Is it good to paint a house black?

Painting the outside of your house black can seem quite dramatic and it is, but black is actually neutral and hardworking. The paint on black houses blisters and peels off faster than a light color. This is because black paint heats up and cools (expands and contracts more than a light color) as it absorbs more of the sun's rays. One way to mitigate this problem is with thorough preparation before painting.

The main cause of blistering and flaking of paint, of any color, is water that seeps under the surface. Scrape and sand a surface thoroughly before painting to avoid this problem. Although black paint absorbs the sun's rays, it can serve as a protective layer for underlying building materials. This can help prevent damage from UV rays, which can save you money in repair costs over time.

If you're considering painting the exterior of your home black, you'll want to consider all the reasons why black houses are a growing trend. We consulted experts in housing, design and real estate to find out when painting a house black is a good idea and when it's probably not the best option. A new coat of black paint with bright white piping (below) is a total, easy and no renovation of a classic California beach bungalow. DiMartino says it can be laborious and expensive to repaint a black house if you don't like the way it looks.

It will depend a lot on whether you also paint the gutters and what color they are and the color of the house. Dark colors absorb more heat than lighter colors, so homeowners who paint the outside of their homes black in warmer climates may find that this leads to higher air conditioning costs. Schroeder prefers black paint with a satin finish on the exterior of the house, combined with semi-gloss or high-gloss black trim in a shade of 30 to 50 percent of the base color. Another effect of exterior black paint that absorbs more UV rays is its tendency to fade faster than lighter colored paint, so homeowners may end up having to paint a black house more often to maintain shade.

Travis Nolan, founder of Old Crow Painting, based in Tampa Bay, is a big fan of black houses, a trend that has been “popularized by Scandinavian countries as well as Japan's shou sugi ban aesthetic,” he says. This means that your house will stand alone on its own merits, rather than reflecting your landscaping or your neighbor's house. Some door companies do not guarantee their doors if you use dark paint when they deform in the sun, so this is a problem particularly for front doors facing west or north - this may be the same with your type of weatherboard. Black paint is excellent for highlighting architectural design and, at the same time, complementing your outdoor spaces.

Rosemary Segel
Rosemary Segel

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