Choosing exterior paint for your home

Consumer Reports tests exterior paints

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

If your home could use a boost in the curb appeal department, a fresh coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive way to spruce it up.

Professional painters know a fresh coat of paint can give consumers a bang for their home improvement buck.

Choosing the right paint makes a big difference, too. To find the best paint for your home, Consumer Reports’ testers left samples on a roof that was exposed to sun, wind and rain for three years.

“By using lower-quality wood and putting the panels on an angle, we triple the effect of weather. So one year is comparable to three years, two years is comparable to six years and three years is comparable to nine years on your home,” said Rico De Paz, Consumer Reports’ paint expert.

For a fast fix, focus on your front door.

“Your front door is typically the focal point of your house. You should use a semi-gloss finish. It stands out from the rest of the siding and it's easy to clean,” De Paz said.

The tests showed Clark and Kensington’s $36 paint will look great even after nine years.

If you’re feeling ambitious, tackling the trim around windows and shutters can make your home stand out.

If your whole house needs a facelift, Consumer Reports recommends the top-rated Behr Premium Ultra Exterior Paint. At $39, it outperformed paints that cost twice as much.

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