To determine a paint’s durability, we apply two coats to pine boards. Then we mount the boards on angled racks on the roof of our headquarters in Yonkers, N.Y., to see how well the paint withstands the elements. Then? We wait.
Because the boards are angled (not vertical as they would be on a house), they’re more exposed to light and the elements. Each year of testing is equivalent to about three years on vertical surfaces. Three years later, our results give you an idea of how the paint will look after nine years. We also test for mildew resistance by placing painted panels on vertical racks in a shady area of our campus.
Options in our exterior paint ratings that sell for less than $25 per gallon include finishes from Color Place, Glidden, Olympic, and Valspar. Paints from Behr, Clark+Kensington, Glidden, HGTV Home, and Valspar are in the $20 to $48 range. And you can spend $68 or more for a gallon of Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams paint.
CR members can keep reading for ratings and reviews of the exterior paints that scored 76 or higher (out of 100) in Consumer Reports’ tests. All are self-priming, but be sure to check the can for situations when priming is advisable.
For more details, check our paint buying guide for exterior and interior paint.