Don’t paint your house black until you have read this

Have you noticed the trend for painting exteriors black?  Would you consider painting your house black?  It is certainly a very stylish look and one that is appealing because it makes a statement.  In a world of greys and whites, it can be quite shocking to see a house which is black.  Let me show you how you can make this more of a success.

Black house exterior
Resene Exterior – colour Gravel

Planning to paint your house black?

I absolutely love weatherboard houses.  They lend themselves so well to the whole range of colours and tones for exteriors.  Colours that look great on weatherboards, often don't work on flat rendered walls so if you have a weatherboard home, you have a lot more choice when it comes to choosing that exterior colour.  You can certainly be more confident with painting your house black if you have weatherboards.  The reason that colour and really dark tones like black and dark grey work well on weatherboards is due to the natural shadow line created with the overlapping boards.

A solid wall can be quite oppressive painted in black however the way that a lining board breaks up the surface of the house makes it more suitable for dark colours.  
Don't paint your house black until you have read this
Image: Gardenista Sourcebook for Outdoor Living

Laid back and relaxed, weatherboard houses have a charm that is difficult to replicate with a brick or cement rendered house.  Popular at the moment is the use of black and white for both exteriors and interiors.  This bold tonal variation can create a very sleek and contemporary look, however when used on weatherboards with the edges softened, you can also create a fabulous country style relaxed scheme.  Throw in a strong modern accent colour and you are back to contemporary again – the looks are endless.  So don't underestimate the impact of having an exterior black.

Don't paint your house black until you have read this
An important point to remember however, is that an exterior black will absorb light and heat from the infra-red rays of the sun which will make your home uncomfortably hot during the summer.

Historically, black has been used on barns in order to heat up the interior, for example in the tobacco growing areas of Kentucky, black barns are dotted all over the landscape.  Black paint finishes are also popular for barn conversions in the UK where keeping the heat inside is usually a priority.  So when you decide upon an exterior scheme for your house, particularly if you are in a very hot climate, this is certainly a consideration.

Black weatherboard house
Resene Exterior, colour Zeus

Technology has come to the rescue however and there are dark paints available that actually reflect the heat.  Resene’s CoolColour paint will perform in the same way as a lighter colour painted on the exterior of your home which means you can confidently use a dark black without ramping up the air conditioning throughout the summer months.  Resene Bokara Grey, Double Cod Grey, Black and Double Gravel are all great dark colours to try.

Read more about Resene's CoolColour paint here

Using black on a house exterior
Resene Exterior, colour Bokara Grey

So, unless you want to fry in the summer, make sure you use a dark paint from a company that uses light and heat reflecting technology in their range.  Readers in England – you may all want to rush out and paint your house black!

Selecting an exterior black roof can also be problematic

If you are in a warm climate you may also need to reconsider selecting a dark roof as this will absorb the heat too and keep it in the house.  A light coloured roof will reflect the heat so this could also be a consideration.

The finishing touches when painting your house black

It is of course the finishing touches that will really change the look and feel of the house.  Opt for furnishings and accessories that are not too perfect, for example, hand painted antique furniture, original rattan pieces and weathered pots and containers are great if you would like a country style look.  Soft furnishings really complete the picture and the Geometry collection by Pegasus at James Dunlop Textiles brings a striking touch to the scheme.

Country style black weatherboards
James Dunlop Geometry Pegasus

If you are currently undertaking a renovation or building project or even just planning to re-paint your house then you should download my Free exterior checklist.  This can be found in my Free Resource Library which has other e-books and checklists and is updated with new free invaluable resources every month.  Join up for free here.

Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram for more ideas and images.  If you are still stuck and need help with your project I offer an e-consultation service.  You can send me photos and/or plans with your questions and I will review and talk it all through with you.  I have packages from just one question through to a full colour scheme service – click here for more details.

Black weatherboard house

46 thoughts on “Don’t paint your house black until you have read this

  1. Vicky says:

    Loved this article! I really want to paint my barn and house black and am glad I read your article.
    Will be sure to get the paint you mentioned.

  2. Sheri says:

    Just wondering how long the black paint lasts until it has to be painted again. I would like to paint our new weatherboard home black but the painter refuses and the paint company he uses won’t guarantee the product. Because they are new weatherboards, is will cause more shrinkage and within 2 years we will have to repaint the whole house again which isn’t a option. Can you advise please?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sheri it really depends on the type of weatherboards, whether they are pre-primed etc. Some door companies won’t guarantee their doors if you use a dark paint as they warp in the sun so this is particularly an issue for west or north facing front doors – this may be the same with your type of weatherboard. However I would do some further research. Speak to the supplier of the weatherboards to see what they say about guaranteeing their product and then check which paint your painter is planning to use and speak to their information centre. I certainly haven’t come across this issue with weatherboards before so it would be worth you following up and getting some written guarantees. Hope this helps Samantha

  3. Nicola Reeves says:

    Hi Samantha
    Great article. Just wondering if you have any advice on window frames, roof and fascia colours if painting your house a dark colour like this? The ones I’ve seen which look good have contrasting window frames and roofs e.g. white or something like Colorbond Surfmist (australia). Thanks Nicola

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicola I really do like the contrast and Colorbond Surfmist is a good choice as it contains enough grey to stand up to the dark walls but will look still look absolutely white – being a Colorbond colour you can obviously use it for roofing, fascias etc and then mix your paint to match for other painted trim. It is usually a standard colour too with most powdercoated window companies. Glad you enjoyed the article thanks Samantha

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Charlene Resene’s cool colour paints are designed to be applied to most substrates but I would double check with them directly. Vinyl siding can be painted so it shouldn’t be an issue but also consider the cost of replacement of the vinyl and painting as you may not save a huge amount and it might be better to replace with new. You can get more information here Good luck Samantha

  4. Sue says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I have enjoyed your articles very much. I’d like to know your opinion on painting an unattractive green cement tiled roof. Don’t think I can afford to put on a new roof. What is the best paint/colour and how should it be done to make it last?

    Thank you,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sue you should engage a painter who specialises in painting roofs. A cement tiled roof will come up really well with paint but it does have to be done properly. If you find a specialist – your local paint store should be able to recommend – then they will have houses in the area that they have done for you to look at. It will really depend a lot on whether you are also painting the gutters and what colour they are and what the house colour is. Colorbond Woodland Grey has a green undertone but is a very definite grey and I have found that this works well on houses as it seems to go with so much and looks good on painted roof tiles but it depends on so many other elements. Find the painter first and they may have some jobs to show you Good luck! Samantha

  5. Beth says:

    Thanks for this useful piece. I simply can not decide between an all white exterior (weatherboards) on my two story house or all black, white frames… We are building in queensland with a street facing north house…. I was thinking all white until i read about heat reflecting black paint… Would a black house last longer than a white house in terms of having to re-paint later down the line? decision decisions! Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Beth I think in Queensland I would err towards the white – the Resene technology does seem to be pretty good but to withstand a Queensland summer in a north facing position is quite a big ask! White houses get dirtier quicker but black paint would fade over time. Do you have a section that could be black – sometimes different cladding options give you the opportunity to introduce two tones? Look carefully at whatever product you go with but I must say – QLD to me says white! Samantha

    • David & Jenny Hoffman says:

      Hi Samantha
      Great article! We painted our Scyon weatherboards Sealord, which is near enough to black, but are wondering what exterior lighting would look good against horizontal black or Sealord weatherboards, as they cast a shadow. None of the lighting images we gave found on-line show dark walls and exterior lighting at night, do you have any thoughts on this please?

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi David and Jenny I love copper or bronze tones against black. Taubmans Sealord has a slight green undertone which I think would work well with bronze. Hope this helps Samantha

  6. Prue Peters says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your article as we are just about to paint our new home with Dulux Timeless Gray with Colourbond Surfmist window trims, black gutters and window frames and a white garage door. Our dilemma is that we have a big vertically cladded box section that is our garage and we don’t know what colour to paint it. We have been thinking that we would paint it navy blue, but I am a little concerned that the overall look may be too dark. I would really appreciate your ideas if you had any suggestions.

    Kind regards,


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Prue I think the Navy Blue will give the house a nice lift – Dulux Timeless Grey and Colorbond Surfmist are a classic combination and with black gives you a sophisticated look but sometimes it can look a bit flat – the introduction of a Navy could work really well here as Timeless Grey does have a slight blue undertone. Just ensure that you select a navy that has a fair degree of grey that will wash out in the sun – without the grey, a navy that looks good inside can end up too bright on an exterior. I think with the white garage door that you won’t run the risk of it looking too heavy. Make sure you test out a large sample outside against the other colours to ensure you like it! Samantha

  7. Jaime says:

    Hi Samantha
    We are stuck! We are commencing a new build and have decided on Solver Surfmist as our main feature render, surfmist roof and silver frames. We have a balcony that we are contemplating painting monument. Finishing with a wooden door. Do you think this would be a good colour combo? I’d love to send you a copy of my house to get your opinion

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jaime I can look at photos and advise for you but I do charge for this service. Going from this, the colour combination will work but you just have to consider how large the balcony is and its position on the house as painting it in a strong contrast colour will really make it stand out. Hope this helps Samantha

  8. Jos says:

    Hello Samantha,

    Great article! We are building and doing a weatherboard home also. We’re doing an all white farmhouse style with black window frames, front door and garage door. Should we do the roof colorbond nightsky (black) to match the windows etc. or could we do monument Matt? So hard to decide.

    Kind regards.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jos I really love the new matt finishes from Colorbond and I think that Monument works better than Night Sky as it is not as harsh and heavy. This would be my choice but you need to consider your overall look bearing in mind your choices of black for the other elements which obviously matches Night Sky exactly. Good luck Samantha

  9. Jenni says:

    Hi Samantha

    I’m building a new home with a cladded Hamptons front facade and Austral Chiffon bricks to majority of house. I had decided on colourbond “Wallaby” for the cladding as it was the closest match to the bricks (wanted a seamless look to sides of house where they will join). Wondering now whether Basalt (darker) would be better ? What do you think of Wallaby ? I have painted a sample board and outside it throws brown.
    I have shale grey roof and gutters (council won’t allow surfmist..) , surfmist fascia, garage door, windows and trim.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jenni I do know the Austral Chiffon brick but haven’t used it on a project so I am not exactly sure what will go with it from memory! I can tell you that Colorbond Wallaby does read a little brown – I think it is a gorgeous colour for exteriors as it is a rich warm grey – just like a Wallaby – but there is no doubt that outside it reads a touch brown. Colorbond Basalt is a nice dark grey but this reads a touch blue so you need to be aware of that. Using a touch of a blue grey does work though in a Hamptons style and will go well with the Surfmist and Shale Grey. Hope this helps! Samantha

  10. sarah says:

    We are building and have recycled red bricks. Black window frames and night sky fascia – shale grey roof. Some BareStone concrete cladding but also a fair bit of Weathertex cladding to be painted black. Question do we match in with window frames black or math the night sky black colour for the Weathertex. Are you familiar with these colours?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sarah Colorbond Night Sky is a true black so should be about the same as your black window frames – sometimes a different finish can make it appear different – certainly my samples of window powdercoated black and Night Sky are the same – if for any reason yours are different then match the Weathertex to the window so that you don’t see a variation. Good luck Samantha

  11. Caroline Skene says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are doing some renovations on our weatherboard house a new front veranda
    With the roof extending down from the existing roof.
    The roof is terracotta tiles not new but old with a orange/brown colour.
    I was thinking of painting the house black walls with white windows, doors & trims
    However not sure about the roof being terracotta, the other alternative is a taupe/putty colour for the walls, white windows, dark gray posts, front fascia &
    White or dark grey railings.
    What is your opinion

    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caroline black can go really well with terracotta – you just need to ensure that you include the gutters and fascias in your re-paint. I really like black trim against a terracotta roof – perhaps consider doing this with white trim everywhere else. The black recedes and draws a line between the roof and the walls and is less obvious than a white trim against the roof which would draw attention to it. Warm taupe grey tones also look lovely with terracotta – one of my favourite trims with terracotta roofs is a dark warm purple grey. So you could go this route too – I think what you should take from this is to keep the roof trim dark and then you can go either way. Hope this is helpful Samantha

  12. Caroline Skene says:

    Thank you Samantha, that really confirmed what I had in my mind. I find when it is your own house you are decorating it becomes more difficult as you tend to get too engrossed in the process.
    Again, thank you


  13. Linda says:

    Hi Samantha
    Interesting read, we have selected Monument for cladding and surf ist for render outside. We are using the Haymes range of paints for inside and want to paint media room wall as TV backdrop and the main bedroom was lol in a dark colour.

    The bedroom is mostly glass with extremely high ceilings, so it’s really just a small amount of surrounds around the sliding door to deck and upper feature windows. Windows and doors are in colourbond monument.

    What Haymes colour would work best in both these places, would like to keep consistent if possible. The main wall colour is Sift White from the Haymes range.

    Interested in your thoughts.

  14. amanda says:

    a couple of years ago I mixed my own colour for a federation country weatherboard home. Its similar to tranquil retreat. I recently tried to change the colour to Dulux terrace white as I love changing colours but my choice on this occasion hasnt worked and is too light and I have 25 Litres of it. I am wondering if you know if a colour already mixed (terrace white) can be changed to a different colour by a paint store.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amanda Yes a good paint store should be able to adjust the colour for you. You will need to speak to them though and give them a guide as to what you are hoping for and they will let you know if it can be achieved. Hope you get the result that you are looking for Samantha

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you Samantha I love reading your work. After bushfires ripped through our property in NSW and km of fencing to be fixed now, I decided to get a painter. He immediately looked at the house and said its needs charcoal with lexicon qtr trim it will look fabulous. I have been hesitant to go dark by myself but having a professional look at the house with a fresh set of eyes has made me feel confident. I dont know what colour timeless/wayward/namadji etc love reading your articles for advice.

  15. Tanya says:

    Hi Samantha.
    I loved your article on painting a weatherboard house black.
    We have an old farmhouse we are renovating . It’s been Restumped and the zincalume roof and gutters are going on as we speak.. I have tried endless paint samples. Most in shades of grey. They either look too purple or blue. The house is north facing. In NSW. I am afraid the house will look like a mass of grey, a grey blob with the zinc roof. I have been contemplating a really dark navy/ black. But not black. I could do with a bit of advice. Maybe the real dark colour would make the place pop. I am concerned about fading and repainting sooner than the light colours.
    Thank you so much.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tanya If you are concerned the house will look all too dark you might consider some lighter trim for your windows? Are they timber and able to be painted? A dark grey/black house can look stunning, even without any light relief, but you have to love it. With dark colours too you need to ensure that the boards on the house are very stable as sometimes the heat of the sun can make them warp with very dark colours so ensure you speak to the paint supplier about correct primers etc. too. A good quality paint should last you a decent amount of time. Dark colours make a house look smaller too. It won’t make it pop as such but will be very striking and quite a statement. So consider your windows – white windows make it more classic looking while all dark is more contemporary. Hope this helps Samantha

      • tanya says:

        Thank you so much for your reply Samantha. Its very kind of you.
        We think the property is about 100 years old. An old dairy farmhouse. The windows are wooden and we were thinking vivid white for them. I have tried so many paint sample pots, but nothing has grabbed us yet. The front of the house is north facing with 2 meter veranda’s. I would love a grey, dont mind medium to dark grey. Having trouble finding a grey that doesn’t look purple or blue. I have read your article on this subject. could you suggest any specific colours ? keeping in mind the new zincalume roof and gutters.

        Thank you so much Samantha

  16. Fiona says:

    I’ve been looking for a definitive answer about dark exterior colours and heat control for months and am so glad to have found your post here and the tip about Resene paints! Fantastic news for us! Thanks, Samantha!

  17. samantha mark says:

    Hi Samantha – I am painting my house black – we are using James Hardie Axon and Stria. The Stria will be black. Can you please suggest a grey to use on the axon please – a nice contrast to the black. I like clean colours – nothing has a hint of blue or green in it. Thanks so much Sam

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sam the grey will depend on how much depth you want and the other colours – roof, gutter, facsia, garage door etc. All greys will have an undertone and it may be that you will need to have a warmer grey – possibly something like Dulux Tristan which is a mid warm grey however this is a stab in the dark as you need to consider everything else. Don’t forget I have an e-consulation service where I look at the whole house for you and this may help? Samantha

  18. Cristie Robertson says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are having our roof painted a dark charcoal and the house ‘Indian ink’ in resene cool colour. So the house and roof will be dark. The ceiling under the eves will be white. I have timber trims and features. Do you think it will be too dark?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Cristie I think it will look stunning – if you like these dark colours you do have to be brave because the house will be very dark but it will also be very striking. Perhaps think about the mood you want to create but I think it could certainly work. Good luck Samantha

  19. Afton Jackson says:

    I am absolutely grateful for your tips on how to keep a house from absorbing extra heat while painting it black. I’ve always been fascinated by predominantly black-painted houses, but I had no idea that this could make it extremely hard to insulate. It’s a good thing you had some tips to counteract that, so I’ll keep them in mind when I get a painting service that can help me give my house a new look.

  20. Maree says:

    What colour would you reccomend for a black and White House? We have black window Joinery. Can’t decide between Dulux Te Kuiti (black) and Southern Alps(white for window trim) or Resene Nero and Black/white. Our weatherboard is weathered. What will wear better and not get as hot?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Maree Resene has the cool colour technology paints so if you are looking at a black house then I would opt for the Resene Nero. Good luck Samantha

  21. Sam says:

    Hello, looking to repaint the exterior of my hardy plank weather board house black with white trims! We currently have a woodland grey colourbond roof do you think these colours will work??
    Or can you advise me what might?
    Kind regards sam

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sam black weatherboards are a lovely contemporary choice and should work ok with a Woodland Grey roof, particularly if the roof is separated from the weatherboard with white trim. Cheers Samantha

  22. Jean Bienvenue says:

    What are your thoughts on painting brick dark (black)? I live in Texas, in a MCM-styled, orange brick ranch that I’d like to look more modern. I also have no idea what color to paint the trim around the front, angled sets of windows, the garage door and soffits. I’ve read and understand what effects the Texas heat will have, but I want my house to stand out in my neighborhood. Any suggestions?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jean this is getting to be a really contemporary look which is very effective. It can look really different if you paint everything black or you use a white for the trim. All black gives you a more contemporary look but it can be a bit heavy while a fresh white trim will make the house more classic in its looks. Hope this helps Samantha

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