The Right Paint for the Job
To replace difficult to manage oil-based paints, a new generation of acrylic water-based paints are becoming more popular for exterior jobs.

The weather

The defining issue when painting your home exterior is the weather. Under relatively mild conditions you should consider repainting your house every 5 to 7 years.  If you live where the winters are harsh, or where the rain is heavy, or the temperature range is extreme, you may need to repaint every 3 to 5 years. This may appear to be a relatively short time-frame but it's best not to let the exterior deteriorate too much before you repaint.

To get the best result from your painting effort, it's important to choose the right paint for the job. You will need to consider the type of the surface you're about to paint, its condition, age and whether it has had any prior surface treatment. We also need to consider the location of the surface and desired gloss level.

The Right Paint for the Job










Types of paint

Virtually all paints fall into two categories: water-based acrylic paints and solvent-based paints, which are also known as oil-based paints. About 75 per cent of all paint sold today is acrylic.




Oil-based
Acrylic
Durability




Good adhesion; especially on chalked surfaces.



 
Excellent adhesion to most substrates; better elasticity than oil. Most now carry a 10 year guarantee


Colour
Retention


Not as good as acrylic, more likely fade in sunny positions.


Superior resistance to chalking and fading, especially when exposed to bright sun.

Ease of
Application 




More difficult to apply. Can show brush marks.




Goes on smoothly and evenly, with less brush drag. Designed with roller application in mind. Can be applied with airless spray equipment.

Versatility





Can be used on most materials, but for new concrete, stucco and other masonry, a sealer or pre-treatment is required; should not be applied directly to galvanized metal.

Can be used on wood, concrete, brick, galvanized metal, Fibre cement siding, aluminium, etc. No undercoating is required.


Odour


Stronger odour than acrylic.


Very little odour.


Cleanup


Turpentine, paint thinner or other solvent.

Simple water cleanup.


Dry Time


Eight to 24 hours.


One to six hours, permitting quick recoating.


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Acrylic paint

Water-based acrylic paints have always been popular with do-it-yourselfers and professional painters. They are easy to clean up with water and offer significant performance advantages as well.

There are now fantastic water-based paints available for exterior use, converting even the old school of 'oil is better'. Modern chemistry offers paint formulators a wide range of acrylic, water-based resins that have the same, and in some cases, superior performance than the oil-base paints with the convenience of low odour and being much more earth friendly.

The Right Paint for the Job









Compared to oil-based paints, top-quality exterior acrylic paints have greater durability, colour retention, and chalk resistance, ensuring they look good for years. Because of their improved elasticity, they can stretch and shrink as the surface they are applied to heats and cools during the day. This means they have better resistance to cracking and this improves their durability.

Acrylic paints also dry faster than oil-based paints. This allows for a quicker second coat but means that you must be careful when you paint. It's important to paint during the cooler periods and when the surface you are painting is also cool. If not, it's possible that the paint will dry too quickly, making it difficult to apply and get a good finish.

Acrylic paints adhere extremely well to a variety of exterior surfaces and have greater resistance to blistering, flaking and peeling. Acrylic paints are an excellent choice when painting virtually any exterior surfaces, including:
  •  Wood, particularly in areas that experience extremes of temperature;
  •  New stucco and masonry; and
  •  Aluminium and fibre cement.

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Insist on quality

Always insist on a good quality exterior paint, at least a medium-priced paint and never just the cheapest thing on the shelf. Drive around your suburb or town and you'll see the results of cutting corners on house paint. 

When it comes to painting, as with all aspects of major home improvements, you get what you pay for! And with exterior paint, you're buying time, as much time as you can before you need to re-paint.

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