• Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More) 5

Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK 2021 (Dulux, Ronseal and More)

As with everything DIY, it’s important to always use the right tools for the job. So, when it comes to painting your garden fence, the shed or any other outdoor wooden fixture, you’re going to need a paint that is designed specifically for that. You see, exterior paints are made to withstand harsh weather, sun exposure and uneven surfaces, among other things. 


This means it’s probably best that you put that leftover tin from when you repainted the bedroom back in the garage and check out our handy buying guide. After this, we’ll show you the ten best exterior wood paints for windows, decks, outdoor furniture and more to buy online from Amazon and eBay.

  • Last updated: 14-01-2021
Table of Contents

How to Choose an Exterior Paint for Wood in the UK – Buying Guide

Without further ado, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. In this section, we’ll take a look at the different styles of paint and how long they last, as well as the coverage you'll require and some other aesthetic choices. 

Get the Right Type of Exterior Paint for Your Project

First and foremost, you’ll want to decide on a type of paint, and there are a few. Here we’ll break down the main options available to you and their advantages and disadvantages. 

Acrylic Is by Far the Most Popular All-Rounder

Acrylic Is by Far the Most Popular All-Rounder

Acrylic paints are water-based, and this makes them very popular for a couple of reasons. It's mainly because they’re microporous, which means they let the wood breathe, and this, in turn, makes it less susceptible to flaking or water infiltration. 


Another reason many people prefer acrylic paint is that it doesn’t give off an odour. It manages this because of its low levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds), making it a bit more pleasant for you and the environment. 


The biggest problem people find is that the colour can be a little darker when it has finally dried, so be aware of this when picking yours out. 

Oil-Based Paints Provide a Hard Protective Cover on the Wood

Oil-Based Paints Provide a Hard Protective Cover on the Wood

As you have probably guessed, oil-based paint uses, well, oil as its base. This style provides a lacquer-like finish, forming a hard, protective cover over the wood. Additionally, you can also expect high moisture-resistance and strong adhesion, so it shouldn't be flaking any time soon. 


There are some troubles with this paint though, the primary one being its drying time. Unfortunately, it takes considerably longer than acrylic, averaging at around 8 hours. This paint is also known to be odorous too and will require a solvent, such as white spirit, to clean your brushes and your hands when you've finished.

Stains Can Be Tinted or Clear but Always Preserve Natural Tones

Stains Can Be Tinted or Clear but Always Preserve Natural Tones

A wood stain is actually more like a barrier for your wood than a paint. Its main job is to protect against mould, insects and the elements while maintaining the wood's appearance. You can either get a clear finish, which will preserve the natural grain of the wood, or a tinted finish which will try to replicate another style of wood. 


Generally speaking, these stains are water-repellent, microporous and have a long lifespan of 5 to 10 years. The big difference is that tinted finishes offer a little more UV protection, as they are designed to prevent their colour fading over time. 

Saturators Protect From Ageing as Well as the Elements

Saturators Protect From Ageing as Well as the Elements

Like a stain, a saturator doesn’t have a colour finish and acts as an invisible layer, although they are known to enhance the natural colours a little bit. 


However, the main aim of this style of paint, as well as protecting wood from the elements, is to defend the wood against ageing. This is why this is a favourite of those who own boats, as it can protect the decking from the abrasive salt water of the sea, therefore, prolonging its life. 


If you live by the sea and have outdoor wood to be painted, a saturator could be a good call as it can help to stave off damage from the salty sea air.  

Gloss or Matte? Different Finishes Provide Different Advantages

Gloss or Matte? Different Finishes Provide Different Advantages

Choosing between a matte or a gloss finish for your wood might appear to be simply an aesthetic choice, but there is a little more to it. 


For instance, matte paints have little to no sheen to them, which makes them very good at covering up small imperfections on walls. The problem is that they’re slightly less durable, and therefore require more maintenance. 


Gloss paint, on the other hand, will have a soft or hard sheen depending on the product, so check out the label to make sure you get the one you'd prefer. These paints are durable, stable and easy to clean and maintain. However, they will exaggerate imperfections on surfaces, so they might not be ideal for your timber fence panels. 

Be Sure to Check the Coverage Recommendations

Be Sure to Check the Coverage Recommendations

This is pretty straightforward but absolutely worth mentioning: be sure to check the coverage recommendations. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through your job then realising you haven’t got enough goods to get it finished. 


Luckily, manufacturers often give ballpark figures when it comes to the coverage, although this can vary, even within the same style of paint. Options range from 3 m2 to 20 m2; bear in mind that buying paint with more scope will save you having to buy two tins. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, and sometimes grabbing an extra can save you a lot of stress! 

Look for Longer-Lasting Weatherproofing

Look for Longer-Lasting Weatherproofing

The next factor to consider is how long the paint is going to hold up. After all, no one wants to be painting their fence once a year because it continues to flake off. 


As with the coverage, this varies a lot from company to company, although you can expect most styles to last between 5 to 10 years. In our opinion, the longer the better. But, if you like to spruce up your garden frequently or change up the colours, maybe a shorter time will inspire you to do that more often. 

UV Resistance Will Keep the Paint From Fading

UV Resistance Will Keep the Paint From Fading

Finally, while it may not seem super important on the ever-grey island that is the UK, having paint that is UV resistant can be useful. When exposed to too much sun, the colour in many things from clothes to paint will begin to drain and become faded. 


Therefore, having a UV-resistant paint can save you from having to re-paint your exterior furniture and fixtures as frequently, meaning you can spend more time relaxing in your outdoor space instead of fixing it up. 

Top 10 Best Exterior Paints for Wood in the UK

Now that you’re practically an exterior paint for wood professor, let’s take a look at some of the best products on the market now. We have all the big names in the biz and some new ones too, but most essentially, we have options for everyone’s price range. 

10

DuluxWoodsheen for Interior and Exterior

Dark Walnut

£19.39

Type Tinted stain
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume750 ml
CoverageUp to 20 m2
WeatherproofUnknown
UV Protection No
9

OwatrolSoftwood Saturator

£31.99

Type Saturator
Gloss/Matte-
Volume1 L
CoverageBetween 10 and 12 m2
WeatherproofYes, duration unknown
UV Protection No
8

Ronseal10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint

£15.49

Type Acrylic
Gloss/MatteMatte
Volume750 ml
CoverageUp to 8 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 10 years
UV Protection No
7

Rust-OleumUniversal Paint

£19.83

Type Oil-based
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume750 ml
CoverageUp to 9 m2
WeatherproofYes, duration unknown
UV Protection No
6

Roxil Wood Protection Cream

£24.99

Type Clear stain
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume1 L
CoverageBetween 3 and 5 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 10 years
UV Protection No
5

Dulux Weather Shield Quick Dry

£15.21

Type Acrylic
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume750 ml
CoverageUp to 16 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 6 years
UV Protection No
4

OwatrolD1 Saturator for Hardwoods

£62.50

Type Saturator
Gloss/MatteMatte
Volume2.5 L (1 L available)
CoverageBetween 8 and 12 m2
WeatherproofYes, duration unknown
UV Protection Yes
3
Type Oil-based
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume2.5 L (750 ml available)
CoverageUp to 15 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 6 years
UV Protection No
2

EverbuildQuick Drying Wood Stain

£7.00

Type Tinted stain, mahogany
Gloss/MatteGloss
Volume250 ml
CoverageUp to 20 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 5 years
UV Protection Yes
1
Type Acrylic
Gloss/MatteMatte
Volume2.5 L
CoverageBetween 10 and 12 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 6 years
UV Protection Yes

Compare the Best Exterior Paints for Wood

Image
1
Cuprinol  Garden Shades 1

Cuprinol

2
Everbuild Quick Drying Wood Stain 1

Everbuild

3
Johnstone's Weatherguard Exterior Paint 1

Johnstone's

4
Owatrol D1 Saturator for Hardwoods 1

Owatrol

5
Dulux  Weather Shield Quick Dry  1

Dulux

6
Roxil  Wood Protection Cream 1

Roxil

7
Rust-Oleum Universal Paint 1

Rust-Oleum

8
Ronseal 10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint 1

Ronseal

9
Owatrol Softwood Saturator 1

Owatrol

10
Dulux Woodsheen for Interior and Exterior  1

Dulux

Name

Garden Shades

Quick Drying Wood Stain

Weatherguard Exterior Paint

D1 Saturator for Hardwoods

Weather Shield Quick Dry

Wood Protection Cream

Universal Paint

10 Year Weatherproof Wood Paint

Softwood Saturator

Woodsheen for Interior and Exterior

Features

A Certified Fan Favourite to Breathe New Life Into Your Garden

A Bargain From a Company That Thrives on Innovation

For Those Who Want a High Gloss Finish

A Saturator That Will Work on the Majority of Woods

An Easy-to-Work-With Paint for Wood and Metal That Dries Fast

A Stain Like No Other

A Single Paint for Every Surface if You So Wish

Does Exactly What It Says on the Tin

Protect and Preserve Exterior Softwoods

A Stain and Varnish From the Nation's Biggest Paint Company

Price£19.53£7.00£14.99£62.50£15.21£24.99£19.83£15.49£31.99£19.39
Type AcrylicTinted stain, mahoganyOil-basedSaturatorAcrylicClear stainOil-basedAcrylicSaturatorTinted stain
Gloss/MatteMatteGlossGlossMatteGlossGlossGlossMatte-Gloss
Volume2.5 L250 ml2.5 L (750 ml available)2.5 L (1 L available)750 ml1 L 750 ml750 ml1 L750 ml
CoverageBetween 10 and 12 m2 Up to 20 m2 Up to 15 m2Between 8 and 12 m2Up to 16 m2 Between 3 and 5 m2Up to 9 m2 Up to 8 m2Between 10 and 12 m2 Up to 20 m2
WeatherproofYes, up to 6 yearsYes, up to 5 years Yes, up to 6 yearsYes, duration unknownYes, up to 6 yearsYes, up to 10 yearsYes, duration unknownYes, up to 10 yearsYes, duration unknownUnknown
UV Protection YesYesNoYesNo NoNo No NoNo
Link

Handy Extras to Help You Out on Painting Day

Handy Extras to Help You Out on Painting Day

Ensuring you order the right exterior paint for your needs is a must, but what about any of the other bits and pieces a painting job requires to go smoothly? From step ladders to sandpapers, our related articles will shed some light on how to find what you need.

Summary

Have you decided what finish you want yet? As long as you're aware of what wood you're painting on to then finding a product to suit your needs should be a breeze. Hopefully, you'll find what you want in the ranking, but if not, at least you'll have learned a little and you'll know where to come for some advice and recommendations next time! 

Author: Lewis Clark

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