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Ordinary exterior acrylic paint is well suited for wood siding and fences; however, it won't prove durable on exterior wood surfaces subject to duress. If you plan to paint a horizontal wood surface, such as a deck or patio, use an acrylic deck paint. For wood surfaces that must endure a lot of physical contact, such as exterior wood furniture, use an extremely durable, glossy acrylic enamel.
No type of paint will work on bare exterior wood. Whether you choose an oil- or water-based paint, you must prime the wood to promote adequate, long-term adhesion. Choose a compatible paint depending on the base of the finish coat. A water-based acrylic primer is appropriate for exterior wood surfaces you plan to paint with acrylic paint. Don't use acrylic primer on wood you plan to finish with oil-based paint, or the final finish may crack; instead, choose an oil-based primer.
A quality exterior acrylic paint is the best choice for exterior wood surfaces for a variety of reasons. Unlike oil-based paint, acrylic finishes tend to retain their color and sheen for long periods. Water-based acrylic is also very flexible, a trait that allows it to expand and contract as wood shifts and temperatures climb and drop. Because acrylic paint is water-based, it doesn't expel the same noxious fumes oil-based finishes put off.