Color Fading- What you need to know
One of the MOST common questions I get, revolves around color fade. What causes it? How do you stop it? What colors are better at staying true to their hue over others?
First, know that the grays are still "in", but I will say I feel like a shift coming back to some of the popular colors we saw in the 90's. As you look to paint your home, here is a quick science lesson on how to make the right color choice for your home and the inevitable fade that will happen.
It's all about verbiage. I don't like the word "bold" when describing a lot of color and I also don't like "bright". Instead I have turned to a more articulate word that helps customer understand color choices, and that is "saturated". Paint is a science, chemistry to be specific, and the first thing to understand is that there are four main components of paint. Pigments, binders, solvents and additives. When we talk about color "fading", we are referencing 2 of these components. Pigment (obviously, it's the color that you see) and the lesser known, the binder. Pigments stick to the "binders", and some will even call them "solids". If you are a super nerd, take a look at an MSDS sheet and you will find a phrase "percent of solids". This is an important number, and typically the higher the number the better.
All paint begins as a "base" (extra white, deep, ultra deep) are the most common. To make a saturated color like "Showstopper SW 7588", Sherwin Williams must add a whole bunch of magenta pigment to the base it is paired to in the system. As the pigment goes in, the paint is actually getting thinned down a bit. Kind of like adding more liquid to your roux when cooking, you can't add too much. As the paint is thinning down, it is decreasing the percentage of binders that can stick to the pigment. When you get so much of that ratio out of whack, suddenly you have pigment without anything to bind too. The pigment isn't paint, so it oxidizes in the sun faster in comparison, thus showing fade quicker.
Sheen - More sheen helps protect against UV rays, and gives longevity in your paint. Most commonly we go satin on body and trim. With semi gloss on the doors. You should expect 15-20 years out of a good paint job and neutral tones, but without sheen and a saturated color, its probably closer to 10-15 years.
Exposure - If you have a house that has large walls facing south or west with no trees, or other shade to break up the UV rays, be cautious with saturated color.
Wear and Tear - Keep your bushes trimmed and off the wall. Keep your yard sprinklers from hitting the house, and pressure wash it every 2-3 years. Houses sit and get dirty just by being there. They require love in order to keep looking their best.
A note from Ben...
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