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Optimum Temperature to Paint Outside

temperature to paint outside

Re-painting your home’s exterior is the perfect way to refresh curb appeal and to protect siding and trim from unnecessary damage. Over time and with regular exposure to the elements, the paint on the siding and trim can begin to fade and peel. When this happens, the underlying material is directly exposed to the elements. Extreme temperatures, moisture and more can destroy the wood. When you paint your home’s exterior regularly, you are applying a protective layer that can prevent excessive damage and help you to keep your home in great condition. If you have decided that now is the time to paint your home, you understandably may be focused on choosing the best colors. However, you also need to learn about the best temperature to paint outside before you set aside time in your schedule for this major project.

Why You Need to Understand the Best Temperature to Paint Outside

When you initially think about the best weather conditions for your outside painting project, you may be focused on your personal comfort. Depending on the size of your project, you could realistically spend the better part of several days outside climbing up and down a ladder. This is time when you may be replacing damaged boards, power washing the surfaces, applying caulk and primer and applying at least two coats of paint. While your comfort is important, temperature also affects paint cure time. When the paint takes an excessively long amount of time to dry, there is an increased likelihood that the wet paint will collect dirt, insects and more. In addition, weather conditions affect blistering, peeling and other undesired outcomes.

How Paint Type Impacts the Best Temperature to Paint Outside

painting house outside

Before you research the best temperature to paint outside, you need to understand how the paint type affects preferred weather conditions. The outdoor temperature directly affects the paint curing time. When the temperature is excessively hot, the paint will cure rapidly. If the cure rate is too fast, adhesion to the surface is affected. At the same time, blisters in the paint can develop. Ultimately, the paint is more likely to peel if you paint the exterior of your home in extremely hot weather conditions. On the other hand, the paint could take several additional days to cure in very cold temperatures.

You also need to think about the paint type when determining the best temperature to paint outside. Latex paint is generally thicker than oil-based paint. However, cooler temperatures will cause oil-based paint to thicken. Thicker paints will take more time to dry, and they also will require a heavier application. Furthermore, latex paint can dry very quickly in hot temperatures, and this can make proper and even application of the paint difficult.

Keep in mind that surfaces that are exposed to direct sunlight may be hotter to the touch. Generally, if you cannot comfortably place your hand on the surface of your home for more than a few seconds, you should wait for a more optimal temperature to paint outside. Even when you paint within the ideal temperature window for the type of paint that you have selected, it is best to paint the surfaces when they are not directly exposed to sunlight. Many professional painters plan their project so that they follow the sunlight around the house for this reason.

Determining the Best Temperature Range for Your Exterior Painting Project

You can see how important temperature is to your exterior painting project. If you choose to use latex paint for your project, you should paint when the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer to use oil-based paints, the ideal temperature window is between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the paint product that you choose to use will have specific manufacturer guidelines that should take priority over these recommendations. When in doubt, your local store’s paint expert may provide additional guidance as well.

The best temperature for exterior painting projects does not only apply to the period of time when the paint is being applied to the surfaces. Generally, the temperature should remain within the preferred window for a couple of days following the application of the paint.

The Impact of Humidity and Moisture on Your Exterior Painting Project

When you look at the weather forecast to plan your upcoming paint project, pay attention to humidity and moisture as well. No precipitation should be in the forecast for several days during and after the project. Remember that the siding and trim must completely dry out after you power wash the surface, and many experts recommend that you allow at least a day or two for thorough drying before applying primer. You also need to allow drying time between the primer and paint coats.

Temperature fluctuations and high humidity levels can result in dew on the exterior surfaces of your home as well. With this in mind, pay attention to the projected humidity level as well as the differential between highs and lows for the days.

Painting your home’s exterior is a significant project, so you understandably want to maximize the benefits and extend the life of your paint job. Weather conditions directly and significantly impact the beauty of your results as well as the paint’s longevity. It can be frustrating to wait for the right temperature conditions to arrive for your exterior painting project, but your patience could contribute to the superior results that you want to see.