Exteriors Paints and Coatings: An Investment in Property Maintenance

Exteriors Paints and Coatings: An Investment in Property Maintenance

Posted by: Allison Sawyer
Category: ARTICLES

Exterior Primers and Paints

High winds, 25 degree temperature swings, driving rain, acid rain, ice storms, blizzards, heavy sleet, golfball-sized hail, even ultraviolet radiation; they all take their toll on our homes and buildings here in Southwestern Ontario. Sometimes even on the same day! 

Painters on a swing stage, painting the exterior of an apartment building


What Primer to Use?

To ensure proper adhesion and long life, a good primer is always money well spent. Not all primers are created equally and the type of surface being painted matters. Whatever you need painted chances are high that there’s a specially formulated primer for it. Choosing the right primer and paint system extends the paint lifespan, reduces damages, and lowers labour costs. Choosing the wrong primer could mean bubbling, peeling, and premature failure, which often means power-washing and repainting the whole surface over again.

Below we’ll look at some of the common types of paints and primers and explain a bit about why selecting the best combinations is a critical part of the residential and commercial painting process. 


Types of Exterior Primers

Painters on a boom lift, painting the exterior of a building.

Acrylic Primers are made up of pigments, resins, and binders. Their strong bond makes them great for raw surfaces and provides excellent levelling in finish coats and final presentation. They’re great for small jobs and patches and when a colour change is required. 

Alkyd Primers provide superior stain and odour coverage. They’re a great multi-purpose primer and can be used on a variety of metal and wood surfaces. Resistant to wear, moisture and humidity make them a popular choice for industrial buildings. Applying latex paint over alkyd primers is not recommended, however. They’re best used with alkyd paints which result in a long-lasting durable coating. 

Epoxy Primers offer great rust and UV protection and are impermeable to water. They can take up to 24 hours to fully cure but are a great option for the exteriors of commercial buildings. The two-part mixture often includes zinc phosphate which acts as a corrosion inhibitor and is great for protecting metal. They also work well with a variety of acrylic and oil/alkyd paints.

Oil/Alkyd Based Primers are great for wood buildings and work well with oil and latex paints. They are also great for environments with wide temperature swings and high moisture levels. These types of primers do require a well-ventilated area as they produce higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Latex Primers offer much lower VOC levels and are typically water-borne acrylics. Specialty latex paints can be used for concrete and brick and most work well with acrylic and latex paints. They’re easy to clean, fast drying, and resist cracking but are not the best choice for finished hardwood and metal surfaces or for surfaces that face significant rain, snow, or harsh weather.


Painters on a boom lift, painting the exterior of a building.

What Paint to Use?

Acrylic 100 percent acrylic resins typically rank highest when it comes to the best overall exterior paint. Exterior grade acrylics have great durability and work well on wood and vinyl trim and siding. Acrylics can also work brick, stone, and masonry, however, they will need a specialty alkali-resistant primer.

Alkyd/Oil-Based oil paint’s long drying time and difficult cleanup have made it a less popular choice over time. However, its dirt resistance, hardness, and gloss can’t be matched when it comes to detailed wood, trim, wrought iron, or even porch and deck floors. Due to their impermeability, they are not recommended for brick, stucco, and masonry as they can trap moisture.

Latex is a budget-friendly option for outdoor use. Specialty exterior grade latex paints are great for temperature-sensitive materials like vinyl and wood. It’s a quick drying option with low VOCs. Compared to oil and acrylic exterior grade paints, latex paint doesn’t stand up to harsh weather conditions. 


Painting Exteriors 

Painting residential and commercial building exteriors is an inevitability, but it also presents an opportunity to lower long-term maintenance costs. Most of the savings come in the preparation stage. Long before the first can of paint is popped, the smart money is always spent on properly washing and priming the surface. It also has the added benefits of increasing the property’s value, while quickly improving the look of the building.


HD Painting Contractor Ltd. provides quality painting, staining and vinyl wallpaper installation. We specialise in completing complex projects on time and within budget using the highest quality products available on the market while providing the quality and service you expect from a family-run operation. Call 519.637.0606 or click here to schedule a time to speak with one of our estimators.


Work van with HD Painting logo, sitting outside of a building.

By: HD Painting Contractor Ltd.