6 Best Exterior Wood Paints to Buy

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Cuprinol Garden Shades Paint

  • Available in Eight Colours
  • Six Year Weather Protection
  • Suitable for Wood Brick, Stone, and Terracotta
  • Matte Finish

Cuprinol are a leading producer of outdoor paints and their Garden Shades range offers a selection of brighter colours not commonly used in the garden. Eight colours are available with a good range of tones, including bright colours like Sunny Lime and Beach Blue and darker hues like Summer Dansen and Urban Slate.

Each one is not what you would consider a classic outdoor wood paint colour, so if you want your outdoor features to really stand out then these range of paint colours are a great choice.

Regardless of colour, the paint has a matte finish and offers and impressive 6 years of weather protection, so you don’t need to worry about it becoming damage from excessive rainfall or sunlight, making it very low maintenance.

It can be applied via brush or spay, although a brush is best for uneven textures like wood. That said, you can use the paint on various surfaces including terracotta, brick, and stone, so you can use it throughout the garden.

The paint offers good coverage too, with a 10-12m2 per litre when on smooth wood and around 3-5m2 on rougher wood surfaces. Read Full review here.

Johnstone's Woodworks Shed & Fence Paint

  • Dark Oak Colour
  • Water repellent
  • Fade resistant
  • UV resistant

This exterior wood paint from Johnson’s is a great choice for a shed or fence. The dark oak colour is a natural woody tone but with a deep, rich tone that really makes the paint stand out from boring wooden colours.

A 5L tin of this paint offers great coverage. You get around 6 to 12m2 for every litre used, which should be more than enough for an average sized shed. Make sure to measure the length of your fence if you’re unsure whether there is enough.

Offering three years of colour retention, the paint doesn’t lose any vibrancy over this time and won’t show any signs of wearing either. Thanks to a special wax enriched formula, the paint is resistant to UV rays which helps to retain the colour for so long, while it’s also water repellent which is a must for any outdoor paint. 

It should dry in around 2-4 hours, after which you can apply a second and third coat if needed. This is recommended for new wood, as it may look like a light stain after the first coat, so don’t be afraid to be generous with your application, as the wood looks much better for it.

Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry Gloss Paint

  • Available in 5 Colours
  • Suitable for Wood and Metal
  • Rainproof
  • Mould Resistant
  • Touch Dry in 2 Hours
  • Gloss Finish

Dulux are known for their high-quality indoor paint but they also offer a range of excellent exterior paints like the Weather Quick Dry Gloss range. Available in five colours including black, white, green, grey, and dark grey, each one provides a glossy finish to wood and can also be applied to metal surfaces too.

The water-based paint is touch dry in around two hours, after which you can apply a secondary coat for a more even finish, which may be needed depending on the colour.

It’s a highly durable paint that comes with a six-year guarantee, showing how confident Dulux are of its quality and staying power. Fading is minimal and the paint is also resistant to mould so does not stain the wood, and it’s also rainproof.

The paint is also very flexible after drying, which helps to avoid cracking after continually retracting and expanding over the years.

While the colour selection is nothing out of the ordinary, the overall quality of the paint is very high, with it being one of the best outdoor gloss paints available.

Ronseal Exterior Wood Paint

  • Available in 28 Colours
  • Rainproof in 1 hour
  • Resists Cracking and Peeling
  • Suitable for Wood, Brick, Stone, Metal, and Terracotta

Ronseal are one of the foremost exterior paint manufacturers and the company has released a very interesting line of colourful paints that are perfect for people that want something different from their outdoor paint.

Available in 28 different colours, you can get almost every colour and tone imaginable, from classic wood tones that won’t look out of place on a shed or fence to bright and bold colours designed to draw the eye and stand out from the boring old paint colours.

Everyone’s tastes are catered here, with a wonderful range of quality paints that look great on multiple surfaces. The paint doesn’t just work on wood - it can be used on brick, stone, metal, and terracotta, making the paint very versatile.

Don’t let the impressive colours fool you into thinking the paint isn’t suitable for outdoor use. Ronseal have their trademark quality on this paint, making it resistant to water, cracking, and peeling. The paint is touch dry in one hour, so you can get the job finished din no time.

Ronseal Weatherproof 10 Year Exterior Wood Paint

  • Weatherproof for Ten Years
  • Suitable for New and Previously Painted Woods
  • Weatherproof in One Hour
  • Resistant to Cracking, Peeling, and Blistering
  • 13m2 Coverage

If you want a more traditional wood paint colour from Ronseal, then this 10 Year Weatherproof range is well worth checking out. Available in classic wood paint colours like green and brown, the paint provides a very even coat and doesn’t need many applications, with two being enough in most instances.

It’s also suitable for new wood or painted wood, meaning you can use it to repaint without needing to add a primer undercoat.  This saves a lot of time and hassle, making it a great option for anyone looking for a low maintenance paint job

As the name suggests, the paint is weatherproof for 10 years, which is about as good as it gets in terms of exterior paint durability. The paint is resistant to cracking, peeling, and blistering, so should look good for many years and never need any touch ups.

You also get a good amount of coverage with the paint, with 13m2 for every litre of paint. It does require brush application though, so avoid this if you were looking for a paint that can be sprayed on.

Rustins Quick Dry Paint

  • Suitable for Wood and Metal
  • Matte Finish
  • Quick Drying

You can’t go wrong with black paint for outdoor surfaces. It helps to keep a clean and uniform appearance while maintaining the look over the long-term. As a water-based paint, it’s very easy to apply and will last for many years without any fading, flaking, or splitting.

The matt finish offers a nice smooth appearance of the wood, almost satin-like, making it a perfect choice for people that want an understated paintjob on their fence, furniture, or shed.

It’s quite versatile though and can be used indoors as well as outdoors and on many surfaces. For example it can be used on MDF, plaster, brickwork, cement, and wrought iron. Moreover, you can apply it over current paint and primer, saving a lot of time and effort preparing the surface.

As a quick drying solution you can expect it dry within just 30 minutes. This is one of the quickest dry times, so won’t need to worry about the rain coming on and ruining your paintwork as it will dry in no time.

You should give an hour or two for a recoat, although it may not be necessary thanks to the density of the paint - it applies very well even with just a single coat.


How to Apply Exterior Wood Paint

  1. Using exterior wood paint is straightforward. Like other types of paint, most of the work involves prepping the surface so that the paint is properly applied and lots its best.
  2. The first thing to remember is always paint on dry wood. This means you’ll want to wait for a dry day - don’t waste your time if its been raining. Even if it was raining a few days ago you should still go check on the wood, as you want it to be completely dry before painting.
  3. So, if it has been raining recently then you’ll want to wait for it to completely dry off first.
  4. Now it’s time to prepare the wood for painting!
  5. The first thing you need to check is whether there is already a layer of paint on the wood. For example, if you are repainting your fence or shed a different colour, then try to remove as much of the remaining colour with a paint stripper.
  6. After this you should inspect the overall quality of the wood. Look for signs of ageing and check to see how much wear there is. If it looks quite rough and worn, then consider sanding it. This smoothens the surface and makes the paint finish look much better - it probably won’t be necessary on newer wood though!
  7. Once all the wood is suitably prepared, you will want to apply a primer coat before the paint itself. Primers are highly recommended for exterior wood paint as it makes the colour look a lot better, so a quality white primer if your paint is lighter colours or grey primer for darker colours. 
  8. Always let the primer coat dry for at least 24 hours before applying the paint.
  9. Now its time for the paint itself! Read all instructions to make sure you know exactly how to apply it to the wood, painting evenly across the entire surface area with a bristle brush, which applies paint more evenly on textured surfaces like wood.
  10. Be generous with the paint and make sure you get into all the indentations across the wood. You want to apply a protective coating so you want to ensure the entire surface area is painted.
  11. Always allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours then apply a second coat, as this is usually necessary to get an even finish across the entire surface. 

Things to Consider When Buying Exterior Wood Paint

  • Colour Retention: This is how long the paint colour is expected to last, with higher quality paints lasting for several years, which could save you a lot of time and effort repainting.
  • Protection: Exterior paint offers all kinds of protection from the elements so check what type of protection it offers. Look for things like protection from water, UV rays, mould, cracking, blistering etc.
  • Versatility: Some wood paints can be applied to various surfaces such as metal, brick, stone, and terracotta, meaning you can match colours throughout the garden. Other paints can be applied directly onto an old coat of paint too, saving the hassle of using primer for an undercoat.
  • Drying Rate: The speed at which the paint dries is important because you’ll need to apply a second and possibly a third coat, so the quicker it dries the sooner the job is finished. Moreover, you want it to dry within a few hours in case it starts to rain.
  • Finish: Paint comes in many finishes, with some of the most popular including gloss, which is a shiny finish, and matte, which doesn’t have any shine and is more understated.

Last update on 2019-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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