Gloss is a popular paint available in a wide range of colours, so it is only normal that you will have considered it for many different uses, including outside. But can it work? Well, there is only one true way to know, test it!
So I got some gloss, lots of different wood samples, painted them with the gloss and then left them outside, taking regular photos to see how the paint handled being outside.
Can you use gloss paint outside?
Yes. Our test showed that gloss works as exterior paint. However, there definitely were issues such as blistering and colour fade. While you can use gloss outside there are better paints available purely for exterior use.
This test will be simple enough, get some gloss, get some wood scraps, paint them and also paint with a comparison/control paint, then leave them outside. I will take regular photographs to see how the paint is doing.
So I have all of my samples painted, now it’s time to move them outdoors. For the test I have the following types of wood:
- Green MDF (Moisture Resistant)
- Brown MDF
I also have two versions of each of the types of wood. One has been primed whereas the other has had the gloss paint applied directly to the wood. This portion of the test is intended to show whether priming the wood before glossing provides any benefit to its long term preservation when used outside.
6 Month Results
So six months have gone by since these samples first went outdoors. They have been left exposed to a cold, northern England winter, a good test of the durability of gloss I would say. So lets find out how they got on.
So here we have the plywood results. As you can see both paints have done well and have “worked”. One thing I will point out is that the colour has changed quite considerably with the gloss, it has gone a lot more “orangey” this is something you will notice throughout the results.
It also seems to me that more mould seems to be growing on the gloss when compared to the Hammerite. I really don’t know the reason for this but you can see it in action.
Apart from these two changes, these paints are looking pretty similar on Plywood.
On pine, the paints are both very similar. Again the big difference is the colour fade in the gloss.
When you compare the non-primed pine to the primed in the image before you can see a big difference. Priming the pine before painting really has had an impact. The colour seems a lot more vibrant on the primed piece when compared to the non-primed piece.
Here on the green MDF, the gloss has started to blister quite badly. This is not a great result. This blister would probably peel completely off if knocked. This green MDF is a special moisture-resistant MDF, I am wondering if this may be part of the reason why the gloss has not worked perfectly on this wood?
When the same moisture-resistant MDF has been primed you can see that the paint hasn’t had the same blistering problem. So I would definitely say priming is important, particularly if you are planning on painting green MDF.
The gloss has worked well here on the more standard MDF, the only major difference again is the colour fading of the gloss.
The gloss has done really well here on the plywood and apart from the colour change I would say it has done better than the Hammerite.
We have a little bit of blistering here at the top of the gloss and again like some of the other samples, the gloss seems to produce more mould for an unknown reason.
I think this test proves that gloss will work outdoors but is maybe not the best choice. One thing that seems apparent is that Hammerite works really well, even on wood!