Prepping the exterior of your house for painting may seem like the most difficult part of the job, but, after removing any loose chips of the old paint, power-washing the sides and repairing cracks and other damage, you still need to choose the right type of exterior paint.
Exterior latex paint is the most popular option, and works on most surfaces.
Make sure that the label says, “exterior” as interior paints should never be used on the outside of a house. These exterior paints are specially designed to last a long time, hold up to various weather condition and will not fade quickly in the sun. Latex comes in three different finishes: gloss, semi gloss and satin, so you will have your choice of how shiny you want your house to be. With that said, however, there are types of paint beyond latex that can also be applied to the outside walls of your home.
If you live in an area with a lot of rain, then alkyd paint can work on the exterior of your house. This paint is also known as “chalking” paint due to the fact that if you use it in an area without a lot of moisture, it will form a not-very-pretty powder on the surface that must be washed away. This powder is actually the paint oxidizing slowly over time, and, when used on a house in the right climate, will keep the outside of the house looking clean and neat.
Elastomeric paint has a rubber-like consistency and should be used when painting particular areas of the house. For example, masonry, stucco and some types of wood can be coated with this type of paint as it helps hold them together and prevent current cracks from getting worse. If you are going to be painting directly over old aluminum siding, then choose a Direct to Metal paint. That is what this paint is designed for, and it will prevent rust and adhere better to the surface than exterior latex.
No matter which type of paint that you choose, make sure to coat the surface with primer before applying the outer layers. Primer will help the paint adhere, as well as make it last longer.