Premature and/or excessive lightening of a paint colour, which often occurs on surfaces with high levels of sun exposure. What happens to be a fading/poor colour retention issue can also be a result of chalking (see Chalking).

Possible cause

  • Use of an interior grade of paint for an outdoor application
  • 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)
  • Tinting a white paint not intended for tinting, or over tinting 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 colours recommended for exterior use.

Dulux recommends the Dulux Weathershield® range. For more information, please consult our detailed Technical Advice note on the topic.

More problem solving advice

When droplets appear on acrylic paint

Have you noticed small droplets appearing on your fresh coat of acrylic paint? Don't panic – it’s a normal part of the curing process. Find out more.


Yellowing describes the development of a yellow cast in aging paint solvent-based enamels. Find out more.


Wrinkling is a term used to describe a rough, crinkled paint surface occurring when paint forms a 'skin'. Find out more.

Tannin staining

Tannin staining is the brownish or tan discoloration on the paint surface due to migration of tannins from the substrate through the paint film. Find out more.