The most common reason for fading paint is that is is simply beyond its expected life. For most interior paints, a ‘lifetime’ is eight years or so. It might be more that than if a room gets little use and the walls are not subject to direct sunlight; it might be less than that if the room gets heavy use and is often subject to direct sunlight: specifically, ultraviolet light, which has a significant fading effect on almost anything it comes in contact with. Still, there are other reasons, which I will go into here:
Like many products on the market, people will often pay more – sometimes significantly more – for a premium product with a great reputation for quality. While you can save a few dollars perhaps on each can of paint by opting for a bargain brand, in the long term, the better quality paints will be far less likely to fade, and will consequently give you more for your dollar.
The other consideration is paint type. You want to select the best type of paint for the surface you plan to apply it to. Drywall, for example, might need a different type of paint than a metal door or other odd surface.
If you have bought your home recently, it may have been the situation that the previous owners simply used the cheapest paint on the market – and with the thinnest of coats – simply enough to get the house sold. Now, a few years later, you are discovering the problem sooner than it should have emerged.
Sometimes house builders, too, will do the absolute minimum in order to get the house sold and move on to make profit again on their next project. Owners of new homes often discover that, over the next decades, many of the home’s core components have to be replaced sooner than a person might reasonably expect.
Every house is different, and every room in each house is different. If you are, for example, painting a light color over a darker color, and if you do not apply a thick enough coat (or coats), the old color may, in time, appear as a patchy darkening through the newer, lighter color, so consider giving it a little more help by considering an extra coat in these circumstances. What’s more, even though you might not see the old color seeping through now, under different lighting circumstances, it might be problematic.
Many people worry about the same problem of fading paint occurring a second time if they simply paint the walls again. Well, considering UV light is often the factor, consider UV protecting your windows if you expect to have to replace them soon.
Different colors fade at different rates. Or rather, the human eye picks up fading at different rates, and different people can notice such things differently. In addition, more men than women suffer from color blindness, but this doesn’t always translate into an ability to see fade. And then, there are people who see the fade, but don’t care.
Yellow is one of the more difficult colors to work with, for some reason. It can lose its ‘warmth’ faster than say a beige or a blue. There’s probably some great physiological reason for all of that, but the main thing is, to take good time selecting colors long before any painting project begins. If you personally don’t have a good eye for it, hire a professional to help. Most painting contractor companies – Rite Painting included – offer help with this color selection process for free. If they do charge something for the service, they usually deduct that fee again from the painting project price if you go with them.
When you consider the fact that only about 20% – if even that much – of the cost of a painting project is the actual paint itself, opting for the best brand available is wise investment. Adding say 20% to the price of the paint in order to get the very best on the market, you only increase the project price by about 4%. Even if you personally do the painting, you have to consider your personal time as the investment. In fact, it is likely that you will take twice as long per unit area covered than a person who paints all day for a living.
Gloss is another consideration that people are often tempted to ignore. Consider this example: Your painting project is done and you notice that flash photography in the room results in large white flash reflection areas in almost any photograph taken in the room. That suggests there is too much gloss in the chosen paint. Roughly speaking, gloss should be used sparingly. It’s rare that a high gloss value would be used on a large surface area, unless of course it is in a kitchen or bathroom, where protection from moisture of many kinds is needed, as well as wanting a surface that is easier to clean.
It’s what all of our grandmothers always told us: we don’t plan to fail. We fail to plan. Preparation for your paint project – even if you are hiring a contractor to do it for you – makes all the difference. Choosing the right color, for instance, is the one step of the project that get the least attention and yet, it’s the step that can have the most profound effect on the quality of the finished job. Even if you don’t have an artistic eye, you probably know a nice job when you see it. Take the time ahead of time to select great colors. If you haven’t considered accent painting, perhaps now is the time to look into it. One thing is for sure, if you leave it until the last minute, you are very likely to end up with less than optimal colors. Weeks before the project starts, your color choices should be selected and documented. Then all you have to do is pick up the paint. And, it’s a lot less stressful!