It is very important to select the correct type of paint for your project. It doesn't matter if you are painting a patio, a canopy gazebo, or another style of gazebo, or even a wooden bench, proper selection of the paint is very important. The two main types of paint are Latex and oil-based paints. Each will be suitable for certain types of finishes. Paint not only looks traditional but is the best way to protect wood from the elements.
Paint forms a protective film that seals your project against moisture, insects and everyday wear. Because paint contains the highest proportion of pigment, it is the most effective way to protect your project from the effects of UV radiation and to cover knots or other imperfections in the wood.
Latex paints are preferred over oil-based paints. The latex paints dry more quickly, retain color better, and they adhere longer to the surface than oil-based paints. Latex paints dry to a rubbery film which can withstand the flexing caused by changes in temperature and humidity. It is also more porous than oil-based paints, so moisture can pass through it to help prevent peeling.
By using latex paint, you avoid the entire problem of volatile organic compounds normally found in solvent an oil-based paints. Latex paint costs less than oil-based paint. And, with latex, you do not have to buy expensive solvents for cleanup. Simple soap and water are sufficient for latex cleanups. I have used latex paint on the foundation of my canopy gazebo and it has weathered the elements well.
There are not many applications that still require the use of oil-based paints. Although, when painting redwood or cedar, it might be better to use oil paints instead of latex because oil based paints will help with resins that bleed from the wood and stain the overall paint job. However, there are Latex paints available that are specially designed to prevent bleeding so the choice of which to use will be up to you to decide.