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A real rejuvenation treatment, the exterior wood paint can also tint the rough joinery. There is a vast choice of paintings to embellish furniture, shutters, fences... while protecting them from the aggressions of time and climate!

choose an exterior wood paint

Paintings for exterior woodwork give or restore brilliance to your windows while protecting them from attacks caused by rain, snow, solar radiation, heat, cold or sea air.

  • They are usually microporous and water-repellent, like all the 12 paintings in our test.
  • They penetrate the wood and let it breathe while protecting it from the water.
  • With a good hiding power, paints, unlike stains and varnishes, do not let the wood grain appear once painted.
  • They have a good mechanical resistance and can be applied as well on garden furniture (chair, table, hut...) as on shutters, cladding or palisades.
  • They are offered in a wide variety of colors that adapt to all regions.
  • Their composition varies from one brand or category to another (professional or amateur).
  • The paints consist of color pigments, anti-UV (ultraviolet) additives, solvents (in aqueous phase or derived from petroleum derivatives) and binders composed of synthetic resins (acrylics, alkyds, glycerophthalics). These provide the elasticity necessary to follow the movements of the wood depending on the temperatures and allow to adhere better to the surface without blistering or peeling over time.
  • Finally, they all form a protective film on the surface of the wood.

Eco-friendly paintings

Water-based paints (water) are more environmentally friendly. Their emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere is very low, or almost nil for some, such as Luxens, V33 or Briconautes.
Virtually odor-free, they can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Oil-based paints are odorous, more polluting, despite progress in the European anti-pollution standard, and longer to dry.
On the other hand, they apply more easily and have a higher elasticity than water-based paints.

Good preparation of the support

The paints have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years guaranteed by the manufacturers. To benefit from it, it is necessary to respect the recommendations of these last ones. On raw or new wood, it is advisable to sand and clean the surface to be painted before application. On hard wood, such as oak or exotic wood, it is advisable to first apply an underlayment.
In renovation, if the support is already painted or varnished, you will have to strip it and clean it thoroughly. These paints are designed to protect wood from the weather, their composition is not intended to counter the attacks of xylophagous insects and other fungi. Before painting, the wood can be treated with insecticides, fungicides and antibacterials.
The application of the paint is carried out in two or three layers according to the marks (only the Dulux Valentine, here, is monolayer), in the direction of the wire of the wood. Scouring and cleaning must be done between each layer. The maintenance is simple, it is enough to wash from time to time or to make some retouches.

Preparation before work

open a paint bucket

Open a pot of paint is painful enough.
Use a lever (a screwdriver). If the lid has thin edges, you may injure yourself or deform the lid, rendering it unusable. That of the Dulux has broad edges.

mix a painting

Before first use, stir well to obtain a homogeneous color. You can use a wooden spatula or, as here, a metal bar. Mixed, the paint may not have the desired shine.

paint pot for outdoor wood

Before first use, stir well to obtain a homogeneous color. You can use a wooden spatula or, as here, a metal bar. Mixed, the paint may not have the desired shine.

keep the remains of paint

To keep the rest of oil-based paint, just pour a little white spirit, without mixing. This avoids the formation of a "crust" on the surface and makes the pot usable later.

Application and appearance

Application and appearance

Comparing these two sets of samples, we see that the colors that spent 17 months outside (right) did not suffer too much. They are just slightly dark or tarnished.

12 Exterior wood paints (from 9,10 €): wood

Preparing the support is important. If it is new, you must sand the surface. If there is an old paint or varnish, stripping is required. Between each coat of paint and after drying, a roughening is recommended.

17 months of testing

We have chosen, for this test bench, to check the UV resistance of the different paints by choosing two colors per product (blue and red) that are quite sensitive to UV. Eight paints are in aqueous phase and four are based on petroleum products. To test the hiding power, the ease of application, the resistance over time and the conservation of the paints after use, we cut 48 samples in pine shutter blades. We spread them on two pallets and fixed with screws in stainless steel. After sanding, we applied the paints on these samples respecting the number of layers and the drying time recommended by the manufacturers. These samples were then exposed west to the attack of time and UV for 17 months (November 2012 to April 2014). In April 2014, we removed the paint cans, kept away from frost and at a constant temperature, and started the application operations on a second pallet before comparing it to the 2012 samples.

Respect for environmental standards...

paintings and health

All the paints in our test are environmentally friendly by emitting a minimum of VOCs.
Each manufacturer applies the European Directive 2004/42 / EC (01/01/2010), which sets the limit VOC content in paints, varnishes and stains. A water-based (acrylic) paint must emit a maximum of 130 g / l of VOC and a petroleum-based paint (known as a solvent) of 300 g / l (source
It should be noted that five paints benefit from the European Ecolabel NF Environment (Luxens, Renaulac, Syntilor, V33, B Resist and Ripolin), issued to products with a low impact on the environment (list of products on
During our 17-month testing period, the Oxi brand developed a new acrylic exterior protection (129 g / l VOC). "Absolute color" (26 € the pot of 0.75 l) is proposed in the same colors as those tested (aspect matt). Guaranteed 15 years for façade elements and 5 years for the terrace, it preserves the wood grain.
Information on

The result of the test

All paintings fulfill their role of protection. The colors have more or less tarnished with time. The good surprise comes from the painting Les Briconautes (brand of GSB), in the lead thanks to its quality / price ratio and its good resistance over time. Second, the Syntilor, easy to apply, with the shortest drying time of the test. The Luxens (Leroy Merlin) is third with a good hiding power of blue. In fourth position, two paintings are tied for their good coverage: Dulux Valentine and B Resist (Mr Bricolage). In fifth place, two other paintings are tied: the V33 and Tollens Elastop Hydro. It must be "pulled" to ensure good behavior over time. Sixth place is occupied by the second painting Tollens, because of its price and its VOC rate. Seventh in the ranking, the Avi offers good value for money but a guarantee of only 5 years. Eighth, the Ripolin has good qualities but its red paint has a little flaking. The Astral, ninth, is easily applied but the colors have bleached. Finally, the Renaulac is last because of its price, a bit high for a big DIY brand.

The choice of System D

Of all the paints tested, the one that caught our attention is a Private Label (MDD): Leroy Merlin's Luxens supports the comparison with the more classic brands. This special "old wood" aqueous phase paint is also suitable for new wood. Its VOC content is practically zero and its impact on the environment low, which allows it to obtain the Ecolabel. It is easily applied in two layers. The drying time between two layers is reasonable (6 hours). After 17 months of rest, its reuse caused no problem.

Comparative of 12 exterior wood paints

Comparison of 12 exterior wood paints and results of our test.
Attention, article published in July 2014.

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