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How to Keep Exterior Paint from Fading

One issue many homeowners face with exterior painting is having their paint fade. An unfortunate reality of exterior painting is that any exterior paint is going to fade over time. But, that doesn’t mean you need to accept that reality. There are things you can do to keep exterior paint from fading on your home.

What Causes Exterior Paint to Fade?

Painters in Vancouver know that there are many reasons why the paint on the exterior of your home fades.

There is a natural fading process where paint wears or fades over time. The pigments in the paint itself are responsible for holding the colour break down over time. Fade inducing factors for your exterior paint include heat, oxygen, light and ozone.

Exterior paints have an even greater challenge than interior paints. The sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays fade objects it hits. The sun burns grass, trees and skin. These same rays from the sun fade colour pigment by leeching the chemical bonds of the paint itself.

Other harsh weather conditions also present a challenge for exterior paint. Just as Vancouver experiences plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures, the area also has colder temperatures, excess rain, wind and snow.

Why Should I Be Concerned About Fading Exterior Paint?

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, there are lots of things you can do to increase it’s value.

Curb appeal gives buyers the first impression of your home. How your home looks on the outside is going to be the buyer’s first impression and tells them what to expect on the inside.

Curb appeal is a powerful marketing tool. Prospective customers are 90% more likely to look inside your home or business if the exterior’s Wow factor is high. Faded exterior paint can seriously affect first impressions. Studies have shown that a well-maintained exterior adds to its resale value and increases interest from potential buyers.

Even if you aren’t looking to sell your home, you want your neighbours to value your presence in the community. Keeping the exterior of your home well maintained, clean and tidy can go a long way toward neighbourhood goodwill.

Aside from the added curb appeal, painted surfaces with with a fresh look make your home look great. Not only does it give a positive impression to your neighbours, but a well maintained home makes homeowners feel good about themselves and their home. When your home looks sharp, you feel more confident in turn.

High quality exterior paint provides an added layer of protection for your home by providing protection from weather, insects and dust. It also helps to prevent the exterior wood of your home from rotting, cutting down on home repair costs and protecting your investment.

A good coat of paint allows the building owner to see repair issues like mold, mildew, rotting wood, water stains, bubbling or peeling paint and catch these early on while they are still easy and cheaper to repair.

What Keeps Exterior Paint from Fading?

Given factors like sunshine and temperature, there will always be some fading of your home’s exterior paint. Oxygen, ozone, heat and light are a natural part of our atmosphere, but there are ways to slow down the fading process.

Paint Quality

The type and quality of the paint you use is a contributing factor to fading. How the paint is mixed also affects fading. Always select high-quality exterior paints that help repel those UV rays. Exteriors paints are of higher quality than paints used for interior painting as they contain chemicals that reduce fading from the sun’s UV rays.


Sheen refers to both the appearance and the quality of the paint. There are four basic paint sheen categories: flat or matte, satin or eggshell, semi-gloss and high gloss. The higher the gloss sheen selected, the more sunlight that will reflect off it. Flat or matte finish paint will absorb the light more than higher gloss paints. By choosing a higher gloss paint, it will help to better reflect the sun’s rays.

However, painting professionals typically only use high gloss paints around windows and doors as these areas are washed more frequently whereas larger exterior surfaces are not. For the larger areas, painters most often choose a semi-gloss. High gloss paint also shows more imperfections, and on siding, it will show every bump and imperfection.

Your best bet for an exterior paint is to go with a satin or eggshell finish for your home. It will be much easier to maintain and provide a pleasing appearance when it’s dry.

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