What every best Exterior Paint has:
- Covers easily.
- Resists dirt and mildew.
- Dries fast and smooth.
Consumer Reports puts more than 20 paints to extensive and ongoing lab tests, only rating paints after nine years of testing. 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. Elsewhere on this site, wood stains are reviewed.
J.D. Power and Associates' paint satisfaction study measures satisfaction with paint brands 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 8,758 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.
Home Depot is a good place to find user reviews of exterior paints, particularly Behr, Home Depot's proprietary brand. 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 Home Depot, Lowe's 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, others are unique to Lowe's, especially those paints that are exclusive to Lowe's.
Amazon sells a variety of exterior paint products. 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.
Not as many reviewers overall weigh in on Sherwin-Williams brand exterior paint. 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 Paint Talk, 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.
DIY Chatroom is the sister site to Paint Talk, geared to DIY-ers rather than professional painting contractors. Contributors engage in similar discussions, offering opinions on the best exterior paint and experiences with various brands.