Exterior paint comes in every color imaginable, but not all colors are recommended for outdoor use. Traditionally, lighter colors fair better than darker colors. This is because of the way UV rays impact light and dark shades. Check out the color selection guide below to learn why some paint colors are not recommended for exterior applications.
Drawbacks to using dark exterior paint colors
Dark colors absorb light, and lighter colors reflect it. Because of this, darker colors tend to fade faster than lighter colors. Black exterior paint may look dark grey within a year, or hunter green may quickly fade to sage green. The fading can make your building look poorly maintained, even if it was recently painted.
If you want to keep the dark color, you will have more upkeep than a light exterior paint.
This increases building maintenance expenses and may result in scheduling conflicts. Dark paint is also more likely to peel than light paint, so you may have that to deal with in addition to the fading.
The heat absorption of dark paint could lead to higher energy bills in the summer. Conversely, the dark paint may work in your favor in the winter months. Dark paint shows dirt more easily than creams and soft beiges, but bright white can look just as dirty.
If you want exterior paint with minimal hassle, stick with a lighter neutral color such as beige, tan, or light grey.
Benefits of dark exterior paint
There are some perks to using dark paint outside, even if it’s not recommended. Dark colors can hide blemishes on the outside of a building, and they can draw attention to key architectural features. Black, navy, and dark grey are trendy colors at the moment, so they can be used to update the color scheme of the building. This may help your property stand out from neighboring buildings and create a sense of drama.
Interior paint vs. exterior paint
Exterior paint is exposed to more direct sunlight than interior paint. Interior paint should never be used outdoors because it is not made to stand up to this intense exposure.
With that in mind, if you’re painting a wall that gets a lot of direct light from the windows, you may want to follow the suggestions above. Dark paint or paint on your artwork is liable to fade in these elements.
You can use any color you want! Just prepare for maintenance…
At the end of the day, you can choose whatever exterior paint color you want. If you prefer darker paint, opt for products with maximum strength fade resistance and prepare for routine touchups.