Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Black or White? External cladding colour choices

Our house is currently painted light green which must have been the colour of choice way back then, but the plan is to give her a few coats of Dulux "Whisper White".

Being quite the simple kind of lass that I am, I intended to use the same colour on the addition as well:

But I think my architects would prefer me to select black:

It certainly does give a dramatic effect - some people may even call it sexy. It kind of reminds me of those Scandinavian Summer Houses.

A number of other architects are also using this colour scheme:

It's something you either love or hate - but I'm happy to keep an open mind on this one. No matter what colour I choose, it actually won't be evident from the street. And once the gardens are established, the house will recede visually into the landscape. Would you be brave enough to paint your house black?


  1. The part of our house that is enclosed in the front verandah is a lovely mint green too!
    The rest of it is clad in white aluminium siding. Also lovely!

    I couldn't paint our house black...one side is far too exposed...but there is a house just near us that is a deep charcoal gray that I love. It has a yellow front door that I also love.

  2. I actually really like the black - think it would look great with the tropical style gardens that work up here e.g. frangipani's, bromeliads. Your old deck floor is just about my least favourite colour ever- forest green. Our old house had forest green trim and I could not sleep until it was gone! mel x

  3. I love the look of the black but it would depend on the material - is it weatherboard or cladding? If its timber painting it a dark colour seriously reduces its durability. Personally I'm a white lover myself, how house is white and will remain that way.

    The first pic you have after the words "A number of other architects are also using this colour scheme:" is the house of a girlfriend from school days - it is seriously to die for - all amazing timber joinery inside as well. Serious house envy!

    1. I must ask our architects about this at our next meeting. Our schedule specifies weatherboard cladding, so if we choose black it will painted with Dulux Weathershield "heat reflect' Near Black.

      Does Shawn from Base Architecture still own that house? I've only seen pics, and it does look stunning. xx

    2. yes it is his place - lovely guy doing very well! his wife is also an architect/interior designer so between the two of them no wonder they have a dream house!

      This is what Timber Queensland's technical data sheet on external timber finishes says about paint -
      Maximum protection from the effect of the environment is provided by the traditional paint systems which form surface films. Thousand of old Queensland homes with timber cladding in perfect condition after one hundred years service stand in testimony to the protective qualities of paint films.
      The disadvantages of paints are that they obscure the timber colour and grain, and they require surface preparation prior to re-coating.
      Paint systems give the longest interval between re-coats. Up to ten years can be expected from top quality systems.
      Note: Poor quality paint systems (dark colours, no primer to end grain and joints, cheap paints etc.) can actually accelerate degrade.
      Dark colours absorb more solar radiation than light colours, and can deteriorate the finish and the timber faster in service. White pigments reflect the maximum amount of ultraviolet light possible, and provide the best protection to both the timber and paint film.
      Solvent borne (alkyd or oil) finishes are more resistant to water vapour than water borne (acrylic) finishes. Where a high level of protection is required, a finish system with a solvent borne primer and/or undercoat should be selected.
      Acrylic (water based) paints have been vastly improved in recent years and now offer service lives comparable with alkyd resin (oil or solvent based) paints. They are somewhat easier to apply but their softer films tend to retain more dirt than alkyd (solvent based) paints, and thus harbour more mould growth.

      There's more but this is the gist of it.

    3. C, Thanks so much for this info - much appreciated. xx

  4. I love the black and white theme. I'm old school though and would stick with white however...black is something I associate with the southern states rather than sunny Qld. xx

  5. Just discovered your blog! I agree with Anita, I think the black looks great but would be a killer in the heat... Although, maybe you could screen it with a deciduous climber or something... I actually saw a workers cottage in Paddington for sale recently and the renovator had painted not only the entire house black, but all the veranda trims too! Very strange.

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