When painting the exterior of your home, you have lots to consider. There’s the timing of it all, what your primary color is, how to do your trim; but the most important factor, by far, is which brand of paint you use. You could choose the perfect color, do all the prep work just right and have everything else just so, but if you use a poorly made paint, none of it matters.

High-quality paint not only applies better but will also last you longer. If you use the wrong brand, the exterior of your home or business could end up lumpy, uneven, eroding or fading as early as the next year. Not to worry, the experts at Campbell Painting are here to help narrow your choices.

The Lingo

Our painters have been in the business for decades and want to help you learn from their years of trial and error. To start, let’s explain how to decode the paint can.

  • Solids: All the resins and pigments left behind after solvents evaporate. A higher solids ratio may indicate a good brand if its resins and pigments are of high quality.
  • Dry-film thickness: Each paint is made to reach a certain thickness when applied. This is measured in mils; one mil is one-thousandth of an inch, about one-quarter the thickness of human hair. Thicker paint is preferable because you’ll need to apply fewer coats.
  • Coverage: This number goes up as the film thickness goes down. You’ll use it to calculate how much paint you need to buy.
  • VOCs (volatile organic compound solvents): These adversely affect our lungs and air quality. Federal regulations limit the amount of VOCs to 250 grams per liter in exterior flats and 380 in glossier coatings. 
  • Washable: Once the paint dries, you can scrub the surface and the paint won’t come off. As for stain resistance, a study by Consumer Reports found that there are very few paints that actually repel stains. 


Now that you have the lingo down, let’s talk about different finishes. When choosing exterior paint, it’s important to think about how much sheen, aka the amount of light reflection, you’d like your paint to have. Degrees of sheen are usually classified as follows:

  • Gloss and high-gloss paint are some of the best options for exterior house paint. These clean easily and resist scuffs better, making them ideal for high-use areas like doors, door jambs and window casings. However, these high sheen finishes do accentuate imperfections. if you have walls, doors or other exterior décor that aren’t in excellent condition, a less reflective finish would be the way to go. 
  • Semi-gloss paint is also durable and easy to clean. It offers the same protection to high-use areas the gloss and high gloss do, but it will have less shine. We recommend semi-gloss over gloss paint for areas that are exposed to the elements and need high durability and longevity.
  • Satin paint offers easy cleaning as well as a moderate sheen. It works well on wood or cement siding that’s in good condition. Satin paint is also perfect for exterior brick since you can clean it by simply hosing it down.
  • Flat or matte paint has little or no luster, allowing it to hide imperfections. That makes it a good choice for scratched or dented siding. Flat paint splatters less during application and is easier to touch up.

Exterior Paint that Lasts

The last two key factors to consider are paint grade and weather resistance. Both of which are especially important when it comes to painting in Alaska.

Our state has severe winter weather that is excellent at wearing down paint, and our midnight sun summers are perfect for fading the exterior color of your home or business. That’s why for exterior paint jobs in Alaska, Campbell Painting recommends using contractor or premium grade paint with weather resistance qualities.

“There is good, better and best when it comes to exterior paint,” said Ben Campbell, owner of Campbell Painting. “I believe what you get is what you pay for; the extra cost for premium provides you with coverage and longevity.”

Once you’ve settled on a paint grade, you need to look at its qualities. You are going to want something that is mildew and weather-resistant to stop rain and humidity from ruining your paint. There are many brands that offer these qualities in their paints, but Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore seem to be the Coke and Pepsi of the exterior paint world. At Campbell Painting, we trust Benjamin Moore Regal with all of our exterior painting needs.

Benjamin Moore

The Campbell family has been painting Alaska’s buildings with Benjamin Moore paint since 1955. When Ben was just 12 years old, he helped his Dad’s rental home with the trusted brand; twenty years later he bought the property and the paint looked practically new.

“The only reason I repainted after buying was because I wanted to change the color,” said Ben. “This stuff lasts!”

Benjamin Moore paint is what we always recommend to our customers. It has served the Campbell family well in Alaska for the last 70 years, and we’re confident that it could do the same for you. Our preferred label provides a breathable film that lets internal moisture escape, minimizing potential blistering and peeling; it protects against harsh weather conditions, including wind-driven rain; it has a mildew-resistant coating and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Paint with Campbell

Campbell Painting offers exterior services in Anchorage from mid-April through the end of September. Our season is short because paint must be applied at temperatures above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why for exterior jobs, we work 12-14 hour days to capitalize on our limited time window. 

Contact us for a free quote today!