Master Painters Tip: Why you should consider LRV when choosing paint colours.
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.
Want more tips and inspiration? Sign up for our bi-monthly E-News here.