September 21, 2021

How Does Sunlight Affect Exterior Paint?

How Does Sunlight Affect Exterior Paint?

Exterior paint not only needs to look good but should also protect your home from the intense Hawaiian weather conditions. Painting in direct sunlight can easily make your home’s exterior paint glisten and pop for the most impactful effect while improving curb appeal.

On the other hand, too much ongoing sunlight exposure can dramatically impact the quality and lifespan of the paint on your home’s exterior. Consider the fact that your home’s exterior paint is eroded, dried, soaked, heated, cooled, and chipped throughout the year. It’s not surprising that you may need to make some touch-ups to maintain the paint’s professional look.

How Sunlight Affects Exterior Paint

Few people outside of professional painters in Hawaii understand the damaging effects that ongoing sun exposure can have on exterior paint. How does it happen?

Fading & Bleaching

If you’re wondering, “does exterior paint fade?” The answer is yes. Ongoing sunlight exposure can lead to photodegradation, the technical term for when the color fades over time. Dark colors typically fade the most noticeably, but no color is immune to fading over time. Even bright colors will fade due to ongoing exposure to the intense Hawaiian sun.

The process of fading and bleaching occurs so slowly that you may not realize it’s happening. To determine how much fading has occurred, take a swatch of your original paint color and directly compare it to your home’s exterior.

What Colors Fade the Most in Sunlight?

Do dark exterior paint colors fade? The short answer is yes, and red is the color that fades the fastest. Red colors have the longest wavelengths of visible colors, which cause them to reflect light while absorbing the harmful and energy-rich wavelength light. Blues and violets absorb UV rays and degrade slower.


Chalking and fading are often confused with one another, however, chalking results from deep chemical changes that occur to the paint. As the powerful UV rays touch the top coat of paint, they cause a transformation in the paint’s molecules. As a result, there is a white film of dust particles that develops over the paint.

Chalking can even make repainting difficult due to adhesion issues. Make sure to properly prepare the exterior of your home if you are planning on painting over a chalked area.


Another manifestation of how sunlight affects exterior paint is peeling. As the name suggests, peeling occurs when the sun gradually causes exterior paint to blister and bubble away from the surface. As these pockets begin to pop, they allow the other natural elements to enter the exposed surfaces, which gradually intensifies the sun’s damaging effects.

As the sun and moisture continue to contact a larger surface area, it can cause additional separation and peel on your home’s exterior.

Blistering & Bubbling

If you notice your home’s exterior paint blistering in the sun, it means that the paint in this particular area has lost its adhesion properties. The paint is pulling away from the surface of your home or away from previously painted coats.

Blistering and bubbling are often the results of the sun’s heat interfering with the drying process. To avoid this problem, try to apply paint only when the surface of your home is cool. If you apply paint to a hot surface it will dry the paint before it has a chance to adhere to the wall.


Ongoing sunlight exposure can also cause your home’s exterior paint to crack. Cracked paint isn’t only an eyesore but it can compromise how effective the paint is in protecting your home. The intact layer of paint acts as a protective layer around your house, keeping unwanted moisture away.

As the paint begins to crack, it allows moisture to settle into your home and results in water damage and rotted siding.

How the Sun Deteriorates Exterior Paint on Oahu, HI

Certain areas of the United States may not receive a ton of consistent sunlight throughout the year, meaning their exterior paint jobs last significantly longer than in Hawaii. The intense and ever-present Hawaiian sun can significantly impact the quality of exterior paint and may force families and businesses to make touch-ups more often.

Our team at Oahu Pro Painters often receives requests to repaint houses due to the adverse effects of the Hawaiian sun on exterior paint. We have the skills, equipment, and passion to restore your home to pristine condition.

Is the Hawaiian Sun the Only Exterior Painting Problem?

The sun isn’t the only factor in how long exterior paint jobs last. For example, properties that are located closer to the ocean are exposed to consistent wind and rain that can also compromise the quality of the paint.

Mountainous areas in Hawaii experience a difference in air pressure, another common factor that impacts the ability to use the proper painting equipment. With so many factors in play, it’s recommended to repaint your home’s exterior as often as needed to maintain its curb appeal.

How to Minimize Sun Damage to Exterior Paint

Choosing the right type of paint is essential in minimizing sun damage to your home’s exterior paint. Our team always recommends choosing high-quality acrylic latex paint that contains the right type of durable pigments and binders that withstand negative impacts from the sun. This type of paint comes in all colors imaginable and will look beautiful on the outside of your home!

You may also opt for weatherproof or sunproof paint for additional protection from the range of natural elements in Hawaii.

Oahu Pro Painters Has You Covered

We can repair the damage done by the hot Hawaiian sun to your home’s exterior and give your house a fresh coat of paint! You’ll enjoy the pristine results for years to come. Contact us to learn more and get started!

Sign up for a free estimate online today, or call us at 808-468-5604

How Does Sunlight Affect Exterior Paint?
Written By:
Karl Van Zadnt

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