When it comes to gloss, all paints are not equal, at least when it comes to gloss retention. Even run-of-the-mill paints may have a nice glossy finish on Day One, but what will the paints look like in two years, or even further down the line?
Technicians at the Paint Quality Institute have been investigating that question for quite some time. Exterior paints made with 100% acrylic binder have historically had very good gloss retention; and recent tests show that they continue to enjoy an advantage in this regard.
To understand why, we need to get a little technical:
Glossier paints have relatively more binder than pigment, which makes the surface of the dry paint smoother, more reflective, and hence, glossier. The more durable the binder, the longer this appearance will last.
Top quality paints made with 100% acrylic binder are the most durable of all. The superior binder gives these paints better adhesion to the painted surface. . .and helps adhere the pigment particles in place. As a result, these paints maintain a smoother, reflective surface over time.
Paints containing other types of binder with less adhesion? They wear down more quickly, exposing the pigment particles. That makes the surface more porous and less reflective – in other words, less “glossy”.
That’s a brief explanation why 100% acrylic latex paints have better gloss retention. But you’re probably more interested in knowing which paints stay glossy longer, so on to the results of our tests. . .
After two years of outdoor exposure at the PQI facility in Spring House, Pennsylvania, all semi-gloss paints made with 100% acrylic binder are performing well. If you want to know which semi-gloss paint to use on your next project, some of the top products to consider are:
- Behr Marquee®
- True Value WeatherAll® Extreme
- Glidden® Brilliance Collection®
- Diamond Vogel EverCryl
- California Paints® Fres-Coat®
- Kelly-Moore® AcryShield®
Superior long-term performance is one of the defining characteristics of top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. And part of that performance is the ability to maintain a consistent sheen level over time, whether the paint is a high-gloss product, a semi-gloss paint, or even a coating with modest sheen, such as a satin.
We’ll continue to monitor the performance of exterior paints in the coming years, and we’ll report on the results from time to time. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for an exterior semi-gloss paint with outstanding gloss retention, our tests show that you won’t do better than the brands of paint listed above.