“Painting the exterior of you home is a major investment so you will want to make sure it will look good for many years to come. To get the facts on the science behind having the color last I went to an expert Ed Edrosa, National Product Director at Comex USA. Here’s what Ed has to say about picking the perfect color for your homes’ exterior.” ~Kate Smith
COLOR is an important and powerful tool in exterior painting. Color can enhance or create attractive features in a home or commercial building. However, beyond aesthetics the most essential thing to consider when choosing exterior colors is longevity.
Even though paint technology has improved considerably, it is a scientific fact that color selection has a strong influence on paint performance. The amount of ultraviolet (UV) light absorbed or reflected by the color affects how long a paint job will last.
While dark colors on trim can provide a pleasant contrast and draw attention to architectural detail, they are much more prone to fading. Dark colors also pose more maintenance problems. Dark colors absorb heat and suffer more moisture problems than lighter shades. That’s why lighter colors last longer and fade less than dark colors. And because dark colors fade faster, they are more difficult to touch up.
Here are other things to consider when choosing exterior paint colors that last longer:
Be aware of color limitations
Certain colors are not recommended for exterior use. Others are alkali-sensitive and should not be used on highly alkaline surfaces, such as new masonry. Most paint manufacturers have symbols or icons printed on the color chips that provide this information.
Consider the exposure of the surface to be painted
Exposure direction has a significant impact on color retention. Southern exposures receive the most UV light, which can produce the greatest color loss problems.
Organic colors tend to fade more quickly then inorganic colors
Inorganic colors (beiges, browns, tans, and other earth-tone colors) are more stable on exterior exposure. The pigments used in these colors are less likely to break down then the pigments in organic colors such as reds, blues, greens and yellows. This is especially true in dry, hot climates, such as Arizona and Nevada, where the intense UV exposure exerts a heavy toll on exterior paint.
Always use high-quality paints for superior color retention
All else being equal, high-quality paints are outstanding for holding their color when exposed to the elements. High-quality paints not only exhibit better adhesion to the surface to which they are applied, they are also more resistant to chalking – a process that can rob an exterior paint of its color. Investing the time to carefully select the paint color for your property will pay off measurably.