Table of Life of Exterior Wood Finishes (Paints & Stains) on Various Types of Wood Surfaces
Our page top photo of a painted sign (The Big Tomato luncheonette in Poughkeepsie, NY) shows variation in two paints differing by color and chemistry, applied at the same time to the same surface. Also see PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION for details of paint failure cause, diagnosis, cure and prevention.
The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory
(FPL) has done extensive research on how to keep paints and stains on wood sidings and trim. In general, they recommend paint for the longest lasting finish and best protection of the underlying wood, followed by solid or
semi-transparent stains. Clear finishes need the most frequent recoating and offer the least protection from water damage and UV radiation.
[Click to enlarge any image]
How long a paint or stain surface finish will last depends on many variables,
the quality of the finish,
type and texture of wood,
application conditions, and
South- and west-facing walls get the most sun and are, therefore, often the first to need recoating.
In my OPINION the color may have a measurable impact on paint life in that darker colors tend to absorb more heat (or reflect less heat away from the painted surface); so insofar as the effects of heat on paint impacts its life so indirectly may its color. Certainly sunlight is a significant factor in paint durability outdoors, of which some of the sunlight effect is probably heat and photooxidation.
These are some interesting references in which authors address this topic:
Wenhua, Zhang, and Zhang Faai. "Study on the Effect of Material and Film Thickness of Coatings on Reflection and Heat-Insulation Performance [J]." Paint & Coatings Industry 6 (2007): 008.
Nichols, M. E., J. L. Gerlock, C. A. Smith, and C. A. Darr. "The effects of weathering on the mechanical performance of automotive paint systems." Progress in Organic Coatings 35, no. 1 (1999): 153-159.
Lü, Xiaoshu. "Modelling of heat and moisture transfer in buildings: I. Model program." Energy and Buildings 34, no. 10 (2002): 1033-1043.
Papasavva, Stella, Sheila Kia, Joseph Claya, and Raymond Gunther. "Life cycle environmental assessment of paint processes." Journal of Coatings Technology 74, no. 925 (2002): 65-76.
LI, Qing-cai, Mao-lin YANG, Jin-feng CUI, Yong-ning FAN, and Jun-feng MENG. "Development of Organosilicane Heat Resistant Black Paint [J]." Modern Paint & Finishing 1 (2007): 003.
Beetseh, C. I., and D. Oragbe. "Presence of Volatile Organic Compounds in Fine Coat Paint Used in House Decoration in Benue State Nigeria." Chemistry and Materials Research 3, no. 9 (2013): 53-60.
Also see our articles on paint blisters caused by painting in sunlight:
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