Exterior house painting needs to be done during a period of time when the weather is going to be dry enough for the wood to be dry before the project begins. After the surface is painted, it needs adequate time to dry as well. Most people have the idea that summer is the best season to paint, but it is not always the best time to paint a home’s exterior. What time of year is the best to paint your house will depend largely on the region in which you live and the climate in the area. There are several factors to consider which can help a homeowner know what time of year is the best to complete exterior painting.
Most of the manufacturers of paint suggest temperature minimums and maximums which allow for the best paint job. These temperature limits have changed over the years as paints have progressed. As a general rule, the temperature needs to be no lower than about 40 degrees before paint is applied. However, there are some brands that say their paints can be applied to a surface when the temperature is as low as 35 degrees. In some regions, the temperature can be as high as 104 degrees during the afternoon and then drop down as low as 42 at night. Paint should not be applied during the seasons when the temperatures have this large of a fluctuation all in one day. Choose a season in your region that the temperature does not fluctuate too much in a day. In the New Jersey area the average low temperature in October is about 45 degrees and in November it is about 38. So in the northeast region November is probably the cut off for exterior painting.
Moisture and Weather
Exterior paint cannot be applied to a wet surface. An exterior surface can be wet from rain, snow or high humidity. After a good rain at least a full day should lapse before undertaking a painting project. Make sure that the surface is completely dried before painting. Bare wood and masonry can be wet inside even if the feel dry. Even overnight dew can cause a failed paint job. There also has to be adequate time for the paint to dry properly before the end of the day. It’s important to remember that paint can still be drying even though you have finished painting for the day. Even though the low temperature does not usually occur until later in the evening, it must be assumed that it can happen just after the sun sets.
What do the Professionals Say about Painting Seasons?
If you are talking to a painter that talks like they work for the post office and they say that snow, rain, or “gloom of night” does not stop them from getting your house painted, you may want to hire someone else. Most professional exterior painters do not work during the cold winter months. In the northern regions, it is simply too cold for paint to cure properly. The job may get done, but the paint may also become flakey and chip off. Winter is a better time for interior painting projects. Most professionals do not plan on doing any exterior painting from about the middle of October until the end of March. The temperature and weather conditions are just too questionable during these seasons to ensure that a paint job will last. This may vary from region to region. The states with warmer climatic conditions may take summers off instead of winters since it can be too hot and humid to ensure a good coat of paint. The winter months may work best because it is cooler but not cold.