Paint in the Right Weather Conditions

When it comes to painting, all days are not created equal.  And don't assume that just because a day is rain-free that it is a good day to paint.  If the day is too hot or too windy, your paint may dry too quickly to enable it to form the most protective film.  In fact, painting in the wrong conditions can even lead to premature flaking and peeling of the paint.

So, when should you paint?  Here are some tips that will help you get the best results with exterior latex paints:

  • Try to do your exterior painting on days when the temperature is between 60° and 85°F.  (l5.56°C and 29.4°C) with low or moderate humidity and little or no wind.
  • Even on moderate days, it is best to avoid painting in direct sunlight, since exterior surface temperatures can be 10 to 20 degrees F higher (5 to 11 degrees C) than the air temperature - too hot for good paint film formation.  Do this by working your way around the house so that you are always painting in the shade, especially in the warmer afternoon hours.  As a bonus, you'll be more comfortable working this way.
  • At the other extreme, avoid painting when the temperature falls below 50 degrees F (10°C), since cold temperatures can also prevent latex paint from forming a good protective film.  Remember, too, that certain sides of the home get less sunshine, so the surface there may be even colder than the air temperature.  The north side of the home is especially vulnerable this way.
  • You can apply latex paints just 30 minutes after it rains, assuming that the surface is not visibly wet.  (If you are applying oil-based paints, you should wait until the surface is completely dry.)
  • Avoid painting in windy weather.  Even a light wind can cause the latex paint to dry too quickly, resulting in inadequate film formation.  Moreover, wind can stir up dust and other contaminants that can ruin your paint job.