Learn all you need to know about exterior paints, ready to decorate your garden this summer!

26 April 2024

BY Josh Hibbert

What Is The Best Exterior Paint For Wood?


The best painters and decorators need only the best paint correct; we are always asked what paint is best for different types of outdoor décor at HMG. So, in this guide, we will give you a comprehensive guide to which paint will be the right product for you and your garden. So, when it comes to you and your garden paint, from painting garden fences to gates, to even various terracotta pots, we will provide you with the most suitable exterior paints, and treatments used on exterior wood. We will also give you the requirements needed for every application process to ensure that the results gained from our guide leave you with the best results.

What Do I Consider Before Purchasing Exterior Wood Paint?


With the wide variety of Exterior Wood Paints that are manufactured globally, all providing different results, it can be difficult to find the best Exterior Wood Paint for you and your garden. It is important to consider the final result you desire when purchasing garden paint, including the required look and finish you want to achieve when applying the product. The best When you are purchasing your exterior wood paint, several factors need to be considered to help provide you with the results you desire, these factors are as follows:


1. Surface Preparation –

HMG HydroPro Garden Paint - Black Garden PaintWhen it comes to outdoor painting, achieving a flawless finish requires more than just selecting the correct paint. To achieve professional results, surface preparation is a key foundation upon which many people tend to forget when painting their gardens. It is essential to prep your surface before painting to ensure adhesion and durability on the item you are painting, as avoiding this step can lead to short-lasting results, leading to short-term maintenance of your garden and repeated painting projects throughout the years, which we know can be a costly endeavour. By preparing your wooden surface, you are also protecting your surface from environmental factors such as moisture and UV rays and will be left with long-lasting results.

When applying surface preparation techniques, you should first cleanse your surface of any dirt, dust, grease, mildew and other contaminants. Surface cleansing techniques can be applied through the use of mild detergent solutions, pressure washers and other specialised wood cleansers. It is also necessary to sand any excess grit and remove any old paint or stains, as well as repair imperfections within your wooden garden item, to achieve the best results.


2. Weather Resistance –


As this project comes with the unpredictability of the outdoors, it is incredibly important to consider any weather-based issues you may experience both when painting your wooden surface, as well as any issues that may throughout the years, as your wooden surface stands the test of time. As previously explained, moisture is a key area to focus on in regards to protecting a wooden surface. External factors such as rain, snow and even humidity can penetrate any poorly painted wooden surface, leading to warping and decay. Furthermore, temperature fluctuations, as well as UV radiation, can also create these external factors, with the additional factors of paint fading and discolouration over time.

As sometimes these factors are out of our control, this highlights how the selecting correct paint for you and your environment is incredibly important. When selecting your preferred paint shade, you must ensure that you also select a paint that has the correct paint properties for your location, finding a paint with proven weather-resistant properties helps to preserve your garden fence and assist with long-term savings. Obtaining weather-resistant paint helps to form a type of protective barrier around your wooden surface, preventing any moisture from seeping into the wood and protecting the surface from any fluctuations over time, minimising the risk of damage to the surface. In addition, selective suppliers can also supply UV-resistant paints, that prevent sun damage and maintain the colour and finish of the wood, perfect for those living in warmer areas.


3. Durability –


A durable paint coating extends the lifespan of the paint job, reducing the need for frequent repainting and maintenance. A great exterior paint will assist in preserving the appearance of your garden over time, retaining its colour, sheen, and smoothness. This ensures that the wooden surface looks attractive and well-maintained, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the space. A durable paint coating provides a tough, resilient surface that can withstand daily use without chipping, scratching, or peeling.

By choosing a durable paint coating specifically formulated for wooden surfaces, you can achieve lasting results. This is particularly crucial for exterior wooden surfaces exposed to rain and humidity.

4. Colour Retention –


Maintaining the Vibrancy and colour of your outdoor space can be a daunting thought, as colour fading is one of the key reasons many proceed with their long-lasting paint journeys, to begin with. When finding the best colour for your fences and sheds, it is also important to look at the guarantees that come with the paint in question. Many high-quality paints will come with a long list of benefits, such as the various substrates the paint can be applied to and the drying times that come with the differing application methods. To obtain the best control of your wooden surface colour, we would recommend you take a look at the guaranteed protection that comes with the paint you have purchased.

As a good example of this, HMG’s HydroPro Garden Paint comes with five years of guaranteed protection, meaning your garden will be full of life for the foreseeable future. Also, with a guarantee such as the aforementioned, you are given the time to plan for the future, if no damage occurs to your garden, you will know that after this five-year window has passed, it will be time for your wooden surface to be refurbished with a brand new look.


5. Finishing options –


Garden paints come with a wide range of finishing options, and as the name suggests, this is the finishing thought you should have when deciding upon what exterior paint you are looking to purchase. The different types of finishes are as follows:

  • Matt Finish: Produces a flat, non-reflective surface which helps to disguise any environmental damage that may have occurred over-time.
  • Gloss Finish: Offers the highest level of sheen, which is ideal for areas prone to regular bumps and scuffs within your garden.
  • Satin Finish: Also known as silk which offers a low sheen and is a compromise between matt and gloss finishes
  • Fine Textured Finish: Provides durable coverage which helps in masking uneven surfaces and fine cracks.


The Best Exterior Wood Paint Options:

Garden Paint


HMG Hydropro Garden Paint - Fence Paint - 5 Litres

Providing great coverage on your wooden garden surfaces, HydroPro Garden Paint is perfect for all rough-sawn timber, such as your garden fence and shed. With 11 colours currently available at the time of release, HMG’s new water-based garden paint requires only 1-2 coats to provide an incredible colour retention on your garden fence, with a quick-drying formula allows for efficient application, saving you time and effort in your outdoor projects. It offers excellent porosity and coverage with superior opacity most substrates requiring just two coats, combined with quick drying means many projects can be completed in single day. The addition of wax to the formula ensures added protection against moisture when used on rough sawn and planed bare timber.


Satin / Gloss Trim Paint


HMG Paints Satin Finish Trim Paint 5LHMG Paints Gloss Finish 5L

Available in both gloss and a mid-sheen satin finish, HMG’s versatile Trim Paint enhances the beauty and longevity of your exterior wooden surfaces. This Trim Paint delivers exceptional coverage and performance, covering 12m² per litre depending on substrate, assisting you to ensure your wooden surfaces look pristine year after year. With a formulation that is engineered to withstand many types of Weather, this Trim Paint provides unmatched durability and protection against sun, rain, and moisture. Available for colour match upon request, this water based paint is perfect for decorative use, and can also be used as an indoor paint, perfect for windows, doors soffits and fascia’s.


Decorative Acrylic Primer Undercoat

Decorative Acrylic Primer Undercoat - Made in Britain

A great undercoat that has versatility throughout all of your exterior wooden surfaces, this water-based acrylic coating meticulously crafted to serve as the perfect undercoat and surfacer for a variety of substrates. Created with and providing great stain-blocking properties, this primer delivers an unparalleled performance in comparison to many other undercoats o the market, as HMG’s Decorative Acrylic Primer Undercoat ensures a flawless base for your paint application. By preparing your wooden surfaces with this primer, you will can ensure that your decorative paints will remain durable and withstand wear overtime. This primer also helps to retain all colour retention on your substrate, and is perfect in combination with HMG’s Garden Paint.


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Exterior Wood Paint


What Is The Best Application Method For Exterior Wood Paint?


The best application method for exterior wood paint depends on various factors, including the type of paint, the size and condition of the surface, and personal preference. From brush, roller or even spray gun application. Your desired application method is down to how precise you are looking to be, as well as the time scale you have and efficiency. If you are looking for a more precise application method on your rough-sawn timber, such as your fences and trim, using a high-quality brush to paint your wooden surface is ideal, working in the direction of the wood grain for optimal coverage. For a faster, yet less precise method of application similar to brush, using a roller can help you achieve a smooth and uniform finish with fewer visible brush strokes. For best results, choose a roller with the appropriate nap length for your surface and use a roller tray to load the paint evenly.

If you are looking for a quick, effective method of application for your wooden surface, in comparison to a brush, coating your surface using a spray gun is the optimal solution for you, as a spray gun drastically reduces the time taken to coat your garden and allows you to get to those hard to reach areas with ease. However, this also comes with the addition of prep time, as for the trade-off of a much quicker coating time, you are also looking at a careful preparation process for your spray gun, protecting your surrounding garden from any overspray that may occur. Many painters use a combination of application methods depending on the specific requirements of the project.


How Many Coats of Paint Should I Apply?


The number of coats of paint you should apply to your wooden surface depends on several factors, including the type of paint, the condition of the wood, and the desired finish. If you’re painting bare wood or previously unpainted surfaces, we recommend that you apply a primer coat first. This helps seal the wood, promote adhesion, and improve paint durability. One coat of primer will regularly do the trick, but you may need additional coats if the wood is highly porous or has imperfections.

Once your primer is applied, it is also important to consider the type of paint you have for your wooden surface. Some paints are thicker and provide better coverage in fewer coats, while others may require multiple coats to achieve the desired finish. It is best to check the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the label of your paint tin for any specific guidance on the number of coats you may need to apply. However, to keep it simple and clean, there are two desired outcomes you may look for when painting your wooden surface. If you’re looking for a solid, opaque finish, you may need to apply multiple coats of paint to ensure full coverage and hide any imperfections in the wood, which we recommend 3-4 coats applied over time. For a more transparent or semi-transparent finish that allows the natural grain of the wood to show through, fewer coats, which as 1-2 coats, will be necessary.


How Long Does Exterior Wood Paint Take to Cure and Dry?


The drying and curing time of your exterior wood depends on your desired finish. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying and curing times, as well as any specific recommendations for the particular paint product you’re using. For most exterior wood paints, the initial drying time typically ranges from 1 to 8 hours, and it typically takes much longer for the paint to cure completely. In general, exterior wood paint can take anywhere from 7 to 30 days to fully cure. 

While the paint may feel dry to the touch within hours of application, it is essential to wait throughout this time in order to avoid subjecting freshly painted wooden surfaces to any dirt, dust or grease throughout this time. Also, it is also beneficial to avoid any exposure to moisture throughout drying time, so be sure to paint your garden on a bright, warm day to ensure the optimal finish. This ensures that outdoor surfaces remain visually appealing and well-protected season after season.


Thanks For Reading!

We hope that you now have the info needed for your exterior painting requirements, such as your outdoor fence or shed, see our Garden Paint for all you need and more.  Furthermore, If you require further information, please contact:
Josh Hibbert
HMG Paints Communications

0161 205 7631

HMG Paints Ltd is the UK’s leading independent Paint Manufacturer and a proud, family-owned business situated in Manchester. Working alongside new and long-term customers, HMG strive to create the best tailored coatings solutions to meet their customer’s needs. With over 90 years’ experience in developing innovative coatings, HMG’s portfolio of wet paint and aerosols cover virtually every type of surface imaginable across a whole host of industries including industrial, commercial vehicle, decorative, automotive, defence, toll manufacturing, wood finish and arts & craft. HMG have a drive to set the standards for the industry not just meet them. www.hmgpaint.com

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