Abstract Commonly used materials in the construction of the building façades located in warm climates, often entrap a great amount of heat from the incoming solar radiation, leading to a respective thermal increase in the interior. The aim of the present study is to examine mineral-based coatings as a passive solar technique that contributes to buildings’ energy efficiency. A series of mineral based samples are developed and tested. Their thermal performance is estimated by infrared thermography and surface temperature measurements. Their optical properties are also measured while the energy efficiency is quantified using simulation techniques. The results revealed that renders based on hydraulic and/or hydrated lime with additions of calcium carbonate powder, as well as mineral paints comprised either of lime wash or silicate minerals can behave as cool coatings and contribute to a significant reduction of the cooling demand in warm climates.