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When to Use Eggshell Paint

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When it comes to painting the exterior of their home many people put more thought into the color than they do into choosing the right paint. Choosing the best exterior house paint for your particular siding is probably the most important decision of the entire process. Get it right and you could have a maintenance free exterior for many years. Get it wrong and you may find yourself painting your home again in just a year or two.

There are two types of paint most commonly used for home exteriors. These are latex or water based paint and alkyd or oil paint. Both types work well, but you can not indiscriminately put one over the other. This means that if the existing paint on your house is alkyd or oil based, you can’t just slap on a coat of latex. The water based latex paint won’t adhere to the oil based. On the other hand the alkyd or oil paint works quite well over latex paint. It’s a simple rule to remember; alkyd over latex but never latex over alkyd. The only exception to this rule is when you use a quality primer first.

Understanding the Different Types of Exterior Paint

Choosing the best exterior house paint for your home really depends on the type of siding you have and the surface finish you want to achieve. Latex paint is the popular choice of DIY homeowners because it is easy to work with, dries fast and tools clean up with soap and water. Latex is very durable and retains its color well. It’s also virtually odor free and eco-friendly.

Alkyd or oil is also very durable and works especially well for covering glossy finishes or problem areas such as those where wood filler may have been used for repairs. Alkyd paints dry much slower than latex and clean up is not as simple since you’ll need to use mineral spirits to clean your brushes and other tools.

Which Exterior House Paint Should You Choose?

So what is the best exterior house paint? There really is no one right answer. It depends on the exterior of your home and what paint that works for one might not work for another. If you’re painting brick for the first time it will require a latex primer followed by a quality latex paint. If your siding was previously painted with alkyd paint, you may want to stick with alkyd to avoid the big job of priming that would be necessary to repaint with latex.

Remember that when it comes to choosing the best exterior house paint for your home, it’s a matter of knowing the composition of your home’s siding, what type of paint was used in the past as well as the siding’s current condition. There is no “one size fits all” paint. Understanding the unique makeup of your home’s siding and being familiar with how paint works (and sometimes doesn’t work!) will help you choose the best exterior house paint for your home.

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