How Hot is Too Hot to Be Painting Outdoors?

There are some definite perks to tackling exterior painting projects in the summer. You get to enjoy the best of the weather, the warm temperatures can help dry the paint faster and the longer days mean you can pack so much more into a single weekend.

Certainly preferable to painting outdoors in the winter, where any excuse is good enough to put it off a few more months.

But at the same time, the hottest days of the summer might not bring the ideal conditions for exterior painting. Whether looking to paint the exterior of your home in its entirety or simply spruce up a few bits and pieces outdoors, there is such a thing as it being too hot to paint.

home exterior

As for when and where you should draw the line, you’ll need to rely on three things – a home weather station, the weather forecast and (most importantly) your own intuition.

What Temperatures Work Best for Painting?

Sitting around and waiting the entire summer for the perfect temperature to come along could prove a fruitless endeavor.  Technically speaking, the absolute perfect temperature for painting outdoors is 70° F. However, this doesn’t mean that a few degrees either side is going to make a huge difference.

If erring on the side of caution, it’s actually better to paint outdoors when it is slightly cooler than this 70° F benchmark. The warmer it gets, the more difficult it becomes for your primer and paint to bond appropriately with the material.  Worst case scenario, you’ll end up with peeling and cracked paint a little further down the line.

Along with temperatures, it is also essential to take humidity into account when painting outdoors. The temperature could be absolutely spot on, but high levels of humidity are going to make it impossible for the paint to do its thing properly. It’s best to aim for the central point of a decent stretch of dry and mild weather, when it’s not been too moist outside for a while and isn’t forecast to be, either.

Always Read the Labels

At the risk of contradicting the above, different paints (and manufacturers) outline their own rules, restrictions and recommendations when it comes to ideal outdoor conditions. Some paints are specifically designed to be perfect for use in warmer weather, whereas you’ll get the best out of others when it’s comparatively cool.

One of many reasons why it is essential to read the label before buying, just to ensure it’s the right paint for the job.

What Else Influences Exterior Painting?

Back with the weather conditions, heat and humidity are two things you definitely need to keep an eye on. Nevertheless, there are three other major factors that can influence the appropriateness of tackling an exterior paint job at any given point during the summer:

Sun – Irrespective of how amicable the temperature may be, it is a good idea to avoid painting exterior surfaces in direct sunlight. When the sun is shining directly on something you plan on painting, it can result in a temperature increase of as much as 15° F.  More than enough to make it impossible for the paint to adhere properly.

Wind – A gentle breeze is fantastic for helping paint dry and speeding up an outdoor project. However, anything more than a gentle breeze can lead to dirt and debris being blasted all over your freshly painted surface. At which point, there’s little you can do to keep things smooth and seamless, other than go over the surface once again when it has dried.

Rain – It most likely goes without saying that painting before, after or during a period of rainy weather isn’t a particularly good idea. The surface you are painting needs to be bone dry for the paint to adhere properly, and a dousing of water on a freshly painted surface that hasn’t yet cured is never a good thing.

Ask the Experts…

If you’re in any way concerned about your ability to tackle an exterior painting project in complete confidence, we’d be delighted to hear from you anytime. At Homm CPS, we provide a comprehensive range of flexible and affordable home painting services, tailored to meet the requirements and budgets of each customer we work with.

We’re out and about across the region throughout the summer, using only the highest-quality products to ensure a flawless result with every job we take on.  For more information or to book an obligation-free home visit, reach out to a member of the team at Homm CPS today.