Ideal Temperatures for Exterior Paint Jobs

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Painting the exterior of your home is one of those tasks that is sometimes put off for an extended period of time. Between uncooperative weather and motivation on the fritz, house painting is not always something we are able to get excited about doing. It is a big, messy, and time consuming chore which is easy to put off, but if you do, the end result is an eyesore that you wish you had remedied long ago.

Depending on where you live, painting outdoors can be somewhat of a seasonal job. For one thing, your body will object to painting when it is too hot or too cold. That puts the peaks of winter and summer on the list of inopportune times to paint due to the conditions you would have to endure while doing so at those times. While it may seem like only your own temperature objections are capable of reducing the number of days each year that you are willing and able to paint, there is more to it that just your feelings on the matter. In fact, paint itself needs to be applied in an ideal temperature range.


Extreme heat and cold are the enemies of a good exterior paint job. If the weather is not cooperating when you undertake such a project, rest assured the paint will not cooperate either. The binding ability between paint and the surface to which it is applied can be affected by very high or very low surfaces, resulting in paint that does not adhere properly and cracks or peels prematurely. Temperatures that are too high may cause paint to dry too quickly, making the brushing process difficult and the results of your efforts not uniform or smooth.

To avoid weather related paint problems, there are a few steps you can take. First of all, read the manufacturer's recommendations on ideal temperatures for applications. These will vary amongst types of paint and brands, but a good general rule is that latex paint should be applied between 50- 85 Fahrenheit while oil is best used between 40- 90 Fahrenheit. Aside from temperatures, you also must contend with humidity. Too much or too little humidity can make things difficult as well, so in addition to considering the temperature range for your paint choice, it is wise to stay within 40-70% humidity.


With good weather and humidity lined up, all there is left to do is go outside and paint! Be sure to move around your house in accordance with the positioning of the sun to avoid painting in direct sunlight whenever possible. Surfaces in the line of the sun's rays are going to be warmer than the air temperature and that temperature increase can bump you out of range so try to stay in the shade. By working within the ideal temperature range for your paint selection, you will have a freshly painted house before you know it, albeit with the possibility of a little sweat on your brow.

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