Pro picks; 6 pros recommend exterior paints
Exterior paint jobs need to be able to stand up to the elements—from bright sun to high humidity to freezing rain. And homeowners don’t want to have to repaint every few years, so a durable paint is a must. As a painter, you’re on the lookout for products that resist cracking, flaking and fading, and are easy to work with—all within your and your customer’s price point. We asked six pros for their opinions on the best exterior paints. Here’s what they recommend:
RYAN TOELKES: Neighborhood Painting is located in Kansas City, KS, a major market for residential repaints. With 16 years in the industry and 27 employees, owner Ryan Toelkes uses a two-team approach to exterior work. Some teams specialize in substrate repairs and prep work, while separate crews focus on painting. In-between the two stages, his customer and his team have an opportunity to visually inspect the prep work.
The company focuses on residential projects with a mix of commercial jobs, specializing in exterior work. Working with mostly wooden homes and a full gamut of weather conditions, Toelkes and his painters exclusively use PPG Paints Manor Hall Exterior 100% Acrylic Latex.
It’s a durable paint, he says, with good color retention. And its ManorShield urethane technology makes it a tough coating that helps protect the paint from cracking and flaking.
“And we always prime anyway, but it is a self-priming paint,” he adds.
MIKE SHAFFER: Mike Shaffer is the co- owner of two Five Star Painting franchises—one in California and one in Colorado—where his projects are about 85%–90% residential and a mix of interior and exterior work. He spends most of his time in California, noting that brand preferences are often regional.
“In California, we use a lot of Benjamin Moore,” he says. He likes the company’s ben Exterior Paint line.
“It works phenomenally,” he says.
He also recommends Behr MARQUEE Exterior Paint. “It’s the best bang for your buck and very durable,” he adds. “It’s an expensive product, but it is well worth it.”
Out of his Colorado office, his crews use Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex and the brand’s Duration Exterior Acrylic Latex.
For Shaffer, it’s important to advise homeowners to go with a premium paint for longevity because longer durations between painting equal lower costs for the homeowner over time.
LYNNE FIRMENDER: In business as The Painted Lady’s Paint Service since 1996, Lynne Firmender has mastered both interior and exterior work. Based in Connecticut, she focuses most of her time and attention on custom interiors and color work (faux painting, marbelizing, etc.), but still tackles residential exterior projects as well.
And for those jobs, she’s a Benjamin Moore fan. She typically opts for a stain for siding, porch railings and decks. But trim, she says, calls for paint and, for that, her go-to is the Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint (MoorGlo soft gloss finish).
The MoorGlo is designed to be mildew-resistant, which is great for various climates, and the shiny, durable finish stands up to fading and cracking.
RON CHADWICK: After nearly 30 years in the painting industry, Ron Chadwick, owner of Kentucky Brush Custom Painting in Bowling Green, KY, has extensive experience in residential interior and exterior work with various commercial and industrial projects under his belt too. And, he says, he’s used every paint out there.
His go-to exterior paints these days are PPG Porter Paints: Acri-Shield Exterior Acrylic Paint and Permanizer Exterior Acrylic Paint.
These products’ durability, he says, is critical. And because of his location, he benefits from the cost and convenience of PPG Porter in his area.
Most paint manufacturers offer similar quality at their premium grades in terms of durability, workability and viscosity, he says. “What often dictates what we use is typically convenience and pricing,” he notes.
Regardless of the brand, Chadwick always advocates for premium products for exteriors.
“I don’t care if the homeowner is a Sherwin- Williams person or a Benjamin Moore person. I preach premium for exteriors. They’re more refined; the bases are better. They’re 100% acrylic. The lower-grade stuff won’t last as long as the premiums.”
JAKE SCHAERER: Located in sunny, temperate San Diego, Swiss Painting has been beautifying residential interiors and exteriors since 1979. Owner Jake Schaerer, also the inventor of the Door Rack Painter, says he turns to Benjamin Moore products for his exterior projects.
Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint is his pick for most of his customers’ needs. Available in three finishes, Regal boasts a mildew-resistant coating that’s durable and protects the substrate.
“Regal goes on well, and it seems to hold up better than other paints,” Schaerer says. “I do a lot of high-end jobs, and the Regal is great.”
For some projects, he might also bring in Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint.
“It’s great for certain trim or front doors with a lot of sun exposure,” he says. “It has a better UV rating.”
CHRISTINE DA SILVA: In business for more than 20 years, The Larkin Painting Company, Inc., handles a range of interior and exterior residential work in the Boston area. Their go-to exterior paint is Benjamin Moore Regal Select Exterior Paint.
“With our solid routine of prep work, it has great longevity,” says Christine Da Silva, Larkin’s administrative operations manager. “Our team enjoys using it for the good coverage and workability. The dry time also makes it easy to work with. Our clients love to see that we are using a quality product that they trust.”
Larkin painters also like Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint.
“We will use Aura mostly for the darker colors because it has really excellent coverage,” Da Silva says.
“Front doors are also a great time to use it. It brushes out really beautifully and, since front doors are typically fairly colorful, the coverage is super important without layering on thick coats of paint.”