Pros and cons of painting the house exterior a dark color.

Questions & AnswersCategory: Exterior Paint Color QuestionsPros and cons of painting the house exterior a dark color.
Rhonda asked 10 years ago

We are undecided about an exterior house color. We have done test patches of two Benjamin Moore acrylic-latex paints: CC362-Elk (a taupe-beige) and HC 50-Georgian Brick (a dark, brownish-red).

We quite like the “Georgian Brick”, but have concerns as to whether it will peel, blister or fade faster than a lighter color. When you touch the wall on which these two samples are painted, the darker color feels much hotter in the sun.

How will this impact sitting on the deck outside beside a “hot” wall? Also, will a dark exterior paint color make the inside of the house hotter? We live in a 1932 one-and-a half story farm home with new windows and insulation.

2 Answers
Crowder Painting answered.

The dark color will fade faster. As you have noticed, it gets much hotter than the lighter color. This extra heat also affects the caulking that is sealing your home. The caulking will also fail sooner.

The CC362-Elk is a more stable color and will resist the affects of the sun longer. I'm not talking about a huge amount of time, probably 2-3 years. You might gain a couple of years on your paint job simple by going with a lighter color.

OK, so much for the con's about a dark paint color. I have to admit, I like a darker body on a house. It has a pleasing look. A lighter trim color takes on a bold look against it. And, the trim is better defined.

It all comes down to aesthetics or a little more time before repainting. Go ahead and work with both colors. Choose a trim color for HC 50-Georgian Brick and a trim color for CC362-Elk. Apply both of these color schemes around your house. Take a good look and weigh to pro's and con's.

As for heating up your house, the darker color could affect this but not much. You have good windows and extra insulation. I doubt you would notice any extra heat.

Pearl Painters answered.

Although painting your home a dark color is the trendy thing to-do their is more to consider… Dark colors do fade much faster than mid toned or white based colors because of the extra heat that builds up. Dark colors require a large amount of colorant to create a deep color. This colorant can cause a coating to dry slowly and not harden like a light color would. I have also seen instances where dark colors have have heated the space between the walls on poorly insulated homes and pulled moist air up from beneath the home causing the paint to peel all the way to bare wood.

If you choose to go with a dark color I would specify a high performance colorant be used to make your color such as 896. 896 colorant is a concentrate and will require less to get to the color that you ultimately use. Paint stores in Portland Oregon such as Miller Paint have this and I'm sure that other companies will have this in your area as well. It adds about 10-15$ per gallon to the cost but it is well worth it as you will now have a deep color that will fade significantly slower as well it will cover much better than the same color that is mixed with machine colorant.

Good Luck!

Brian Kemnitz