Continuing on to our "cheap effort begets cheap look" section, let's point out the obvious: Buying cheap paint isn't worth it.
Dow Chemical Company's Paint Quality Institute conducted field tests that showed high-quality acrylic exterior paint can hold up nearly twice as long as cheaper exterior paint [source: Zimmer]. Let's keep in mind that Dow manufactures materials used in paint, so the company might have a horse in the "buy more expensive paint" race.
But most professionals agree without hesitation (or stock options) that high-quality paint is going to last substantially longer [source: Schwartz]. While buying a $25 can versus a $50 can might seem like a great savings, it's probably going to cost you within a few years when you have to redo the chipping, flaking, fading job. Consider it an investment.