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Best Outdoor Paint for Porches of 2022

Updated
Don’t let your porch paint fade, keep it looking good with these 5 exterior paints.

The exterior of your house says a lot about you and the interior of your home, so you want it to look its best. And that includes your porch. To keep it in top condition requires the best outdoor paint for porches to reduce weathering from the sun, wind, and rain.

We review the 5 best exterior paints for porches, rating them on price, coverage, ease of application, and customer satisfaction.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the KILZ Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint, Exterior, Red, 1 Gallon
Best Oil-Based
KILZ Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint
  • Ideal for most exterior surfaces
  • Resist peeling & cracking
  • Safe for livestock
Product Image of the KILZ Basement and Masonry Waterproofing Paint, Interior/Exterior, White, 1 Gallon
Best for Concrete
KILZ Interior/Exterior Basement and Masonry Paint
  • Can be sprayed, brushed, & rolled on
  • Dries in just 4 hours
  • Low VOC and odor
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum 3104 Zinsser 1-Qt. PermaWhite Exterior Satin
Best Self-Priming
Rust-Oleum 3104 Zinsser Perma-White Exterior Satin
  • 15-year warranty against cracking & peeling
  • Low odor and VOCs
  • Water-based - better for the environment
Product Image of the FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Acrylic Paint - Textured Coating for 100% Skid Resistance - Ideal for Sport Courts, Pool Areas, Sidewalks, & Parking Lots - Color: Smoke (1 Gal)
Best for Wood
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Textured Coating
  • Complies with ADA guidelines
  • Works on concrete, asphalt, wood, & other surfaces
  • UV and moisture-resistant
Product Image of the Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint, Old Walnut, Low Sheen, 1 Gallon
Best Water-Based
Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint
  • 24 color choices
  • Low VOCs
  • Water-based - better for the environment


Product Reviews

We spent hours looking for the best outdoor porch paints to make your selection easier. Here are our favorite 5.

1. KILZ Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint

Best Oil-Based Paint for Porches

This KILZ exterior paint is an excellent choice if you want an oil-based product. It covers between 200 and 500 square feet, depending on the porosity and quality of the porch surface, and it dries ready for recoats within 6 to 8 hours.

Because it is oil-based, the VOCs are higher, giving off low-level ozone as the paint dries, and you do need to watch for strong odors, so make sure you have good ventilation.

This paint resists cracking, peeling, and the damaging effects of UV, plus it covers masonry, stucco, and sanded surfaces. While it is an oil-based paint, it is safe to use around livestock, and the formula is lead-free.

It is also self-priming, so it drastically reduces your preparation time because you can paint it straight onto bare surfaces.

Pros

  • Ideal for most exterior surfaces.
  • Resist peeling and cracking.
  • Safe for livestock.
  • Lead-free, so it is safe to use.

Cons

  • Oil-based, so bad for the environment.
  • High VOCs and odors.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Coverage 200 to 500 square feet
Drying time 6 to 8 hours
Type Oil-based
Price $$

2. KILZ Interior/Exterior Basement and Masonry Paint

Best Outdoor Paint for Concrete Porches

This is the second KILZ paint to feature in our review, but it is the best choice if you have a concrete porch. It has excellent mold and mildew resistance, as well as withstanding up to 12 PSI of water pressure. That’s the equivalent of a 22-foot wall of water!

It seals porous concrete and other exterior surfaces using nanotechnology to form a waterproof barrier. This 1-gallon can only cover 75 to 125 square feet, depending on the quality of the surface, which is much less than other products.

Because this is water-based paint, it dries faster. You can apply the second coat within 4 hours, and it is touch-dry within 1 hour. It’s also better for the environment because it has low VOCs and a low odor, so you can work in confined spaces.

Unlike the last KILZ paint, this version is not self-priming, so you can only apply it to properly prepared surfaces, and you shouldn’t attempt to paint surfaces with active water leaks.

This paint can be sprayed, rolled, or brushed on, and it also works on concrete basement floors and other masonry surfaces.

Pros

  • Can be sprayed, brushed, and rolled on.
  • Dries in just 4 hours.
  • Low VOC and odor.
  • Withstands 12 PSI of water pressure.

Cons

  • Suitable for primed and prepared surfaces.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Coverage 75 to 125 square feet
Drying time 4 hours
Type Water-based
Price $$

3. Rust-Oleum 3104 Zinsser Perma-White Exterior Satin

Best Self-Priming Paint for Porches

When you don’t have the time to prepare the surfaces ready for painting, self-priming paint is a great product to have. This Zinsser Rust-Oleum paint is self-priming, fade-resistant, and resistant to UV rays.

It also helps keep mold and mildew at bay, and it resists dirt and moisture. Because it is self-priming, it adheres to surfaces without sanding, and it is a long-lasting formula.

Rust-Oleum is so confident this paint works, they guarantee it against mold and mildew for 5 years and 15 years against cracking and peeling. This is a water-based product, so the cleanup is simple with soap and water, and it is kinder to the environment because it contains low VOCs and has a low odor.

On the downside, this paint only comes in small 31.5-fluid ounce tins, so you might be restricted to the size of projects you can undertake. The costs will soon stack up if you need to buy multiple cans.

Pros

  • 15-year warranty against cracking and peeling.
  • Low odor and VOCs.
  • Water-based, so better for the environment.
  • Mold and Mildew-resistant.

Cons

  • Only comes in small tins.

Product Specs

Quantity 31.5 fluid ounces
Coverage Not stated
Drying time 2 hours
Type Water-based
Price $

4. FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Textured Coating

Best Outdoor Paint for Wooden Porches

This is acrylic paint with a textured finish to increase grip on floors and pathways. It adheres to stone, asphalt, concrete, wood, and almost any surface you can think of.

You can use it indoors and out, and it has moisture and UV-resistant qualities that mean it won’t fade. If you have anyone in the family with mobility issues or they are unsteady on their feet, this paint exceeds the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) requirements.

One negative is the coverage. Because it contains a non-slip material, you only get a spread of 60 to 80 square feet on rough surfaces and 80 to 100 square feet on smoother surfaces, so you might need a couple of cans to complete your porch repaint.

Another downside is the cost. This paint is several times more expensive than other similar products.

Once it goes down, it takes about 4 hours to dry between coats, and because this is a water-based product, it is kinder to the environment with low VOCs and odors.

Pros

  • Complies with ADA guidelines.
  • Works on concrete, asphalt, wood, and other surfaces.
  • UV and moisture-resistant.
  • Low VOCs and odors.

Cons

  • Limited coverage.
  • Expensive compared to other products.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Coverage 60 to 100 square feet
Drying time 4 hours
Type Water-based
Price $$$$

5. Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

Best Water-Based Paint for Porches

Water-based paints are much less toxic compared to oil-based products, and as a result, they are more user-friendly, with low odors and minimal VOCs, which release low-level ozone when the paint dries.

This US-made paint comes in 24 different colors, so you should find one that matches your tastes, and it is mold and mildew-resistant, so it should stay looking good no matter what the conditions.

This paint is scrubbable; it covers really well, spreading over 300 square feet, and dries to a low sheen. The only downside is many customers have complained that the color in the tin does not match the swatches, and also some said it smells really bad.

Pros

  • 24 color choices.
  • Low VOCs.
  • Water-based, so better for the environment.
  • Mold and mildew-resistant.

Cons

  • Some complain the paint does not match swatches.

Product Specs

Quantity 1-gallon
Coverage 300 square feet
Drying time Not stated
Type Water-based
Price $$

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Quantity Coverage Drying time Type Price
KILZ Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint Best Oil-Based 1-gal. 200 – 500 sqft 6 – 8 hours Oil-based $$
KILZ Interior/Exterior Basement and Masonry Paint Best for Concrete 1-gal. 75 – 125 sqft 4 hours Water-based $$
Rust-Oleum 3104 Zinsser Perma-White Exterior Satin Best Self-Priming 31.5 fluid ozs Not stated 2 hours Water-based $
FIXALL Skid Grip Anti-Slip Textured Coating Best for Wood 1-gal. 60 – 100 sqft 4 hours Water-based $$$$
Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint Best Water-Based 1-gal. 300 sqft Not stated Water-based $$

Porch Paint vs. Interior Paint

The difference between the two is immense. Interior paint has one mission: to cover evenly and look good. Sure, it gets punishment from heat, cold, fingerprints, and daily use, but nowhere near the same as exterior paint.

Exterior paint is more robust. It has to withstand UV damage, rainfall, and the drying effects of wind, to keep your exterior surfaces looking good for longer. Often the paint has a mold and mildew additive that repels the lasting effects of water damage.

The paint on your porch is the last line of defense between the material beneath and the weather. Because of that, it has to withstand fading, cracking, and peeling. While most exterior coverings are water-based, oil-based products are available and are better at penetrating the material to protect from within.

Moisture encourages mold spores to grow, and while there is a greater chance of fungal penetration on your exterior surfaces, your chosen paint should deal with that kind of punishment with ease.

How to Choose (Buying Guide)

What are the important factors that help you decide on the best exterior porch paint? Is it the formula, the coverage, or ease of application? Let’s take a look at your options.

Type of Paint

Exterior paint has to be durable, so the type of paint you choose makes a difference.

Water-Based

Water-based paint has water or latex as its main ingredient. It coats well and is easy to apply, using either a sprayer, brush, or roller. When it dries, it tends to form a seal that protects the top surface of the material, making it impervious to weathering and sunlight.

It is also environmentally friendly, cleans up with soap and water, and gives off low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that emit low-level ozone as they dry. They are safer for you and the environment.

Water-based paints take less time to cure, ordinarily drying after 12 to 24 hours.

Oil-Based

Oil-Based paint has solvents or oil as its core ingredient. It means the paint is more absorbent, soaking into the fabric and protecting from within. Oil-based paints give off greater volumes of odor and VOCs, so low-level ozone evaporates into the atmosphere as it dries.

It’s also worse for the environment because it cleans up with mineral spirits, which poisons the rivers and streams.

However, coverage is good; it applies using a sprayer (some thinner may be required), a brush, or a roller. Oil-based paints take longer to cure than water-based products, on average drying in 24 to 48 hours.

Epoxy-Based Paint

Epoxy adds robustness to the paint, although it isn’t a true epoxy because that would require a 2-stage process involving a hardening agent. Epoxy paints are less environmentally friendly, although you can get them in solvent or water-based formulas.

Epoxy paint is more expensive and takes longer to dry, but it does dry to a protective seal, sparing your porch from UV and the weather. Expect drying times of between 24 and 48 hours.

Ease of Application

Getting the first and second layers down in the fastest possible time without compromising on the quality of the finish is the ideal scenario, so how the paint coats is another critical factor.

You can spray on most paints using a garden pump sprayer. The paint applies evenly and goes down smoothly. The downside is it is wasteful because you can’t really control the spread, so you end up with overspray.

Using a brush is another way to get the layers down. You get more precision because you can get into the corners and nooks and crannies, and you don’t get the wastage. However, brushing is the slowest method, so if you have a lot of paint to lay down, you might drag a 1-day task into a couple of days.

A good compromise between the two is a roller. You get a faster application with better precision than spraying, but nothing comes close to the accuracy of a paintbrush.

Coverage

How much coverage depends on the porosity of the surface and how smooth it is. How much spread you get ranges from 75 to 125 square feet to 500 square feet. It also varies between types of paint. Latex or water-based paint gives better coverage while oil-based soaks in more, so you might get less coverage but better penetration.

The Environment

The thing to look for is Volatile Organic Compounds. These are bad for the environment because they emit low-level ozone when they dry, which damages the environment. Plus, when you perform the cleanup, your brushes or sprayer will need mineral spirits, which is a chemical that also poisons the streams and rivers when you flush it down the drain.

Water-based paints are the best because they emit almost zero VOCs, and they are also low odor, which is better for your health. They also wash clean with soap and water, so nothing damages the world around us.


FAQs

What Is the Best Color To Paint a Porch Ceiling?

Surprisingly, blue or light blue seems to be popular because they mimic the day and night sky, although other colors are popular. Cream or white is also another much-used paint for porch ceilings.

Do I Need To Sand My Porch Before Painting?

You do need to sand if you want the new layer of paint to adhere. Even oil-based products need the last remnants of the old paint removed so that it can penetrate the wood fibers to offer complete protection.

Sanding wood gives the new paint a surface to bond with, which keeps the paint on the walls for longer and makes them more robust to the elements.

How Do I Keep My Porch Paint From Peeling?

The best way to prevent paint from peeling is to make sure the surfaces are properly prepared before you start painting. Remove all peeling and cracked paint using a wire brush and a paint scraper. Then grab some 120-grit sandpaper and scratch the paint from the entire surface or porch, so the new paint adheres.

If you want an even better bonding surface, paint on a layer of primer to seal the surface and cover any minor cracks. You should also get better coverage if you use primer because the paint has less work to do.

Does Outdoor Paint Protect Wood?

Outdoor paint protects wood by forming a barrier against the elements, blocking out UV rays, rain, and wind. It keeps your exterior looking better for longer and reduces the need for upkeep of your exterior wood.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.