful of owners weigh in on Sherwin-Williams brand exterior paint at Sherwin-Williams.com. A few formulations have accumulated a few dozen consumer reviews. While we would typically exclude reviews obtained directly from manufacturer websites, Sherwin-Williams isn't readily available from other online retailers, making this the best source for consumer opinions on Sherwin-Williams brand exterior paints. Feedback from owners is sometimes cursory, but generally helpful and informative.
Painters engage in lengthy discussions at PaintTalk.com, making this Internet forum a useful resource if you're looking for opinions from professional painters or do-it-yourselfers on the best brands of exterior paint. Contributors here seem to be experienced, knowledgeable and eager to help. Feedback is relevant, as new threads are created daily. You may need to use the search feature to find the exact information you need, however.
American Painting Contractor is a publication for painting professionals, covering a variety of topics with information for professional painters on how to build their business as well as painting tips, suggestions, and individual product reviews. A search for exterior paint reveals several in-depth reviews of various exterior paint products and deck stains.
BloggingPainters.com is a resource for professional painters, including several individual reviews of various types of paint and related products. Some of the individual product reviews are written by contributors to other publications, such as American Painting Contractor, and cover the same products from the same tests. However, there are a few unique product reviews of exterior paints with valuable performance insights from professionals.