Best Exterior Wood Paint: Top 7 Best Paints

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Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

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When choosing the right paint for your exterior, you must consider the finish you want for your house. But you can select various types of paints to achieve that refreshing look on your wood. We have selected some of the best examples of exterior paints you can choose for your exterior to make your life easy.

Sash Window Refurbish has several years of experience in exterior wood paints and has worked on several sash windows restoration projects. Here are some of our preferred exterior wood paints.

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7 Best Exterior Wood Paints


Zinsser All Coat Exterior Satin Paint

Zinsser All Coat Exterior Satin Paint

This is one of our highly used paints, and it’s the most preferred because of its ease of application. It’s also evenly applied and also gives a smooth finish and a flexible paint film on the wood. This paint is waterproof and weather resistant and protects wood from cracking in all seasons. Also, the colour stays for a long time without fading, and the wood can look good for 8 years.

Another good thing with Zinsser paint is that it’s self-priming. Even though we prime our customer’s wood, you don’t have to worry about priming when you use Zinsser. This paint can also dry within one hour.

Now, if you want paint that will give you results within a short time, go for Zinsser.

Best Colour Selection: Dulux Weather Shield

This is another good brand close to Ronseal. You can get this paint as an undercoat, gloss, or satin, and it’s loved for being a weather shield paint. It gives 10 years guarantee as its competitor Ronseal.

Dulux weather shield gives an excellent finish on exterior wood or metal surfaces and has varied colour options.

Johnstone’s Best Paint for Exterior Wood and Metal Paint

Even though Zinsser is one of the best exterior paints, the paint is limited to specific colours. But Johnstone has almost all the colours you may need for your wood exterior. Johnson’s is a top 10 UK paint brand, and there is a wide selection of colours in satin finish for both metal and wood. Johnsone’s is applicable to all exterior wood surfaces.

We have chosen to use brilliant white paint in this article. However, several other colour types are available. Johnsons give a six-year warranty, so you can be sure your wood or metal surfaces will maintain their colour for six years.

It’s also easy to clean since it’s water-based. You can also spray this paint if you have a paint sprayer. If you need paint for your garden furniture, this is the right paint, and you can choose any colour you want.

Best Matte finish: Cuprinol Garden Shades Paint

This is another easy-to-dry paint you can spray or brush onto the exterior timber. The company gives an assurance of 6 years of weather protection when two coats are applied. With this coat, you can also paint bricks, stones, terracotta, and other surfaces.

Generally, it’s a high-performing formula that gives a beautiful matte finish. You can use a fence or power sprayer for this paint.

Best Chalky Finish: Rust-Oleum Garden Paint

This has been a very common brand in the UK for some years for chalk-based paints, and recently, they are getting noticed for weather-resistant garden paint that gives a lovely chalky finish.

And the good thing with this paint is that you don’t need sanding or priming wooden surfaces to apply it, and you can paint it directly to the wood. You can paint this on bricks, plaster, stone, and plastic.

In conclusion, Rust-oleum paint is a multipurpose exterior wood paint that can be simply applied and offers a beautiful chalky finish. If you want to paint other surfaces within your garden, this can be the right choice too.

Ronseal Weatherproof Paint

Ronseal waterproof paint is on this list since it has ten years of protection. This is a devoted wood paint, and it’s the best for doors, windows, and other exterior surfaces. It dries within one hour, offering your surface perfect weather protection.

You need a 750ml can of Ronseal weatherproof paint for 8m2; hence a few cans can be enough for all your exterior wood painting. Even though you want to paint your door or window, this paint will sort you out very nicely.

Like its competitors, it’s water-based and hence can be easily sprayed, making it easy to clean. Currently, this paint doesn’t have several colour options, although you can get several colour options.

Best Gloss Finish: Santex 10-Year Exterior Gloss

This is the best option for any long-lasting gloss finish to wood used on exterior surfaces. Santex’s 10-year exterior gloss is made to give an ultra-mirror shine guaranteed to last for 10 years.

If you want to achieve a shiny fish, this is the paint you should use on your exterior wood. Even though it’s costly, it gives a good finish that doesn’t crack, unlike other glossy paints.

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Best Exterior Wood Paint Buying Guide

Before you buy exterior wood paint, you must look at some factors. Selecting the wrong paint will give you unpleasant results, and your wood won’t be well protected. This will make your wood rot within a very short period, and this will cost you much. Therefore, you must consider these factors before buying exterior wood paint.


Even though all wood finishes should be resilient, exterior wood paint must be highly flexible, and you should go for no other paint than the flexible one. This is due to the expansion and contraction of paint, which happens all year out. Therefore, the only way to have beautiful wood is by using paint that can contract and expand with the wood without cracking.

If the paint is not flexible, it will make the wood rot, and unfortunately, you won’t realize this until you remove the paint, and by this time, too much damage will have occurred.

That must be very stressful, right? This is the reason you need flexible paints. When the paint is loose, water is drained from the wood, protecting it.

Satin or Gloss

You can now decide whether to purchase satin or gloss paint with the shared information. Some people use satin because it provides a professional look and doesn’t show brush strokes.

Therefore, Satin is the correct choice if you are not an experienced painter or intend to use a paintbrush. Satin also remains the right paint for spraying. Gloss paint doesn’t work well in a sprayer.

Some people also use gloss paint, which is okay for them. This is the paint that will leave your exterior wood a shiny finish. But applying them to give a uniform look is not easy, so you must be very careful and professional.

You must sand the wood, prim it, and fill all the wood grains and each layer, but it is done perfectly. You must be well-versed in the painting process to get a smooth finish with this paint. So if you are not experienced, satin will be your ultimate choice.


One common thing with all exterior wood paints is that they are weatherproof and provide a long-lasting finish. It has to completely cover the wood and provide durable protection.

Interior paints and some types of wood paint are not suitable for exterior paint so before you purchase any paint, ensure it has waterproof properties. Exterior wood is subjected to harsh weather conditions like rain which will make the wood wet resulting in rotten wood.

Oil Paint Or Water Paint?

You can choose oil-based or water-based paint depending on the final results you want and how simple you want the process to be. If you want a gleaming look, you should consider oil-based paint. However, the shine will dull as time goes by, but it will look good for a few years.

Water-based paints are not very shiny, although they are simple to apply, especially if you are spraying them. Water-based paints also maintain colour for a long time, although this depends on the brand.

Our best choice is usually water-based because of its easy cleaning and smooth surface. Using spray equipment is good because it makes work easier and gives a much better look than using rollers and brushes. Water-based paints can be used even by inexperienced people.


The colour of the paint is another consideration to make. Several exterior wood paints are available, as well as different colours to select from. When doing restoration, we deal with many traditional sash and casement windows, and we recommend using neutral and traditional colours. We do this since many restoration jobs are done on period homes and are restricted to specific colours.

But in case you don’t have restrictions, you can choose any colour of your choice. But it’s good to make the right choice since you will need to stay with the paint for 6 or 10 years.

Drying Time

The most preferable paint for exterior wood in the UK is fast-drying since the weather is unpredictable. Rain will destroy your paint if it rains before the paint is dry, so it’s essential to use fast-drying paint.

You will see the time stated by the manufacturers on the can, so ensure you wait for that period before applying the next coat. Ronseal is the fasted drying paint, and it dries within an hour.


You have to prepare the exterior surface of the wood before painting. To smoothen the wood before painting, use 120-grit sandpaper on plain wood and sand towards the wood grain direction. If there is paint on the wood, use light sandpaper or a paint stripper. An electric sander can also apply when the wood is very bad.

After sanding, look out for any gap in the wood and fill it to ensure that the wood is ready for painting. This will prevent cracks, peeling, and blisters.


With many paints we have discussed, you can apply using a paintbrush or roller, while some can be sprayed using a fence or power sprayer. Every brand has application instructions, so ensure you follow them well.

When applying, ensure you do it with the brush going towards the direction of the wood grain for a good finish. After applying every coat, be patient until the paint dries. Don’t make the mistake that many make of applying the next coat before the first is dry.


No matter the kind of paint you will use, your exterior wood will require some maintenance once in a while. As time passes, some paints will attract dirt and suffer knocks. However, cleaning the wood with warm soapy water is easy, and they will be good again.

In case there is an area where the paint has been damaged, sand it and reapply the paint. Ensure the wood is clean for the paint to stick well and serve you for a long time.

Painting Exterior Wood: Conclusion

Restoring your exterior wood using fresh paint can make a big difference. Using fresh paint, windows, wooden doors, fences, garden sheds, and other surfaces are easy to protect.

All the recommendations we’ve given various finishes and have different prices. But for you to achieve a good finish, you must prepare the wood properly and apply the paint well according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you need more information on our exterior wood paints, you are free to inquire from us any time, and we will try our best to help you. Applying the right outdoor wood paint is essential since that will save you a lot of inconvenience and money. With different colours available, you can choose the theme you want for your home.


What kind of paint do you use in outdoor spaces?

Sash Window Refurbish uses water-based exterior wood paint in all our window restoration projects. Our exterior woodwork mainly deals with windows, doors, trims, sills, and siding; we always use water-based paints. This is because we use spraying, and water-based is the best paint to use on this. Spraying is environmentally friendly and is easy to clean.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.