What is the Best Weather for Painting Outdoors?

It’s that time of year again when attention instinctively turns to long-overdue exterior painting projects. Whether planning on giving your entire home a fresh lick of paint or simply sprucing up your shed, there’s no better time than right now to get to it.

That said, the spring months have a tendency to bring the kind of unpredictable weather conditions that can be tricky to negotiate. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that some exterior painting conditions are better than others.

But when it comes to optimum weather conditions for painting outdoors, when’s the best time to get to work on your exteriors?

What is the Best Weather for Painting Outdoors?

In What Temperatures Can You Paint Outside?

There are two main factors that will influence the appropriateness of painting outdoors at any given time. The first of which is the temperature, as all types of paints are designed to work within specific temperature ranges.

It’s often assumed that the best time to paint is when it’s as warm as it’s likely to get. In reality, this simply isn’t the case at all. If it’s blisteringly hot or you’re painting in direct sun, the paint isn’t going to adhere as well as it might. Nor will you be looking at flawlessly smooth and even finish to be proud of.

Instead, the general range to be aiming for is an outdoor temperature between 60° F and 85° F. This is a fairly broad temperature range, which paves the way for successful exterior painting throughout the spring season.

Where possible, aim to paint on a slightly overcast or hazy day, when it’s nice and warm but not too hot. A gentle breeze can also help paint cure faster, but avoid days when it’s blowing a gale and blasting your home with debris.

What’s the Ideal Humidity Level for Painting?

Just as important as the temperature outdoors is the ambient humidity at the time. It’s important to remember that the curing process that takes place after applying paint primarily concerns the evaporation of moisture from the wet paint.

Consequently, if the ambient humidity in the area at the time is too high, it’s going to be difficult or impossible for the paint to cure. You should therefore attempt to time your exterior painting projects for days when ambient humidity levels are between 40% and 70%.

Attempting to paint when humidity levels are too high is almost always a recipe for disaster. The paint will not adhere to the surface as well as it might, and is far more likely to blister, bubble, crack and peel further down the line.

A pretty painful price to pay, simply for rushing to get the job done when the weather wasn’t at its best.

What About Rain?

Of course, avoiding exterior painting projects entirely on rainy days is also essential. But what’s also worth bearing in mind is how long it can take exterior surfaces to fully dry following a bout of bad weather.

Attempting to paint a surface that isn’t comprehensively dry will only ever result in a disappointing finish. It’s generally advised to give exterior surfaces at least eight hours to dry after it rains, but we personally recommend waiting at least 24 hours to be sure.

Again, it’s a case of holding out a little longer today to save yourself a major headache tomorrow.

How Long Does Exterior Paint Take to Dry?

As for paint drying times, it depends entirely on the type of paint you’re using and the surface material you’re a painting. Latex paints, for example, are usually dry enough within 4 hours for a second coat to be applied. With oil-based paints, you’ll need to wait a minimum of 24 hours before moving on to the next coat.

The manufacturer’s guidelines on the packaging will give you a good idea as to how long you need to wait between coats. Though just to be sure, we advise leaving things a little longer – particularly if humidity levels are any higher than 70%.

Call Anytime for a Quote…

At Homm CPS, we offer a comprehensive range of exterior home painting services at competitive prices. If you’d prefer to have your exteriors painted quickly and affordably by a trusted local contractor, we’d be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free quotation.

Call anytime for a chat with the team at Homm CPS, or get in touch by e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.