In today’s world there are many choices when it comes to paint products and how they are advertised. Which ones are the best? What products will last the longest? These are a couple of questions that are brought up when making the decision. It can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t have the right guidance before making a purchase. I will go into detail in answering these questions and highlighting the information that is most important.


In general, most major paint manufacturers have products that work and have stood the test of time. They wouldn’t be in business if the products often failed and had poor results. The products are made up of similar components with minor tweaks to improve level, flow, adhesion, application, odor, dry time and overall toughness. Just because the product is thick does not mean it will cover better or last longer, it’s the ingredients and the quality of these ingredients that makes the difference.

Choose a product that is well known and has proven, consistent results. There are three components in all paint products. Here is what they are and what they do.

  1. Solvent – typically water or a hybrid of oil and water molecules that are combined. Oil is seldom used anymore due to odor and poor color retention. The solvent allows the product to be applied smooth and evenly in a liquid form. Water based is quick dry and low odor.
  2. Resin – acrylic, latex, vinyl, and hybrid resins like urethane and epoxy are the most common. Most brands use an acrylic blend or 100% acrylic resin. This is your final film that is left on the surface after the solvent evaporates. This is what you paid for. Acrylic has great color retention and has a tough, durable, chalk resistant finish that will hold up for years under various weather conditions.
  3. Pigment – titanium dioxide is the most common. Along with the colorant that is added to make your color, the titanium provides color coverage and hiding power.

So, which one should I buy?

All major paint companies will have a low, medium and high-end paint. Just because it’s a certain well-known brand, doesn’t mean that the can of paint is high quality. The main factor you want to look for in choosing your product is solid content. That along with a quality acrylic resin. These factors will give you more bang for the buck. The solid content is shown on every paint label in the ingredients section. It will show a percentage of solids, and the bigger the number the better. This is the surface film that you have ultimately paid for and the more there is, the longer it will take to break down. More surface film will take longer to fade, crack, chalk and erode. This gives you the life of the product and how long it will last.


I can’t think of one good reason to buy a cheap exterior paint. It will be costlier in the long run as you will have to paint more frequently and your home will weather and fade more quickly. The cost of the paint is miniscule when it comes to your hard work or If you pay a contractor to paint your home. If a professional paints your home, typically 10%-15% of the total cost is paint. It’s simply not worth it! Buy a quality paint. It will pay for itself over time.