House painting in Pleasant Hill gives you the chance to choose what's best -- the best paints, the best colors, and the best finishes. This article tackles choosing the best paint for your home's exterior.
Choosing exterior paints is different compared to choosing interior paints because you have to take many factors into consideration. For one, exterior walls are definitely more exposed to many environmental, weather, and climate elements compared to interior walls. That's why it's important that exterior paints should serve their purpose: to beautify and protect the walls, which in turn, protect the interiors of the house. It should be durable, last long, and be resistant to fading. It should also match the material of your home and your area's climate. It is important to realize how long the exterior paint lasts or how well will it stick to the surface depends on how well the surface was prepped. Obviously, the more preparation that is done, the better the paint will perform its job.
There are three options to cover your home's exterior surfaces:
Acrylic latex paints
Acrylic latex paints are water-based paints. They come in a wide variety of colors and shades. They are also available in several types of finishes such as flat, satin, eggshell, semi-glossy and glossy. Flat is not usually recommended for exterior painting, as it offers little protection against weather and environmental elements. Most painters use satin paints for the sidings, while they use semi-glossy or glossy paints for the railings, doors, and trims.
Acrylic latex paints are the most commonly used and favored by both DIY and professional painters alike. It's a little wonder because an acrylic latex paint offers a lot of advantages:
- It cleans easily with water.
- Since an acrylic latex paint is water-based, it is flexible. Even as the paint dries, it still reacts to the changes in temperature by slightly "stretching," without cracking.
- It can be used on several types of surfaces like wood, metal, vinyl, stucco, brick, and stone.
A lot of the traditional acrylic latex paints give off toxic fumes, though, due to their VOC content. If you or any member of your family has health issues, or if you are concerned about the environment, you can purchase eco-friendly or "green" paints. These paints claim that they have small amounts of VOC or zero VOC. But to make sure, choose the ones that contain no VOC at all.
Before the advent of latex paints, oil-based paints used to be the popular choice for house painters. Here are some of the advantages of an oil-based paint:
- Since it tends to get harder with time, an oil-based paint is ideal for painting high-traffic areas such as deck floors, front doors, trims, and railings.
- It is durable.
However, oil-based paints have fallen in popularity largely in part due to their inherent toxicity, since they contain solvent properties. Cleaning paint brushes and rollers with oil-based paints is also risky, as it requires solvents to remove excess paints. Also, you cannot just dispose of cans containing oil-based paints; they have to be taken to a hazardous wastes facility.
While oil paints are durable for a while, the environmental and weather elements will eventually lead them to become brittle over time.
Stains are the way to go if you want to retain or enhance the natural look and the beauty of wood without the need to cover them with paint. Generally, stains do not act like paints, as they are not as durable as the latter. To some extent, stains do help protect wood from the weather, molds, and mildew as well as termites.
Staining doesn't require too much preparation. It also doesn't need any priming so you'll be able to get by with just one coat.
But stains won't last long as the wood tends to discolor pretty quickly, and staining may require re-application in a few years.
There are three types of stains:
- Clear stains - as the name suggests, clear stains are transparent and colorless. They are best in bringing out the natural appearance of the wood. But because a clear stain offers the least protection, any wood applied with it will discolor at a fast rate. By two or three years, you'll need to re-apply it.
- Semi-transparent stains - Semi-transparent stains contain some amount of pigment. Compared to clear stains, semi-transparent stains offer a more solid layer of protection to wood and are definitely longer-lasting. Semi-transparent stains typically last for five to seven years before needing re-application.
- Opaque stains - Opaque stains are closer to conventional paints. Among the three, opaque stains offer the most solid protection. Although they completely color the wood's surface, the wood's texture still shows through. It is also the most durable, lasting up to 10 years before needing re-application.
As long as you know what your house needs, choosing the best paints and stains for exterior house painting in Pleasant Hill won't be as difficult as it's generally thought. Be sure to look at a brand first -- a reputable paint brand means better quality paints. Do not hesitate to spend extra for the best exterior paints within your budget -- they will help your home look as good as new for many years, and will even help you save money in the long run.