Exterior House Paint Fading FAQs

Paint fade means a degradation in a paint’s colour or pigment. It may happen quickly or gradually. You’ll notice this occurs mostly on outside surfaces. It’s because indoor spaces are often shielded from tough weather and direct sunlight.

Bear in mind that all exterior paint colours, except white, will experience this fading over a while. Interestingly, some colours will fade faster than others. So, choose wisely!

In this guide, we aim to answer your questions concerning paint fading. We’ll assist you in understanding the reasons behind fading, how to prevent it, and provide solutions to retain the fresh, welcoming look of your home.

So, let’s get started and work towards keeping your home’s exterior a beautiful blend of colours and charm!

What factors cause exterior house paint fading?

If you’re wondering what might cause your exterior paint to fade or not last as long, here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Low-quality paint is likely to lose its layers and wear out pretty quickly, leading to chalking off and even colour fading.
  • Paint with a low film thickness may not be as durable.
  • UV radiation can be harsh on your paint’s pigmentation. Certain hues such as vibrant blue, yellow, and red might be more prone to fading in colour because of UV ray exposure.
  • Over-tinting can also result in fading of exterior colour.
  • Living near the beach can impact your paint job.
  • Dark paints absorb more light, and may also be likely to fade.
  • Extreme weather temperatures can challenge the endurance of your paint job.

How Long Does It Take for Exterior Paint to Fade?

Most outdoor painted surfaces see significant paint fading between one to seven years. This fading usually happens gradually, so you might not even notice it unless you move a picture or shutter, or when a spot that’s not exposed to direct sunlight is brought to light.

Outdoor areas like sunrooms and all-season rooms are not exempt from fading. So, when you’re choosing the colours for these spaces, you might want to give them some extra thought.

Why is my exterior paint failing so quickly?

Exterior paint can fail quickly for a variety of reasons, including:

Inadequate preparation of the painting surface

If the surface is not prepared and properly primed, the paint may not bind correctly and can start to peel or blister.


Trapped moisture can cause the paint to bubble, crack, or peel. Proper sealing and waterproofing are essential, especially in areas prone to rain, humidity, or snow.

Substandard Paint

Quality paints are formulated to withstand different weather conditions, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations. Using subpar paint might lead to rapid failure.

Incorrect Application

Applying the paint too thickly or too thinly, not following the manufacturer’s recommended drying times between coats, or not applying an even coat can lead to premature paint failure.

Ultraviolet Exposure

Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that can degrade paint over time, especially if the paint isn’t formulated to withstand UV radiation.

Temperatures Cycles

Drastic temperature changes, such as freezing and thawing cycles, can cause the paint to contract and expand. This can lead to cracking, peeling, and other forms of paint failure.

Insufficient Priming

Without proper priming, the paint might not bond well with the surface, leading to failure.

Inappropriate Mixing

If the paint isn’t mixed well before application, the pigments and binders might not distribute evenly, resulting in an uneven finish and reduced durability.

Weathering and Aging

Over time, even the best-quality paints will naturally degrade due to exposure to the elements. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and repainting as needed, can also help prevent premature paint failure.

How Can You Restore Paint Fade?

Dealing with paint fade is not too tough. You would need to repaint the whole area again, though. Trying to just touch up the faded paint might leave you with mismatched colour, uneven shine, and a less-than-professional look.

For homes that use water-based acrylic paints, heavy paint fade calls for a full repaint – a straightforward process that can bring back the vibrant colour and shine.

Here are the steps for bringing your old paint finish back to life!

  • Blast away years of dirt and grime with a pressure washer.
  • Sanding if the surface is rough or uneven.
  • Don’t skip the priming if needed.
  • Use caulking to seal any gaps or cracks.
  • Fill nail holes or chipped areas with wood fillers or painter’s putty.
  • Apply the paint.

How Can You Protect Your Exterior Paint?

Considering elements like sun exposure and temperature fluctuations, it’s inevitable that the exterior paint of your property will experience some degree of fading over time.

Oxygen, ozone, heat, and light constitute inherent components of our atmosphere. Nevertheless, there are strategies to decelerate the fading process.

Paint Quality

The grade of paint you employ plays a role in the fading process. The paint’s formulation also impacts its susceptibility to fading.

Choose top-tier exterior paint formulations that effectively ward off UV rays. Exterior paints are produced with higher standards compared to their indoor counterparts. They carry compounds designed to reduce fading resulting from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

We advise careful consideration of paint sheen. Sheen encompasses the visual aspect and the paint’s excellence on the exterior of your residence.

There are four fundamental paint sheen classifications: high-gloss, semi-gloss, satin or eggshell, and flat or matte. The degree of glossiness dictates how much sunlight is reflected by the paint. Matte or flat finish paint has light-absorbing properties. Consequently, it’s advisable to opt for paints with higher gloss levels, as they effectively reflect the sun’s rays. Conversely, matte or low-sheen paints absorb UV rays, accelerating the fading process.

When considering sheen, satin or eggshell is recommended for your home’s exterior. This option offers both simplified maintenance and pleasing visuals.

Paint Colour

You may think colour doesn’t affect fading, but you’d be mistaken. The colour selection holds significance. Paints in shades like yellow, orange, red, dark green, and dark blue-coloured paints has higher light absorption capacity, which accelerates the fading process. Opt for lighter hues as they exhibit slower fading tendencies.

Do not tamper with the manufacturer’s specified shades. Introducing tint to the paint amplifies the probability of fading. Avoid darkening colours.

Inorganic colours, such as earth tones, are recommended. Hues like beige, brown, and tan exhibit lower susceptibility to fading compared to organic shades encompassing various reds, blues, greens, and yellows.

Improved Technology

If you painted the outside of your house or business about ten years back, that paint job has probably lost around 79% of its original vibrancy in that duration. Typically, those paints available a decade ago used to maintain their elasticity for only about seven to ten years. They faded at a rate of about 7% each year.

Modern exterior paints, however, are much better at maintaining their colour. Their upgraded chemical composition prevents fading. The primers used also play a major role in this improvement! Besides, the paints that have built-in protection against UV rays have incredibly reduced the annual fading rate to just 1-3%.

Today, you’ve got paint options that actively fight fading. Satin or lifetime coatings can withstand fading. And if you choose a paint that likewise resists dirt and fights fading, you’re off to a great start!

What are Exterior Paint Colours that Resist Fading?

Flat paint finishes tend to wear out quicker than satin and glossy ones. Plus, lighter paint hues tend to last longer than intense, deep colours.

When it comes to the most durable paint colours, ones like light creams and earthy tones are the top choice as they resist fading. Light greys seem to outlast medium and dark shades of grey, but the most fade-resistant colours are still the whites and creams.

On top of this, certain paint companies, Benjamin Moore for example, offer “Colour Lock Technology.” While we don’t exactly know by how much, it’s believed this technology can boost how long the colours last.

Using high-quality paint is crucial for a long-lasting paint job. Still, some colours have a higher tendency to fade due to UV exposure. Do not get your hopes too high when applying these colours, even if you’re using high-end exterior paint.

What are Exterior Paint Colours to Avoid for Fading?

When painting outdoors, steer clear of reds, pinks, oranges, and all types of yellows, These vivid or energetic colours may not hold up well when used outdoors. Also, watch out for medium grays. They may seem safe, but they tend to fade on the west side of homes and under harsh conditions.

A word of caution: If you come across colours labeled “interior use only”, well, that’s exactly what they’re made for – interior use only. Neither the contractors nor the manufacturers will take responsibility if you decide to use them outdoors.

You might also come across colours that are marketed as a multi-purpose or limited edition. They can be inspiring, sure. But they often fade and become a real task when it comes to touching up.

How do You Keep Outdoor Paint from Fading?

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where non-fading exterior paint is a dream. However, here are a few pointers to increase the lifespan of your exterior paint:

  • When exposed to direct sunlight, light paints stand strong as they absorb less radiation and heat. Dark shades, however, pull in UV rays and may fade more quickly.
  • Consider using inorganic pigment-based paints like beiges, tans, and browns as they are good at resisting fading. The brighter the colour, like reds, blues, and yellows, the more vulnerable they are to fading due to UV ray exposure.
  • Don’t wait for the exterior paint to fade away completely. Make it a habit to pressure wash and repaint your property every year.
  • Invest in a paint that’s not just of high quality but is also fade-resistant. The right exterior paints bond effectively, combat fading, and shield against harmful UV rays.
  • Finally, regular upkeep, including cleaning and timely repainting, can make a huge difference. It can prevent your exterior paint from fading and protect it from weathering.

Get Your Free Exterior Painting Estimate Today!

Have issues with fading exterior paint or planning to repaint your house? Tall Guy Painting is here for you! Using only premium-quality paint, we ensure attractive outcomes with each job.

In the Greater Vancouver / Lower Mainland of BC, reach out to us today at (778) 683-5397 for a free painting estimate. 

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