Back in Black

If  painting the exterior of your house WHITE is Jake Ryan (he’s cute, we get it), then painting it BLACK is Kevin Bacon in Footloose.  Better yet, Make that Ariel in Footloose dancing in the basement!   Painting the exterior of your house black is a BOLD choice!  People love to call this a “trend” and while it has gained popularity, painting a house black finds its roots long before now.  Many historical buildings are painted with dark colors and even darker trim. Not to mention, in colder climates, people painted black to help absorb the heat.  Consequently, if you drive around Kentucky, there are black barns scattered beautifully all over the landscape.  It’s a bold choice and one that will require testing to be sure, but a choice that elicits a response.  We have been fans of black since we started brick&batten.  And every now and again, we have a client that will go for it!  And every time, we say the same thing, this is MAGNIFICENT!  

But before you go all Mick Jagger on us and “Paint it Black”…a few things you should consider:  

  1. Black has sneaky undertones that must be respected if you expect it to live harmoniously with your environment.  Things to consider when painting your exterior black are the roof color, the brick, stone or other landscape elements that have a major presence.  In addition, is the style more modern or traditional?  This will not only determine the shade, but the sheen and the look you are trying to achieve.  

2.   In addition, black has a very low LRV (light reflective value).   Therefore,  it absorbs light rather than reflecting it.  So, it can be hotter…paint manufacturers have caught on to this and are now developing lines that won’t absorb the heat.   In addition, companies like Benjamin Moore have lines that will protect against fading and last longer.  

3.  Lastly, you want to emphasize textures on the exterior of your home–such as the grooves in siding or the trim pieces on a facade–black paint will “outline” the layers.  Making the exterior more interesting…with depth.  We especially love black paint on lapping siding.  The shadows and layers are spectacular with a coat of black paint.  

We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.

In conclusion, no one can deny that the drama and boldness of black is striking and beautiful.  However, painting such a dramatic color should be investigated properly before diving in.  Some window warranties and door warranties are voided when you choose any dark color as it can cause the materials to heat up and warp.  So do your research and if you choose to GO FOR IT, buy products that can stand up to the challenge!  We’d love to partner with you on an exterior paint project by providing you with a virtual exterior design before you get started.  Rolling Stones said it best…”Paint it Black”.