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Types Of Exterior Paint Finishes

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  • 15-02-2022
Types Of Exterior Paint Finishes

Find out more about the types of exterior paint finish. If you are considering external decorating of your home or business, find out which type of finish is right for you.

Types of Exterior Paint Finishes

Matte Emulsion

A matte emulsion is traditionally utilised for ceilings and walls alongside uneven surfaces.

It offers a highly flat paint finish and an approximate sheen level of 10%, making it entirely non-reflective.

Its glossier counterparts are much more washable, and matte paint formulas tend to be frequently subject to more scuff or overlap marks when utilised in high traffic areas and much deeper tones.

However, you can find many durable flat or matte finish options in many paint ranges and companies, carefully designed to avoid marking as much as possible.


Chalky provides a relatively unique finish compared to other materials; it is trendy for those upcycling their old furniture and structures.

Paints like chalky offer mineral pigments and powdered minerals chemically bonded together to curate a thin paint coating.

It provides a 'shabby chic' distressed appearance, which creates a rustic look within your home or garden as it displays evident brush strokes.

You can use a sealer or special wax as an overcoat to seal in the shinier sheen effect.


Gloss paint is available to customers for exterior and interior decorating endeavours. It has an extremely high sheen level of 90%, making it washable and reflective.

In comparison to solvent-based, water-based glosses and acrylic glosses often have less paint sheen.

Many commercial kitchens may utilise unique high gloss paints and finishes to coat the walls.

Such is because these high or semi-gloss finishes are easily washable, and therefore, when kitchens perform big cleans, they can thoroughly wash down the walls and create a more hygienic area for food to be prepared in.

They are available in various types of paint film coatings.

Masonry Paint

Masonry paints are on sale in two specific finishes; textured and smooth. Many choose masonry paint for its immense weather durability.

The flat paint surface formula offers a flawless finish that is smooth and matte. It is straightforward to keep clean and maintain.

The textured kind is ideal for those searching to cover exterior walls surface imperfections and enhance minor architectural details.

Many desire a deep texture aesthetically, and it is convenient for those with exterior walls that have accumulated several flaws over the years. Weightier versions of this formula tend to harness a far deeper texture.

The most significant pitfall of this masonry paint is that it may require cleaning more often as its purposefully rough texture can accumulate dirt, windblown dust and debris more efficiently.

Eggshell, Satin, Silk And Soft Sheen

Satin paint and eggshell paint sheens are traditionally an efficient alternative for glossing interior decorative fixtures or exterior accent trim work. 

Eggshell and satin finishes provide a pretty dull shine, making them perfect for window frames and surroundings, door casings, and skirtings, as they will clean up the appearance of your home without drawing too much attention to the insignificant aspects of a room. They have far better washability, a smoother appearance, and a more durable finish than a matte.

The eggshell finish is a fantastic option for decorating spaces and exterior surfaces for much more expansive areas, such as ceilings and walls; however, we also recommend acrylic paints as they possess far lower VOC contents (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Silk and soft sheen finishes are commonly used for walls in areas of much higher traffic, such as kitchens and hallways, as they are washable and can be wiped using a dry rag without compromising the quality or shine. They have an incredible resistance to steam, making them almost perfect for kitchens.

What Are Types Of Exterior Decorating?

Types Of Exterior Paint

Exterior Woodpaint

Exterior Woodpaint

Woodcare for your exterior wooden surfaces is paramount in harsh and ever-changing weather conditions.

Hot weather and UV radiation quickly evaporate liquids and cause smudging or sliding, whereas wet weather can cause rusting or blistering.

There are often four colouring and protecting options to decide from, including paint, varnish, stains and oil.

Woodcare products are suitable for garden furniture, sheds, playhouses, fences, decking, and other wooden structures.

Exterior Woodstain

Exterior Woodstain

Wood stains are glossy paints that effectively display the wood's natural grain whilst providing a protective, smooth base layer of colour that soaks into the smooth surface.

For example, if you have a shed with a cedar shingle roof, you want to paint it but preserve the texture, so opting for a stain may be a sensible choice.

Exterior Wood Oil

Exterior Wood Oil

Wood oil helps nourish your wooden surfaces, replacing any lost natural oils that may have eroded due to weather exposure and UV rays.

It takes time to dry, so use it appropriately; however, it will help protect flooring and other surfaces from significant foot traffic.

Exterior Wood Varnish

Exterior Wood Varnish

Exterior wood offers a relatively high level of protection and a stunning natural glossy finish.

The formula is much more transparent than other options you may find for woodcare; they allow the full grain to be visible, and it is a paint that you can skilfully apply to previously stained or varnished wood.

There are numerous forms of wood varnish available, for example, those with a clear protective varnish to add a subtle sheen that reflects light, or you may prefer a coloured varnish that changes or enhances the shade of your wood.

Exterior Masonry Paint

Exterior Masonry Paint

Masonry paint decorates and ultimately protects your exterior household walls, garages, external doors, stone stoops and garden walls.

It is excellent for revitalising the front of your home and enhancing its overall curb appeal, which is great for upping the resale value.

It provides both a textured and smooth finish depending on which you purchase, and it is available in a wide range of light and dark colours, such as cream and beige neutrals, alongside warm and cool tones.

Many find it is a popular exterior paint finish formula for stucco, stone, concrete, brick foundations, roughcast pebbledash and more.

Exterior Metal Paint

Exterior Metal Paint

Exterior metal paint is a fantastic option for those that desire high-quality weather protection for many of their outdoor metal surfaces.

If you live in the UK, you'll know that we face plenty of wild and unpredictable weather, so it's best to ensure your outdoor materials and surfaces are protected from the elements.

You can use such paint for garden gates, railings, storage, drainpipes and numerous garden furniture.

Direct-To-Galvanised Metal Paint

Direct-To-Galvanised Metal Paint

Many professional painters and decorators use this type of paint for surfaces such as copper, brass, galvanised steel, wrought iron and aluminium as they are non-rusting forms of metal.

Such paint formula was created to directly apply it to the metal without any primer.

It includes a high-quality built-in topcoat that will thoroughly seal the paint until you need to repaint it the next time.

Direct-To-Rust Metal Paint

Direct-To-Rust Metal Paint

Such paint is utilised primarily on metal surfaces, and you don't have to go through the ordeal of removing the dust.

Often, you won't require a layer of primer underneath, but you will need to do a minimal amount of cleaning and sand down any rust before you begin any heavy-duty house painting.

Adding Exterior Paint

What type of surface is being painted?

Many painting and decorating businesses have an extensive paint selection to offer customers when decorating the exterior of your property, home or garden surface.

It matters not whether you are painting metal, wood or bricks; you can always find one or more that you feel suit your surface and enhance it.

When working with metal, it's best to choose rust-resistance paint; when painting porch floors, opt for a porch satin paint that is easily washable and very durable, etc.

You can even get into contact with a painting and decorating specialist that will guide you towards paints suitable for more specialist projects, such as construction work or specific outdoor surfaces.

What is the quality of the surface?

When deciding the preparation work you require and what paint to use, you may have to assess the state of your household surfaces.

For example, if you currently live in or are working on a much older property with an older surface, you must ensure that it is in good repair, clean and dry before you start painting.

It is paramount for curb appeal and the overall health of your structure that you ensure mould, moss, algae and dust is thoroughly removed.

Be sure to sand down any rough textured areas so that the paint layers will dry in a smooth and even fashion.

We highly recommend utilising a durable, sleek undercoat or primer product as this will help ensure a long-lasting paint job. 

What's the desired look?

For those that desire a brand-new paint job on the exterior of your household or property, you want to consider the desired look that you wish to obtain.

Are you in search of a bright shade that adds a fun splash of colour to the outside of your home or a more muted neutral tone for that trendy minimalistic style? 

Something that seamlessly blends with the surroundings or looking for eye-catching colours and decoration makes your home stand out like no other. Consider the surface you're working with.

Are you looking to enhance the natural beauty of your wall material with a sheer stain or cleverly conceal its texture and appearance with a stunning paint colour?

It would help to consider how you have styled your backyard or garden concerning the paint shade or colour; this will help you with your exterior house painting project.

If you have a more classic or traditional style garden with stone ornaments, gazebos, pillars, patios and seating areas, you may wish to pick more neutral shades that blend with your chosen surroundings.

Or perhaps you have more of a cutting edge or modern garden with water features, hammocks, rustic ornaments, rare flowers and shrubs and various other aspects; as such, you might want to purchase a paint of more bright or unique shades. 

Time available for the project

Many painting and decorating businesses in the UK offer immensely quick-drying paint and primer options that will assist you or your hired professional painting company speed up labour time.

You mustn't worry if you aren't time-rich; numerous tools and materials can help quicken the whole process.

Do you require industrial and commercial painting services in Edinburgh?

Then W. Martin can help. No matter the scale of the project, our professional team are on hand to help. If you need our services, do not hesitate to get in touch and contact our team today.