Best Exterior Oil-based Paints for Wood: Top Choices for Durability and Finish 2023

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Exterior wood surfaces require protection and enhancement, and that’s where oil-based paints play a significant role.

These paints provide a durable, long-lasting finish that not only enhances the appearance of the wood but also prevents damage from weather, UV rays, and everyday wear and tear.

From a practical standpoint, oil-based paints offer stronger adhesion, meaning the paint will stay on the surface for a longer time, making it a go-to choice for many homeowners and professionals.

There are many benefits to using oil-based paints for exterior wood applications. In addition to their durable and protective nature, they also bring out the natural beauty of the wood, giving it a warm, rich finish that is hard to replicate with other paint types.

The drying time of oil-based paints tends to be longer than water-based counterparts, which may be a downside, but this property also allows for smoother application and better leveling.

When choosing the best exterior oil-based paint for your wood needs, there are a few critical factors to consider.

This includes the paint’s drying time, the level of protection it offers against weather conditions and the additional features it may possess, such as mildew resistance, UV blockers, or easy application.

The type of wood you have may also affect the type of oil-based paint you need, as some paints may work better on specific wood species than others.

Through extensive research and testing, I have identified the top exterior oil-based paints that provide the perfect balance of protection, ease of use, and enhancement for your wood surfaces. Let’s dive in and discover which product will best suit your needs and ensure that your exterior wood surfaces are both beautiful and long-lasting.

Best Exterior Oil-based Paints for Wood

I have compiled a list of the best exterior oil-based paints for wood to help you choose the perfect product for your project. These selections offer durability, longevity, and protection for various outdoor applications.

Valspar 3141-75 Barn and Fence Oil Based Paint

Valspar 3141-75

Despite some drawbacks, I believe the weather-resistant Valspar 3141-75 is a viable option for exterior surfaces, especially wood and aluminum siding.


  • Easy application with smooth flow
  • The durable and tough finish
  • Fade and weather resistant


  • Thin paint consistency
  • May require multiple coats
  • Inconsistent quality

While working with Valspar 3141-75 Barn and Fence Oil Based Paint, I noticed that the paint flowed on smoothly during application. The tough, durable finish left me impressed, providing my exterior wood surfaces with robust protection. On top of that, its fade and weather resistance assured me that the paint could withstand various outdoor conditions.

However, I found some challenges using this product. Its thin consistency was a concern, as I realized it might take multiple coats to achieve an ideal coverage. Given other users’ reviews, I suspect that the paint quality may be inconsistent across different batches. This inconsistency could potentially result in a less-than-satisfactory experience for some users.

Despite my concerns, I still think the Valspar 3141-75 Barn and Fence Oil-Based Paint is worth considering. If you are looking for an oil-based paint that provides a strong, weather-resistant finish, this product may be suitable for your needs – just be prepared to apply several coats and carefully inspect the quality before using it.

INSL-X Block Out Acrylic Exterior Wood Stain Blocking Primer

INSL-X Block Out Acrylic Exterior Wood Stain Blocking Primer

The INSL-X Block Out Acrylic Exterior Wood Stain Blocking Primer is a reliable choice for preventing tannin bleed-through and providing a solid base for top-coating.


  • Excellent stain-blocking performance on cedar and redwood
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces, including wood and masonry
  • Blister and peel resistant


  • A bit expensive for a primer
  • Must frequently stir during use
  • Requires proper weather conditions for application

Having recently used the INSL-X Block Out Acrylic Exterior Wood Stain Blocking Primer on my cedar fence, I found it to be thick and easy to apply. Its high-hiding ability covered the fence with just one coat, leaving a smooth finish for the top paint layer.

The versatility of this primer is impressive, as it works well on various surfaces like wood, metal, and masonry. When I applied it to the concrete block surrounding my garden, it adhered perfectly and provided a solid base for later painting.

Although INSL-X primer is a bit pricey, I believe it’s worth the investment due to its excellent performance and durability. However, I had to stir it frequently to maintain the ideal consistency. Additionally, be aware that optimal paint conditions are required to avoid compromising the final results.

In conclusion, I recommend the INSL-X Block Out Acrylic Exterior Wood Stain Blocking Primer for its superior stain-blocking capabilities and multi-surface compatibility. Just remember to stir it often and choose the right day for painting to ensure the best results.

Do it Best Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer

Do it Best Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer

The Do it Best Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer is an excellent choice for an even, durable wood finish with reliable adhesion and mildew resistance.


  • Exceptional adhesion
  • Mildew-resistant
  • The smooth base for topcoats


  • Banned in some states
  • Long drying time
  • May require thinning for spray application

I recently used the Do it Best Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer on my wooden house siding, and I was quite impressed with the results. The primer adhered well to the wood, creating a smooth and durable base for latex or alkyd topcoats. It dried to touch in 2 to 4 hours, which allowed me to continue my work after only 24 hours.

The resistance to mildew is a significant advantage, as it prevents damage to the wood and preserves the appearance of the paint job over time. The fact that it also resists staining from redwood and cedar is a definite bonus.

This primer does have a couple of drawbacks. It is banned in some states due to containing chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects. Therefore, it is essential to check whether it is allowed in your area before purchasing. The drying time can be a bit long, so you need to plan accordingly and be patient. Moreover, if you plan on using a spray gun, thinning with mineral spirits might be necessary for a smooth application.

Overall, the Do it Best Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer is a reliable choice for exterior wood surfaces that require a high-quality primer. The adhesion, mildew resistance, and smooth base it provides are worth considering despite the few drawbacks it has.

Majic Paints Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel

Majic PAINTS Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel, Acrylic Paint

I highly recommend Majic Paints Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel for those looking to give a new life to their wood surfaces with superior adhesion and a durable finish.


  • Versatile – works on various surfaces
  • Easy to apply – no sanding or priming needed
  • Beautiful satin finish


  • May require multiple coats
  • Limited color options
  • Takes longer to dry than other paints

I recently used Majic Paints Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel to repurpose an old wooden outdoor bench, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The paint was easy to apply, and I was impressed that I didn’t need to sand or prime the surface before painting. It adhered well to the wood, providing a strong and durable finish that I believe will last for years despite being exposed to the elements.

Another aspect I admire about this painting is its versatility. It’s an all-purpose paint that can be used on not just wood, but also metal, brick, drywall, glass, steel, tile, vinyl, aluminum, most plastics, copper, and masonry. This feature makes it an excellent choice for various DIY projects around the house.

However, there were a few drawbacks I encountered while using this paint. Firstly, I noticed that it required more than one coat to achieve the desired level of coverage – in my case, I needed to apply two coats. Additionally, the color options are limited, so you might need to mix and match to get the exact shade you’re looking for. Finally, I found that the paint took longer to dry than other oil-based paints I’ve used in the past.

Overall, the Majic Paints Interior/Exterior Satin Enamel paint is a reliable option for those looking to repurpose various surfaces or give their wood a fresh new look. Its ease of application and versatility make it an ideal choice but be prepared to do multiple coats and wait a bit longer for it to dry.

Rust-Oleum 7792502 Stops Rust Brush On Paint

Rust-Oleum 7792502 Stops Rust Brush On Paint

I highly recommend this Rust-Oleum paint for long-lasting protection and beauty for your wood surfaces.


  • Weather and corrosion resistant
  • Excellent rust prevention
  • Great coverage and durability


  • Requires 2-4 hours of drying time
  • Oil-based formulas may be challenging to clean.
  • Fumes could be strong if not well-ventilated

I recently used the Rust-Oleum 7792502 Stops Rust Brush On Paint on an outdoor wooden project, and I am truly impressed with the results. The paint not only looks vibrant and glossy but also provides lasting protection against rust as well as wear and tear. The wood I painted was previously showing signs of weathering and corrosion, and now it looks fresh and rejuvenated.

Although the oil-based formula can be a bit more difficult to clean than water-based alternatives, it is worth it for the added durability and protection it offers.

It also dries to the touch within 2-4 hours, depending on the humidity and temperature in your area. I had no problem getting an even application, and the coverage was fantastic – a little went a long way in my case.

One thing to keep in mind is that the fumes can be quite strong if you don’t have proper ventilation. So, ensure you wear a mask if necessary, and keep doors and windows open while working. Despite this minor inconvenience, the Rust-Oleum 7792502 Stops Rust Brush On Paint is an excellent choice for your wood surfaces, providing unbeatable protection and a beautiful gloss finish.

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil Primer Sealer

Rust-Oleum Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil Primer Sealer

This Rust-Oleum Zinsser Cover-Stain is worth purchasing for its exceptional stain-blocking abilities and excellent adhesion on wood surfaces.


  • High-hiding formula effectively blocks stains
  • Sticks well to both interior and exterior surfaces
  • Sands easily for smooth finishing


  • Strong smell requires a well-ventilated area
  • Fast drying time may require quicker work
  • Possible brush cleaning difficulties

I recently used Rust-Oleum’s Zinsser Cover-Stain on a remodeling project, and I was thoroughly impressed with its performance. The high-hiding formula effortlessly blocked water and smoke stains on the wooden surfaces, saving me time and the need for multiple paint coats.

Another aspect that impressed me was how well it adhered to both interior and exterior surfaces. This made it perfect for various projects, reducing the need to purchase different primers for different areas. Plus, it was relatively easy to sand, allowing me to achieve a smooth and even finish.

However, there are a few precautions to take when using this product. First, the strong smell can be an issue in confined spaces, so ensure a well-ventilated work area. Also, it dries pretty fast, so you might need to work quickly to avoid an uneven finish.

Finally, cleaning the brushes after use can be a bit challenging. Regardless, the pros outweigh the cons, and I highly recommend Rust-Oleum Zinsser Cover-Stain Primer Sealer for wood projects.

Rust-Oleum 7790502 Protective Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum 7790502

I highly recommend this Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint for anyone looking to protect and beautify their wood exteriors.


  • Impressive weather and corrosion resistance
  • Durable protective coating with excellent rust prevention
  • Wide range of available colors and finishes


  • It takes 2-4 hours to dry to the touch
  • Relatively small coverage at 110 sq ft
  • Potential for chipping if not applied carefully

Over the years, I’ve tried various exterior oil-based paints for wood, but Rust-Oleum 7790502 Protective Enamel Paint really stands out. I recently used it on my wooden fence and was happy with its consistent coverage and resilience. Being available in 40 popular colors and three sheen, it gave me the flexibility to choose the perfect finish for my project.

One thing I love about Rust-Oleum’s formula is its durability. Even in harsh weather conditions and heavy rain, the paint held up remarkably well on my fence. Also, the corrosion resistance adds an extra layer of protection to the wood surface.

However, I did notice that the drying time is relatively long compared to other paints I’ve used. For optimal results, I suggest waiting at least 2-4 hours between coats, which requires some patience. Furthermore, the coverage of 110 sq ft may not be enough for large projects, so purchasing multiple cans might be necessary.

In conclusion, Rust-Oleum 7790502 Protective Enamel Paint is a reliable and versatile choice for exterior wood projects. Its weather and corrosion-resistant properties, combined with a wide range of color options, make it an excellent option for anyone looking to restore and protect their wooden surfaces. Just make sure to allocate enough time for drying and additional coats if necessary.

Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint

Rust-Oleum 7777502

For those looking to protect and beautify outdoor wood surfaces, this Rust-Oleum Enamel Paint is worth considering.


  • Weather and corrosion-resistant
  • Excellent coverage and chip resistance
  • Durable satin finish


  • It takes time to dry
  • May need Stops Rust Primer for longer protection
  • Limited nature-inspired color options

Yesterday, I applied the Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint on my wooden patio furniture, and I must say that the application process was smooth. The oil-based formula provides a durable protective coating, perfect for wood surfaces exposed to outdoor elements.

After 4 hours, the paint dried to a low-sheen satin finish that seemed both beautiful and durable. I was impressed with the coverage provided by a single quart, as it was enough to cover a large area.

However, I noticed that it took longer to dry compared to some other products I’ve used in the past. For even longer-lasting protection, I would recommend using the Stops Rust Primer before applying the paint. Also, while the available colors are inspired by nature, there might not be a wide variety for some tastes.

All in all, I am satisfied with the Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Paint’s performance and would recommend it to those looking for a long-lasting and stylish option for their exterior wood projects.

Rust-Oleum 7792730 Stops Rust Gloss Enamel

Rust-Oleum 7792730

The Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Gloss Enamel is a must-have for those seeking durable, rust-preventive paint with excellent coverage for wood and other surfaces.


  • Weather and corrosion-resistant coating
  • Oil-based formula offering durable protection
  • Excellent coverage of up to 22 sq. ft.


  • Dries in 2 to 4 hours; might be slow for some users
  • Oil-based paints have a strong smell
  • Can be a bit difficult to clean up

I recently used the Rust-Oleum 7792730 Stops Rust Gloss Enamel for a woodworking project and was impressed by the rust prevention and coverage provided by this paint. The oil-based formula has a durable protective coating and it works perfectly on exterior wood surfaces. It also works great on metal, concrete, and masonry.

The drying time is between 2 to 4 hours, which may seem slow to some users, but the trade-off is the excellent protection it offers against rust, abrasion, fading, and chipping. The glossy finish adds a fresh shine to the surfaces you apply it on and provides an outstanding appearance to my woodworking project.

One downside to this product, as with many oil-based paints, is the strong smell during application. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to minimize any discomfort. Additionally, clean-up can be a bit tricky, so be prepared with the right materials to remove any spills or excess paint from your brushes.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for long-lasting, rust-preventive paint with broad usage options and excellent results, the Rust-Oleum 7792730 Stops Rust Gloss Enamel is the way to go. Just be aware of the drying time and strong smell, and you’ll have a fantastic end product.

Majic Paints Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint

Majic Paints 8-0048-1 Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint

The Majic Paints Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint offers excellent weather-resistance and color retention, but may require thorough mixing.


  • Outstanding weather, UV, and fade resistance
  • Quick-drying – bug-free in 30 minutes
  • Superior coverage up to 250 sq ft per gallon


  • May require extensive stirring before use
  • Potential leakage during shipment
  • Might need multiple coats for desired finish

I recently used the Majic Paints Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint on my wood fence, and I must say, it provided a beautiful and durable finish.

The paint is designed to be fade-resistant, ensuring that the look of my fence remains intact even after facing harsh weather conditions. What caught my attention was its ability to dry bug-free within 30 minutes, which made it a breeze to work with.

However, I noticed that upon opening the can, the paint seemed very watery. It required a good amount of stirring to achieve the right consistency, but it did eventually thicken up. When I applied the paint to my fence, it covered the surface very well, but I found that it needed a few coats for a perfectly consistent black finish.

The main drawback of this product was its packaging. When the paint arrived, it had leaked out of the can, causing quite a mess. While it wasn’t enough to warrant a return, it’s worth noting that extra care might be necessary when handling the package.

In conclusion, the Majic Paints Latex Flat Barn & Fence Paint is a good choice for those seeking an oil-based exterior paint that offers excellent weather protection and color retention. Be sure to mix it thoroughly, and don’t be surprised if multiple coats are needed for the perfect finish.

Buying Guide

When it comes to selecting the best exterior oil-based paint for wood, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. As someone who has experienced painting exterior wood surfaces, I understand that the right paint can make all the difference in terms of durability and appearance.

Resistance to Elements

One of the most important features to consider is the paint’s resistance to weather conditions. Look for paints that offer protection from harsh sunlight, rain, and temperature fluctuations. This ensures the longevity of your paint job and in turn, your wooden surfaces.

Drying Time

If you’re like me, you’ll appreciate paint with a shorter drying time. Most oil-based paints have a longer drying time than water-based paints, typically needing at least 8 hours until touch-dry. However, there are some options available that have shorter drying times, allowing you to finish your project more quickly.

Ease of Application

The paint you choose should be easy to apply, whether you’re using a brush, roller, or sprayer. In my experience, paint that is too thick or difficult to work with can lead to a less-than-perfect finish. Look for paints with a smooth consistency that won’t require multiple coats for proper coverage.

Surface Preparation

To get the best results, remember to properly prepare your wooden surface before applying your chosen paint. Here’s a brief overview of the preparation process:

  1. Remove any old paint or loose debris from the wood by sanding.
  2. Clean the surface with a mild detergent.
  3. Apply a primer suitable for oil-based paints.
  4. Check the surface for any remaining imperfections and correct them before painting.

By following these steps, you’re ensuring a strong bond between the paint and the wood, which will help protect the surface for years to come.

In conclusion, when selecting an exterior oil-based paint for wood, pay close attention to its resistance to elements, drying time, and ease of application. Proper surface preparation is also crucial to achieving a long-lasting, professional-looking result. With these factors in mind, you’ll be well on your way to successfully painting your outdoor wooden surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top oil-based paints for wood exteriors?

In my experience, some of the top oil-based paints for wood exteriors are Benjamin Moore’s Aura Exterior Paint, Behr Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel, and Sherwin Williams Woodscapes. These paints have a great reputation for their durability, ease of application, and excellent finish.

How do oil-based paints compare to acrylics for outdoor wood use?

While both oil-based and acrylic paints can perform well on outdoor wood surfaces, there are some key differences. Oil-based paints tend to provide a thicker, more durable, and long-lasting finish.

They also penetrate the wood more deeply, helping to seal and protect it from moisture and the elements. On the other hand, acrylics are generally easier to clean up, dry faster, and emit fewer harmful fumes. Ultimately, the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference and your specific project needs.

Which paint brands offer the best oil-based exterior wood paints?

From my perspective, reputable paint brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Behr all offer high-quality oil-based exterior wood paints. These companies constantly invest in research and development to improve their products, ensuring that they meet the highest standards of performance and durability.

How long can oil-based paints last on outdoor wood surfaces?

The longevity of oil-based paints on outdoor wood surfaces can vary depending on factors like climate, exposure to sunlight, and the quality of the paint used.

With proper preparation, application, and maintenance, a high-quality oil-based paint can last up to 10 years or more. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance, such as periodic cleaning and touch-ups, to ensure the longest life possible for your paint job.

Are there any specific colors that work best for exterior wood?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the ideal color for exterior wood largely depends on personal style, the architecture of the home, and the surrounding environment.

However, some popular exterior wood paint colors include neutral hues like beige, gray, and white, as well as earth tones like brown and green. These shades tend to work well with various architectural styles and blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

What are some recommended application techniques for oil-based exterior wood paint?

When applying oil-based exterior wood paint, it’s crucial to follow a few key guidelines. First, ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and properly prepped (sanding and priming as needed). Use high-quality brushes or rollers that are compatible with oil-based paints for a smoother finish.

Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying any additional layers. It’s also recommended to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions on drying times and any additional recommendations for application. This will ensure the best possible results for your outdoor wood painting project.

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Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen

I love to paint, mostly nature and I dabble in some abstract paintings. Here I will share some tips and tricks I learned over the years.

About Me

Josh C

I love to paint, mostly nature and I dabble in some abstract paintings. Here I will share some tips and tricks I learned over the years.

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