Best Exterior Paint for DIY Home Projects

Allison HacheLast Updated Jun 9, 2020 8:12:45 AM ET
Gettyimages 1152409215 Photo Courtesy: Guido Mieth/DigitalVision/Getty Images

A coat of paint may be the quickest and easiest way to make many old items look new, but you have to choose the right paint for the project to get the best result. Rain, snow, sunlight and wear and tear from usage all take a toll on the appearance of the things you keep outside.

Fortunately, you can freshen up your favorite furniture and toys or even give your entire patio deck a whole new life with exterior paint that resists fading and chipping to look pristine for years to come. Ready to grab your paintbrushes and rollers and get this do-it-yourself (DIY) project started? Get the paint party going with these top exterior paint picks.


Best Overall: Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Premium Latex Paint

Rust-Oleum's Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover premium latex paint earns top marks for its versatility. This water-based paint glides smoothly onto a variety of surfaces and dries to a glossy finish. Users report that the paint is an excellent option for beginners who may lack the technique and tools to produce a smooth look with just any paint. This one is amateur-proof!


Best Value: KILZ Exterior Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint

KILZ Exterior Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint saves you time and money by using a single coat to cover rough, textured finishes that most paints won’t effectively cover at all. Even better, the finished result looks natural and not fake. According to customers, the paint is thick enough to act as a primer yet easy to spread. The paint is alkali-resistant, mildew-resistant and easy to clean with soap and water.


Best for Metal Surfaces: Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal

Give old wheelbarrows, gates and light fixtures a second, third or fourth life with Rust-Oleum Hammered metal finish paint. This oil-based paint is ideal for covering scratches, rust and pits on outdoor metal surfaces without requiring the application of an additional primer. Best of all, you can even apply it directly over the rust without sanding it first. This can be a huge time and energy saver!


Best for Hiding Oil Stains: KILZ 1-Part Epoxy Concrete & Garage Floor Paint

Just a few coats of KILZ's Concrete & Garage Floor Paint protects your garage or other concrete floors and keeps them looking pristine and freshly poured. Reviewers note that the paint is easy to apply and covers well as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions for prepping the surface. The result is a silver or slate gray surface — you make the color choice — that disguises and repels dirt and stains, including visually offensive motor oil stains.


Best Color Selection: Modern Masters Never-Fades Front Door Paint

Modern Masters Never-Fades Front Door Paint may be just what you need to give yourself a quick and easy makeover without spending a fortune. Available in 25 inspiring colors, the paint comes in plenty of options to help you find the perfect shade to complement or contrast the color of your siding or trim. DIY reviewers mentioned how easy it is to use the paint to achieve professional quality results.


Best for Boats: Rust-Oleum Marine Coatings Topside Paint

Whether you need to touch up the paint job on your fiberglass boat or give it a whole new look, Rust-Oleum's Marine Coatings Topside paint can help you cover flaws and achieve the smooth, flawless, waterproof coverage you want. It also doubles as a good waterproof paint for fiberglass showers and sinks if you’re planning a bathroom or kitchen renovation. The paint dries to the touch in less than two hours and leaves a glossy finish.


Best for Hard-to-Reach Places: Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Paint + Primer

When you need to reach hidden nooks and crannies or cover corners and creases, look no further than Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover spray paint and primer combo. This aerosol spray produces a mist that makes it easy to refresh or change the color on your favorite furniture and decorative items. The paint adheres to metal, wood, wicker and even plastic and resists chipping and fading.


Best for Prep Work: KILZ Adhesion High Bonding Primer

A successful paint job starts with a prepared surface that is primed and ready to create a lasting bond with the paint. KILZ Adhesion high bonding primer does just that and eliminates the need for sanding, even on vinyl and tile. It goes on smoothly with a roller or brush and dries quickly, allowing you to complete your project without extensive delays waiting for the primer to set.


Best Eco-Friendly Paint: Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

If you've tried using recycled paint but were not impressed by the results, consider giving Montage Signature Eco-Friendly paint a try. You can use this paint inside and outside your house on a variety of surfaces. It comes in two finish options and more than 20 colors, giving you the flexibility to achieve the look you want. A generous 10-year warranty lets you paint with confidence as well.


Best for Hardware: Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Premium Metallic Paint

Instead of replacing door knobs and fixtures around your home and office, update them with a coat of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover premium metallic paint. This oil-based paint dries to a smooth, glossy finish that makes each piece look like new. Reviewers also mentioned applying this paint to unique surfaces, including cabinets and furniture, to create a distinctive look.

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