Exterior Paint Colours: Light vs Dark


Pros and cons of light versus dark colours for exteriors

Do you prefer an all-white exterior or do you like the dramatic effect of a darker colour scheme? Let’s look at the pros and cons of light versus dark colours for exteriors.
  • Whites reflect light and therefore keep a home cooler. Select a white with an LRV (Light Reflectance Value) of 85 or less, as otherwise it can be bright and glary.
  • If you like a white-on-white colour scheme (walls and wood trim), you can look at quarter strength on the wood trim and double strength on the walls so you can see the difference in contrast. Otherwise, keep the wall and trim colour the same.
  • Lighter grey tones will help to reduce sun glare when paired with whites and require less cleaning as they tend to hide dirt more effectively.
  • Lighter colour roofs such as Colorbond® Surfmist and Colorbond® Shale Grey reflect the heat rather than absorb it. Generally, lighter roofs are better in warmer climates such as Queensland and Western Australia, and darker roofs in southern states which will absorb the heat in cooler months.
  • Deeper colours on the base of a home imply integrity and strength and connect the building to its surroundings.
  • A dark colour will make your house stand out, whereas a light grey will blend with the natural surroundings.
  • If you would like to include a bolder colour, consider painting your front door a darker hue in a black, charcoal or navy. Be sure to check LRV suitability with the door manufacturer before selecting your colour.
  • Create visual interest with tonal contrast (mix of light and darker tones), as illustrated with Wattyl Shimmer Dolphin on the vertical cladding, Wattyl Country Path on the horizontal cladding and Colorbond® Loft on the rendered wall.
Colours: Shimmer Dolphin on the vertical cladding, Country Path on the horizontal cladding and Colorbond® Loft on the rendered wall.

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