A new coat of paint is all it takes to kick up your home's curb appeal from drab to fab. In fact, just painting the front door, window trim, and shutters can make an immediate difference and it only takes a few hours to prep and paint. Typically, semi-gloss paint is the best choice for exterior doors and trim because it adds shine, provides visual contrast, and is easy to clean. Consumer Reports found six winners in its tests of semi-gloss exterior paint

"Aesthetics favor the use of high quality semi-gloss paint for exterior trim," said Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute. "This type of paint has better tint retention, so its color will remain truer over time. What's more, if doors, windows, shutters, and other trim do begin to accumulate dirt and grime, semi-gloss exterior paint—with its smoother surface—is much easier to clean than any flat paint. And scrubbing typically will not harm its appearance."
To find out which exterior paints are likely to last longest on your home, Consumer Reports paints and stains pine test panels and places them on the roof of our Yonkers, New York, headquarters. We face the boards south at 25 degrees from vertical to intensify the effects of sun and weather. One year of such severe testing is equivalent to about three years of normal weathering on a typical home. Most exterior paints held up well for the equivalent of at least three years, and the best still looked fine after what amounted to nine years under the elements. Here are our exterior semi-gloss paint picks

**Best exterior semi-gloss paints**
The appearance of all six of our recommended semi-gloss exterior paints was excellent after the equivalent of three years of rough treatment and very good after nine

For more exterior and interior paint choices, see our full paint Ratings and recommendations as well as our paint buying guide

*—Mary H.J. Farrell (@mhjfarrell on Twitter)*
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