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Master Painters Tip: Why you should consider LRV when choosing paint colours.

Posted by Wall Treats on October 9, 2015

Decided to repaint your home this summer? Many of our clients find choosing exterior paint colours a daunting task. The style of your home, your landscaping and, of course, your personal tastes all play a huge part in the decision.

Another consideration that is less well understood (but just as important!) is Light Reflectance Value (LRV). We consulted with our Master Painters to create the following simple guide to LRV.

What is LRV?

A paint colour’s LRV tells you how much visible light (and therefore heat) the colour will reflect. For example, black has a LRV of 0% and therefore absorbs 100% of the light and heat it is subjected to. In contrast, a pure white paint will have a LRV of 100% and reflect all light and heat.

All paint colours have a LRV that fits within the spectrum of 0% to 100%. The LRV is usually listed on the paint manufacturer’s colour chart. Alternatively, a quick Google search will usually identify it.

Why is LRV so important when it comes to exterior painting?

LRV is really important because it controls how much heat the painted substrate (e.g. weatherboards, brick etc) will absorb. The lower the LRV, the more heat will be absorbed.

In New Zealand, most of our homes are made of traditional timber boards. When low LRV paint colours are used, timber movement is exacerbated and the paint film becomes susceptible to warping, bubbling and flaking. The degrading paint coatings also become unable to fully protect the substrate.

From a house painting perspective, to avoid these risks, master painters will always use paint colours with an LRV of 40% or more.

What are my options if I really like dark paint colours, with low LRV?

You’re in luck! Resene has come up with a very clever product called CoolColours™.

CoolColoursTM look the same as standard colours but are specially formulated with better heat and total solar reflectance (TSR) properties, which reduce absorption of heat from the sun. This keeps the coating, substrate and building cooler.

For lovers of dark paint finishes, this product is a great solution, however there are still a few things to bear in mind:

• Because heat is still absorbed, albeit less than if a non-CoolColours™ equivalent product was applied, the painted surface remains somewhat ‘at risk’.

• To optimise the special features of Resene CoolColours™, your painter must follow Resene’s prescribed system with CoolColours™ paint.

• Generally, the surfaces on the northern and western sides of a house are the most exposed to the weather elements. These areas will require more regular maintenance than the other sides of your house.

Need help choosing paint colours?

Get a house painting quote from us this month and you’ll go into the draw to win a 1 hour consultation with one of New Zealand’s leading interior designers. What better way to choose the perfect paint colour for your home?


Wall Treats is an award winning team of Auckland painters, with many years of experience in delivering precise and lasting exterior paintwork. You can book a free, no obligation quote online or by calling us on 0800 008 168.

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We are very happy with the quality of the paint result we have received from Wall Treats and also with the level of service we received. The team from Wall Treats produced an excellent paint finish and nothing was too much trouble.
Wall Treats’ work was of the highest quality, showing particular attention to detail in all areas. This small business represents both itself and the association very well by being meticulous in all areas from documentation to finished work. They have laid down a challenge for others to follow.
I had dealt with Wall Treats on a professional basis and was impressed with their level of finishing. I engaged Wall Treats for this project because I trusted that they would do a good job. My instincts were right. The Wall Treats team is a delight to deal with and I received efficient service from friendly professionals.
They are totally efficient and they are my number one … they would be my higher end, reliable painters … to refer on, absolutely, I’d think of them first! They’re going to be a little bit more expensive but I think you get what you pay for…
Many thanks for the work you've done on our house. You've done a very good quality job and we also appreciated your reliability, sticking to schedule and the fact you've been totally upfront about the costs.
We received excellent communication from the very moment we contacted Ashley for a quote to the final invoice being paid. Their processes were excellent and ensured that our job was managed in a professional way. We feel that Ashley and Daniel went out of their way to ensure everything went smoothly. Anyone who values ‘peace of mind’ the way we do should ring Wall Treats.
(Wall Treats) stand out by themselves… They’re the only ones who bother to communicate back about how things are going, how the quote’s going … all those sort of things. They’re the only ones who actually go that extra mile.
I was most impressed with the attention to detail and the communication throughout the whole process. The workmen were very considerate throughout the whole time they were at my property. What impressed me the most was that Ashley made sure every single detail was covered and checked in with me regularly. She also came and personally inspected all the work with me... Her standards are very high (as are mine!) and I highly recommend Wall Treats to anyone.