Painting the exterior of your home isn’t the type of job that can be done at any time in the year. After all, you’ve probably never seen anyone up on a ladder, painting away in the dead of winter. So why is it that exterior paint jobs seem to happen only in one part of the year? Hint: it’s not just because nobody wants to spend the day outside painting in the cold!
Best Weather to Paint Outside
In order for your paint job to turn out perfectly, the weather needs to cooperate. This is because how the paint dries is directly related to the temperature and conditions at the time of application.
Ideally, you want to choose a time that gives you warm, dry days. It’s also a good idea to look at the weather for the few days before and after your painting day. If it rains before you paint, your siding might need a couple of days to fully dry out before painting. The same goes for after the application—you want to make sure it’s not going to pour rain the day after when your paint is still curing.
You also want to be careful of big temperature fluctuations from day to night. If you’ve got perfect temperatures during the day, but then a sudden drop after the sun goes down, the paint will react and won’t cure properly. Again, this could leave you with a less than smooth surface, with cracking and peeling.
So, what is the ideal weather for exterior painting? Early summer and early fall usually offer up the best weather conditions, with minimal rain and minimal fluctuations in temperature from day to night. This will ensure the paint goes on smoothly and has the chance to dry and cure properly.
How Warm Should it be to Paint Outside?
We’ve mentioned that summer is an ideal time to get your exterior paint job done. While summer gives us reliably dry weather and usually doesn’t have a lot of rain, it also comes with extreme heat. When it’s too hot out, it could cause the paint to dry too quickly, which could leave you with a less than ideal finish. That means ugly brush marks and sometimes clumps of paint that have dried on the brush being deposited on the freshly painted surface. (Not to mention the fact that it’s not a great idea for anyone to be out painting in the extreme heat, under the blazing sun.)
It’s always best to aim for a day that’s not too hot. You’ll also want to pay attention to humidity levels as well. Paint will usually dry the best when it’s not overly humid. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll usually find the best temperatures during the early summer and early fall, depending on where you live. Stick to these times of the year, and you’ll probably end up with fantastic painting weather!
What Should You Avoid Doing?
- Don’t Paint When it’s Wet Outside!
Avoid rainy days, and always make sure all the surfaces you’ll be painting are completely dry. This is essential if you want to end up with a perfectly even application.
- Don’t Paint Outside an Acceptable Temperature Range!
You don’t want to try to paint outside in the middle of winter since it’s usually too cold for the paint to be able to dry and properly cure. Some days can be considered too hot for painting, since extreme heat can cause problems with how the paint dries as well. Remember to think about the temperature at night too, since your paint will still be drying and you want to make sure the conditions are ideal. Really, it depends on the specific type and brand of paint you’re using, since they’re all a little different. If you’re unsure about whether the conditions are appropriate for exterior painting, be sure to ask an expert. (Your painter or paint supplier can help you out.)
- Don’t Try to Paint Outside the Seasons
If you live in a northern climate, you can sometimes keep going into fall, but most people don’t attempt to paint beyond November since it’s often too cold. Some southern areas are warm enough into early winter, so they can get away with painting much later into the year. Of course, when you decide to paint will largely depend on the climate where you live, but if you stick to these general guidelines, you’re sure to end up with a flawless finish.