It's important when painting, staining or varnishing outdoors to make sure you use the right paints (and primers, where necessary). Our handy guide will help you make the right choices.
Types of outdoor paint
Exterior wood paint: Wooden garden furniture and structures
Adds a solid colour to outdoor furniture and structures, which can hide the wood grain. These paints resist cracking, peeling, blistering and is quick drying. They also help protect the wood from deteriorating and rotting.
Exterior gloss paint: Wooden doors and windows
Has a beautiful high-gloss finish, perfect for renewing paintwork on your front doors and windows. It has a mould-resistant additive to minimise staining and keeping paintwork looking better for longer.
Masonry paint: Brickwork and walls
Formulated with an acrylic resin and specially designed to give all-weather protection, as long as surfaces are in a good condition before you apply it. Available in a smooth or textured finish and suitable for use on both flat and rough surfaces. It can be applied with a masonry brush or roller.
It is advisable to use exterior masonry primer prior to painting your final colour. The primers are specially developed to seal absorbent or powdery surfaces and provide a stable surface for painting.
Fungicidal wash: Cleaning decking, paving and brickwork
Specially formulated for use before painting. It kills and prevents the re-appearance of unsightly mould, algae, fungi, moss, lichen and more - all of which can cause paint to peel off. It's also effective in removing algal contamination from paths, driveways and other surfaces.
Provides breathable waterproofing for your home and exceptional protection against water ingress and absorption. Ideal for masonry and porous exterior surfaces. For extra water repellent effect, it can also be applied to surfaces already coated with a water-based paint or treatment.
Metal paint: Railings and furniture
Metal paints can come with guarantees of up to six-year rust protection. They can be painted straight onto rust with no primer. It will even stop existing rust in its tracks. Many dry to a smooth consistent finish, this means you don't have to take as much care as you would with finer finish paints.
Resists foot traffic scuffing the finish of your doorstep, and has an anti-slip coating. It's quick drying, and resists flaking, peeling and chipping for years. Usually applied to concrete or stone doorsteps.
Types of outdoor stains and varnish
There are several ways to colour, treat and restore your exterior wood. Below are the most popular versions, these types are available for specific applications.
- Rich and bold finishes
- Longer lasting than oils
- Many are rainproof
- Soak into the wood
- Best for restoring old wood
- Lightly tinted finishes
- Nourishes and protects
- Restores natural oils
- Does not soak into the wood, but acts as a surface layer
- Great for new or fresh wooden surfaces
- Light and bold tints are available but many are clear
- Creates a hardwearing surface layer on top of the wood
- Creates a waterproof layer to prevent wood damage and rot
Most popular applications
Wooden garden furniture
Protects wood from weathering, preventing cracking, peeling and splitting. Its semi-translucent finish doesn't mask the wood grain despite adding strong colour.
Its durable, long-lasting finish resists cracking and blistering, while its weatherproofing formula protects the wood from damaging UV rays. It also contains a waterproofing agent to prevent water damage. Refreshes previously stained wood without darkening it.
Its deep-penetrating formula nourishes and protects - great for restoring old furniture to its natural appearance. It also maintains the colour and appearance of new furniture, and resists water ingress.
Sheds and fences
Shed and fence specific stains are designed for the rough surfaces of fences. They preserve, remove and prevent rot and decay. It provides superb colour pigmentation, and has a long-lasting finish.
It also eliminates woodworm and protects against re-infestation.
You can bring new life into decking by using a decking oil. It has a scuff-resistant formula, and it nourishes wood by replacing natural oils. Good UV protection prevents colour fading, and waterproofing stops water ingress. Oils are great for newly fitted decking as it enhances the natural shade of the wood.
Has UV filters which prevent greying, maintaining colour for longer. It provides a waterproof surface, resists cracking, peeling and blistering.
Has a translucent finish with added waxes which repel water and prevent cracking, swelling and warping. It also has a UV filter which prevents greying and maintains colour for longer. The protector resists mould and algae growth, too.
Brightens and revives weathered timbers. It comes in an easy-to-apply gel formulation, restoring decking to its original colour.