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Best Exterior Wood Paint: 6 Top Finishes for Doors, Windows And More

Best exterior wood paint guide
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The best exterior wood paints are specially formulated to not only make your doors, windows, shed, fences and decking look good but also offer good all-round weather protection. 

Exterior wood will be exposed to a host of weather conditions such as sun, rain, wind, cold and maybe even snow. So a paint that helps protect the natural beauty and strength of wood is essential for a good finish. 

But alongside the substance you also want style, so make sure to choose a colour that complements the natural nature of your garden or one that matches the outside of your home to get a good look. 

Check out this collection of exterior wood paints that will help your doors, windows, decks, sheds, fences and furniture look good for longer.

(MOREHow to Paint a Room)

Best Exterior Wood Paints

Is this Ronseal paint the best exterior wood paint?

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1. Ronseal 10-Year Weatherproof Exterior Wood Paint

Best exterior paint for wooden doors and windows

Tin size: 750ml, 2.5l | Coverage per litre: 13m2 | Drying time: 1-2 hours | Finish: Gloss, Satin

Weatherproof
Ideal for exterior doors and windows
Self-priming
14 different colours
A little more expensive than other paints 

If you have exterior wooden doors and windows and need a paint that will keep them looking good for years then this weatherproof offering from Ronseal could be just what you are looking for. 

Ideal for bare or previously painted wood, this long-lasting paint is available in a gloss or satin finish, and specially formulated to flex with the movement of wood, making it resistant to cracking, peeling and blistering. If prepped properly you should get a good 10 years of use before you have to paint again. 

It is dry and rainproof in an hour, making it perfect for painting in changeable weather conditions. You will need two coats for previously painted wood or three coats for bare wood - no primer needed.

Buy the Ronseal 10-Year Weatherproof Exterior Wood Paint


Is this Cuprinol paint the best exterior wood paint?

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2. Cuprinol Garden Shades Exterior Woodcare

Best range of colours for exterior wood

Tin size: 2.5L | Coverage per litre: 10-12m2 | Drying time: 1-2 hours | Finish: Matt

30+ ready mixed colours
Apply with brush or spray
Dry in an hour
Less coverage on rough sawn wood

Fancy giving your garden shed or fence a neutral or vibrant colour that blends or complement its natural surroundings, looks good and offers plenty of protection for your wood? 

The Cuprinol Garden Shades range comes in over 30+ ready mixed colours, but you can get more than double the colour choice when using its colour mixing options. 

It’s easy to apply with a brush or perfectly suitable to spray with. Two coats will give a strong matt weatherproof finish that should last for at least five years and bring out the natural texture of the wood grain. 

It should be dry and ready to recoat in around an hour, so you can add a third coat in no time for a deeper richer finish. Note that if applying to rough sawn wood you will only get around half the coverage of planed wood. 

Buy the Cuprinol Garden Shades Exterior Woodcare


Is this Rust-Oleum paint the best exterior wood paint?

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3. Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Paint

Best exterior paint for garden furniture

Tin size: 750ml | Coverage per litre: 14m2 | Drying time: 1-2 hours | Finish: Matt

Soft-touch finish
Dry in an hour
No need for primer
Mould and algae resistant
Limited choice of colour shades

Do you want to give your garden furniture a new lease of life and a bright new look that will keep it looking good for years to come? Touch dry in an hour and ready to recoat in four, this garden paint is easy and quick to apply. 

You can choose from eight matt soft-touch colours and paint directly onto bare or previously painted wood.  

Add two coats to get a contemporary durable chalky matt finish that will offer protection from the rain. It's also resistant to mould and algae, which will help your outdoor furniture stay looking good for longer.

It’s easy to wipe clean - or scrub for more stubborn stains - if and when needed. 

Buy the Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Paint


Is this Dulux paint the best exterior wood paint?

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4. Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry Satin Paint

Best exterior satin finish

Tin size: 750ml, 2.5l | Coverage per litre: 16m2 | Drying time: 6 hours | Finish: Satin

Durable satin finish
Long-life weatherproofing
Mould resistant
Crack-resistant
Six-hour dry time

Long-lasting weatherproof protection is exactly what you want when you are painting your exterior wooden windows and doors. And this durable satin finish from Dulux is definitely a paint to put on your wish list.

Dulux Weathershield Quick Dry Exterior Satin fulfils all the criteria and more. It is easy to apply with a brush, or even a small roller, and it provides excellent coverage. It's mould resistant too - minimising staining - and is crack resistant to help keep your doors and windows looking good for longer. 

One small downside is that it says quick-drying on the tin but it takes around six hours before it’s fully dry.

Buy the Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry Satin Paint


Is this Cuprinol paint the best exterior wood paint?

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5. Cuprinol 5-Year Ducksback Matt Shed & Fence Treatment

Best exterior stain for sheds and fences

Tin size: 5L | Coverage per litre: 4.8m2 | Drying time: 2-4 hours | Finish: Matt

5-year protection
Wax enriched
Showerproof in one hour
Non-drip
Limited coverage
Need to recoat in two days

Specially formulated for the rough sawn finish of sheds and fences, this offering from Cuprinol is less of a paint and more of a stain. It is easy to apply with a brush - not a roller - thanks to its non-drip formula and is showerproof within an hour. 

Once fully dry - which takes around 2-4 hours - its wax-enriched finish will help repel water, giving your outdoor timber a longer life. You will need at least two coats to fully weatherproof your shed or fence - coverage is limited - and bring out the colour of which there are nine available. 

But be warned - you will need to apply a second coat within two days to stop the additional coat from being repelled - just like the rain. If you leave it for longer you will need to prepare the surface before painting. 

Buy the Cuprinol 5-Year Ducksback Matt Shed & Fence Treatment


Is this Ronseal paint the best exterior wood paint?

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Ronseal Ultimate Decking Paint

Best exterior paint for wood decking

Tin size: 2.5L, 5L | Coverage per litre: 10m2 | Drying time: 48 hours | Finish: Matt

Good for soft and hardwood decks
All-weather protection
Fills small cracks
Ten colours
48 hours to be fully dry

Decking by its very nature will get a lot of use and will start to look tired and worn as time goes by. A good decking paint will bring it back to life offer whilst providing long-lasting, all-weather protection at the same time. And this is exactly what this specialist paint from Ronseal will do. 

Prepare your deck - softwood or hardwood - as described by the manufacturer and the paint will cover grey wood comprehensively, It will fill any small cracks and make sure that splinters are stuck down and will be dry within a couple of hours. 

You can brush on - or use a decking pad - another coat in around four hours to get a tough feet-friendly finish. Just make sure you leave it for 48 hours for it to fully dry.   

Buy the Ronseal Ultimate Decking Paint


How to Choose the Best Exterior Wood Paint 

If you are looking for exterior wood paint the first consideration is what are you looking to paint. This will determine what type of paint you will need. If you are painting your wooden front door and windows you will need a different type of paint than if you were painting garden furniture, decking, shed and fences.

If you are looking to paint your front door and exterior wooden windows you want a tough durable finish that looks much like the finish you get indoors. Look for paint with a satin or gloss finish and one that is crack and stain-resistant. This will make it easy to clean and stay looking good for longer. 

If you are looking to paint garden furniture you want to choose a specialist paint that can withstand a lot of traffic and can be scrubbed clean. The same principle applies when looking for decking or shed paint. Pick a specialist paint that is tough, durable, looks goods and offers great all-round weather protection. 

Alternatively, you can use a stain for decking, sheds and fences. Stain differs from paint in that it doesn’t sit on top of the wood - like paint - but it soaks into the wood. It colours the wood but still offers good weather protection and helps display the natural grain of the wood. Once again, pick a specialist product and make sure that it offers strong protection and of course a colour that you like. 

Whatever paint/stain you choose make sure that you get enough for two coats to give proper protection to whatever you are painting. 

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Steve is an avid DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating homes. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has strong all-round building skills, having previously worked in the industry for 10 years.