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Consumer Reports top picks for exterior paints

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Is the outside of your home looking a bit blah? Sometimes, a fresh coat of Consumer Reports recommended paint in the right places can turn a drab house into a fab house.

But choosing the right paint makes a big difference. And that’s where Consumer Reports testers come in.

To find the best paint testers leave samples on the roof - exposed to sun, wind, rain and snow for three years. By using lower quality wood and putting the panels on an angle, CR triples the effect of weather. So one year is comparable to three years, two years is comparable to six years and three years is comparable to nine years on your home.

For a fast fix, focus on the front door, because your front door is typically the focal point of your house. You should use a semi-gloss finish. It stands out from the rest of the siding and it’s easy to clean.

At $37 a gallon, Clark and Kensington's paint and primer in one will look great even after nine years.

Feeling ambitious? Tackling the trim around windows, shutters, steps and fences can make a big impact, too.

If your whole house needs a face lift, consider the top-rated Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior paint and primer in one, $39 a gallon outperformed paints that cost twice as much.

If you want to take the painting party inside Consumer Reports says consider Behr Premium Plus Enamel from Home Depot. It’s excellent at hiding darker colors in just one coat and - at $28 a can it’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

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