What Best Paint Sheen On Exterior Home?

Best Paint Finish Or Sheen On Exterior Home

Best_Sheen_Of_Paint_To_Use_On_Exterior_Of_HouseSo your getting ready painting your home's exterior? Wondering what best paint sheen or finish to use on the exterior of a house? Even figuring just what kind of paint to use outside your home?  These are very important questions we will answer.

We first will figure out which best paint you should apply on an exterior. Followed by determining which best paint sheen or finish you should get, with that best exterior paint.

Because let's face it. You can't have a paint sheen or finish w/o a can of paint. Getting wrong exterior paint, designed for something else, but having right paint sheen, still does not serve you best, what you are about to cover.

Purchasing best paint to use on home's exterior, having best paint sheen you envisioned is the correct pecking order, for a long lasting exterior paint covering.

What Kind Of Paint To Use On Home's Exterior

First, let me ask you what you plan painting;

  • siding, trim, soffits, & gutters?
  • decks, lattice, or pergolas?
  • stucco, Efis

Many types of paints available today to use exterior surfaces, outside the home. Determine what exactly you plan to paint. Is it siding, trim, gutters, garage doors, or even a deck?

Knowing what kind of paint to use painting outside your home, all paints must be labeled ''Exterior" on outside of can. Most exterior paints come in a variety of colors, finishes, and sheens.

These exterior house paints are 100% Acrylic latex, all have weather resisting qualities. Therefore you would not want to put an interior paint outside, or visa-versa. Depending upon substrate you are painting, these paints resists weather, moisture, being exposed to outside elements.

Careful though, decks require a paint designed for them alone, having their own line of paint stains. Paint or staining a deck, you guessed it, can must say ''Deck'' on it's label, for another article all it's own.


Reason for this is outside house paints are designed, manufactured mostly for vertical surfaces, whereas deck paint-stains are for horizontal surfaces. If you try putting either one where it's not designed, you'll be sorry. This can cause bubbling, blistering, chipping, peeling down the road.

With that being said, it is highly important you choose correct exterior paint what you intend covering. Below, we will discuss typical outside paints having most popular sheens or finishes used throughout the US.

These 100% acrylic exterior paints primarily used on wood, Masonite® siding, soffits, and trim. Other distinct type being an Elastomeric paint, designed for Efis and Stucco.

Every major paint manufacture has several different lines of exterior paint for you to use outside your home. Many exterior paints of higher price contain primers built into formulation, thereby increasing product warranty, some all the way up to life-time.

But with all that being said, don't try putting a life-time exterior paint on a pergola or awning. Unless of course you first prime with a high bonding primer first.

Just as important having best paint for exterior, so is having best finish you use for same exterior paint. Satin or semi-gloss for exterior paint is most widely used. However, some substrates require flat paint sheen, where we will discuss further in article.

What Best Paint Sheen To Use On Exterior Of House Will Last


Applying the very best sheen of exterior paint on your home will make all the difference in the world, having a professional, appealing, weatherproofing experience for siding, walls and doors. Overall finish or sheen itself, adds protection of substrate surfaces covered.

Those same paints of higher quality costing more, retain it's original sheen much longer. Today's exterior paints have millions of research dollars attributed for this topic alone, by major paint manufactures. Consistently improving paint formulations, paint today improved a full circle compared to those in the 80's.

Paint fade is first thing to see, as paint deteriorates, starts breaking down. So, it makes perfect sense having paint most resistant to fade. Keeping original sheen is first and foremost. If paint has not faded, more likely it is still protecting, having it's elasticity. Paint fade and elasticity are both directly related to a paint's finish.

Thereby, knowing which best paint sheen will add a sealant's quality to your exposed exterior, keeping out elements, lasting additional years.

Understanding Most Popular Exterior Paint Sheen


Most homes painted in the US are painted with satin paint finish (depicted above). Satin paint finishes have a slight gloss, repelling moisture, most important. Also understanding semi-gloss is a term generally thought of for interior surfaces.

Just today, I spoke to a caller who had hail damage recently, needing to have her exterior repainted. Discussing, with my heart felt empathy, but was glad she called. Could have spoke hours, but just hitting high points, knowing everyone's busy schedule.

High points mentioned, there is no hail-proof paint. Great news though, having a fresh, pliable paint coating will be more resistant to hail, than an older, faded out, brittler one.

Understanding how paint ages, first thing to go is sheen. Sheen is actually shine. How it glistens in sunlight. Sheen or a paint's finish protects the underlayment, as paint finish repels moisture, rolling off the quickest, like water on a duck's back.

But concur, most people do not want to stand out on the block, so best to tone it down from a higher gloss sheen to a satin, not speaking of color either.


I'm just wondering if a comedian or cartoon character having big floppy feet lives inside, with deep purple trim and chartreuse yellow. I'm just thankful we did not paint this.

Satin has a slight shine to it, but not overwhelming, also not bringing more attention than needed. Satin sheen finishes repeals moisture the quickest, while not being too shinny.

Satin paint finishes most popular exterior paint sheen sold in Colorado, also in the US. They also come in a wide array of warranties, from 8 years to life-time. Just remember, as this paint ages, it also looses it's shine, thereby not protecting.

Knowing What Type Of Exterior Paint Finish Is Best


Having painted 10's of 1000's of homes over the years, I can give you a hands-on knowledge from an experienced paint contractor, which best type of exterior paint sheen finish you should apply.

Depending upon what type of exterior surface you are covering is vitally important deciding which paint sheen to use.

  • Walls
  • Trim
  • Siding, Masonite™, James Hardy™
  • Stucco, Efis
  • Ship-lap, Cedar, T-111
  • Soffit, fascia,
  • Gutters, flashing, garage doors, roof jacks, hardware

Most exterior surfaces listed above are painted using a high quality paint product with a satin paint finish. Using anything outside of the norm, you're asking for trouble. Having too much shine, you probably won't like it, neither will your neighbors. With less shine, being flat, will not protect, unless painting stucco using an Elastomeric paint.

So using a satin paint finish is best, most widely used on exteriors across the country

What Best Paint Sheen Finish For Exterior Doors?


Best paint sheen on exterior doors should be that which repels water, allowing many cleaning scrubs, having an inviting touch. This touch being smooth, having a hard turtle shell finish.

Depending how much attention you wish to bring to your exterior doors, higher the gloss, the more attention it gives. Best starting with a satin finish, you can go all the way up to a high gloss.

Many choose a satin for front doors, with that being a third accent color. Accentuating this area of invitation, welcoming your visitors.

Others choose a similar sheen for all exterior doors, especially if more than one door is visible. However, you are safe using any of the following;

  • Flat sheen
  • Satin sheen
  • Semi-gloss
  • Matte
  • Gloss
  • Even high gloss sheen

Again, making sure paint says ''Exterior".

Which Type Of Paint Best For Exterior Walls Or Trim?


Realizing exterior walls or trim needs best paint protection you can provide from weather elements. Providing an exterior paint coating to withstand a wide range of various temperatures, and moisture conditions is key.

Best exterior paint for walls and trim is one which is a solid 100% acrylic latex type. Every paint manufacture provides a good, better, and best of these types of exterior paint coatings. Prices are in direct coloration to each one of these choices, remembering the ol' adage cliche', "You pay for what you get".

However, understanding house paint warranties, realizing how paint ages, paint fade is the first thing to start showing, and paint fade is not warrantied with any paint manufacture. Although, higher quality, and cost, it's more fade resistant, exterior paint provides.

Best exterior paint for walls and trim will have the longest warranty insuring from blistering, bubbling, cracking, or peeling under normal conditions. Typical, most popular, best paint brands for exterior paint such as Sherwin-Williams™ Super Paint®, BEHR™ Premium Plus®, or Glidden® Premium exterior paint.

Reason a twenty-five year exterior paint is most popular, is not paying a premium price for life-time. Also having a primer built into it, which does not cost that much less than lesser quality paints. Figuring out the type of warranty is one thing, but now you must decide paint sheen.

Should I Use Flat Or Satin Exterior Paint Finish?


Wondering flat or satin exterior paint finish depends on substrate, also look you are trying to achieve. Most flat finishes do not protect exteriors as well as satin finishes. Satin finishes have a more slick finish, which repels water, unlike flat finishes soak moisture up.

Remembering an exterior paint client had a dark brown home, with Masonite™ siding, wishing it repainted using flat paint. It had been several years since his home was painted, looking flat, wanting same finish. I'm sure it was originally satin, but aged many years, becoming flat.

However, after we matched existing paint finish, also color, using flat brown paint. Was not long after first light rain, I got a call. Client unhappy with water marks left by rain. We repainted, using a satin brown paint. He was very happy, never hearing from him again.

So be very cautious choosing flat or satin, as satin finishes roll water off very quickly. This expedient removal of moisture will benefit your exterior over the long run, including water marks.

Best Exterior Paint Sheen For Stucco


Flat Or Satin Paint Sheen For Exterior Stucco & Efis

Stucco or Efis is a man-made troweled on hard surface, having a flat rock finish texture & appearance. Painting stucco or Efis is necessary, however very important keeping this substrate looking like it being new, not repainted.

Satin has a slight glossier sheen, than flat, which is not recommended. I don't even know any best stucco paints, being Elastomeric being satin. Putting a satin or higher gloss finish on stucco would cheapen the look, as it's suppose to look like natural stone. Therefore, applying a flat sheen exterior paint, an Elastomeric paint is your best choice.

Understanding why Elastomeric stucco paint is best, looking into the term itself. Elastomeric term is derived from elastic, having characteristics that of rubber. Elastomeric paint was developed to keep it's elasticity much longer than typical exterior paints.

Matter of fact, doing some research several years ago, it was very apparent who made best Elastomeric paint. Turning each Elastomeric paint can around, reading it's product label, there were 3 criteria of grading Elastomeric paints by Master Painter's Institute. That being elongation, elasticity, also tensile strength. Sherwin-Williams™ Conflex®, first Elastomeric paint developed, beat all others hands down, matching flat stucco look & feel.

Best stucco paint bridges the gaps of tiny cracks that may be present, sealing forever. Weatherproofing your expensive stucco & Efis siding from mold & mildew, which is another reason why this is best paint for stucco. Keeping it's elasticity much longer than conventional exterior paints, having a flat finish.

Therefore, best advise I can give is don't scrimp on the product type. Use flat Elastomeric which was developed and made exactly for your stucco surface, as you'll never regret it in the long run.

Hope you've enjoyed learning about what best paint sheens on your home's exterior. If so, please give us a like, share, ping, and/or comment below!

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