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What's the Best Temperature for Outdoor Painting? (Hint: It's Happening Now!)

August 22, 2019

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What's the Best Temperature for Outdoor Painting? (Hint: It's Happening Now!)

August 22, 2019

Fall is the time when everyone's "Honey Do" lists turn into "Sorry Dear" lists. Despite your best intentions, we're willing to be that you weren't able to get to everything on your summer home care list.

Don't worry because you may not have missed the boat yet. While most people think they need to paint their home's exterior in the summer, fall actually tends to be the best time.

If you want a more polished-looking home for the holidays, here's what you need to know about the best temperature for outdoor painting.

Limits on Temperature for Outdoor Painting

Whether you realize it or not, when paint cures on your home's exterior, it's a chemical reaction. That's why you need the right environment for it to work well.

In earlier years, experts suggested that you avoid painting outside if it was below 10 degrees Celsius. Thanks to improvements in paint development, though, we have a bit more wiggle room today.

In a cold climate like ours, oil-based paint is your best bet. Most of these paints will work well as long as the daytime temperature is between 4 and 32 degrees Celsius. You can choose latex paint instead, but the temperature range is smaller: 10-29 degrees Celsius.

If you're trying to paint when it's too cold or too hot, the paint won't cure the way it should.

Temperature Swings and Outdoor Painting

When you're painting your home's exterior, you don't just need to pay attention to the temperature itself. The variations in temperature each day will also affect the paint's performance.

If there's too extreme of a temperature swing on the day you paint, it could cause problems with the curing process. That's why you want to paint when the high and low temperatures are as close as possible, which tends to happen in early fall.

Your timing will impact how much the temperature shifts during the drying process too. If you can, try to finish painting your exterior by mid-afternoon. That gives the paint some time to dry before the temperature starts to fall after sunset.

Humidity and Exterior Painting

On top of the temperature, you need to account for the moisture in the air when you paint.

You should wait at least one full day after it rains before you start painting, but two days will be safer. In any case, wipe the siding with a rag to see if there's any moisture before you paint.

Beyond rain, the humidity will play a role in your paint's curing process too. Aim to paint when the relative humidity is between 40% and 70%.

Getting a Great Paint Job for the Holidays

Exterior painting is one of those jobs many homeowners think is an easy DIY project. If you want a good result, though, there are a lot more variables than you think.

From the best humidity and temperature for outdoor painting to the right types of paint to buy, it's best to trust a professional. If you're ready to refresh your home's look this fall, 

 

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