Paint With Confidence

Exterior Common Issues & Solutions

Fading/Poor Color Retention

Text & image courtesy of the Rohm & Haas Paint Quality Institute

Fading/Poor Color Retention

Premature and/or excessive lightening of the paint color, which often occurs on surfaces with sunny southern exposure. Fading/poor color retention can also be a result of chalking of the coating.

Possible Cause

  • Use of a lower quality paint, leading to rapid degradation (chalking) of the paint film.
  • Use of a paint color that is particularly vulnerable to UV radiation (most notably, certain bright reds, blues and yellows).
  • Application of paint to alkaline masonry without primer or sealer.
  • Tinting a white paint not intended for tinting, or overtinting a light or medium paint base.


When fading/poor color retention is a result of chalking, it is necessary to remove as much of the chalk as possible (see Chalking). In repainting, be sure to use a quality exterior house paint in colors recommended for exterior use.