Exterior paint for Arizona homes

vickijFebruary 4, 2011

I am new to Arizona and I have been told that BM paint is not preferred for exterior home painting. I am being told that Dunn Edwards is the preferred paint for Arizona. Can anyone expound upon this? Also, please speak to me about light reflective colors. I cannot use something that is over 50% as per neighborhood rules.

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Lori A. Sawaya

I'm in El Paso. Dunn Edwards is very popular in our geographic area. i.e. my nearest Ben Moore "store" is in the back of a drywall shop. Dunn Edwards is a good choice for our region. So is Sherwin Williams Duration.

Your neighborhood rules, homeowners association, is grossly off the mark if they're stating that the LRV of exterior paint colors can not be over 50. They don't understand what LRV really is and that's dangerous because they are counting on that bit of data to protect their neighborhood aesthetic. It wont'. It can't. I can explain:

LRV is an acronym and it stands for Light Reflectance Value. Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is the total quantity of useable light reflected by a surface in all directions and at all wavelengths when illuminated by a light source.

LRV is a measurement that tells you how much light a color reflects, and conversely how much it absorbs. LRV runs on a scale from 0% to 100%. Zero assumed to be an absolute black and 100% being an assumed perfectly reflective white. An absolute black or perfectly reflecting white does not exist in our everyday terms. Approximately speaking, the average blackest black has a LRV of 5% and the whitest white 85%. Some yellows can measure up into the 80â²s or 90â²s as well.

It's a ridiculous data point for H.O. associations because visually appealing doesn't usually go awry on the basis of light or really dark colors.

Ohhh no.

The color booger that assaults a neighborhood aesthetic is intensity. Intensity is how vivid or dull a color *IS*. Vivid color in the wrong hands is a whole lot more threatening than a dark one.

LRV doesn't help folks out in the intensity department - again, because LRV strictly speaks to how light or how dark.

And being in AZ, the sun and common sense already sets the bar for how dark people will go on their exterior. For example, no one in their right mind would paint their exterior an uber dark forest green for example. Or use a dark black/brown on their trim -- unless they like to paint every two years. In these parts, the sun is brutal and color fades fast and we've all seen how lighter colors fade more 'gracefully' than darker.

Everyone instinctively has the common sense to reach for midtone paint colors or lighter. And 50% LRV defines numerically a midtone - it is right there in the middle of that LRV scale that runs 0 - 100.

So, your neighborhood's benchmark of 50% LRV or less doesn't really give anybody any *real* direction when it comes to choosing exterior paint colors. Which, in your specific case, can be a good thing. Most people don't want extreme exterior colors any way and your meeting that 50% LRV or less color data point should be a piece of cake.

Here is a link that might be useful: More info about LRV

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 7:15PM
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