D.C. Area Painting Questions: What Is the Best Weather for Exterior House Painting?
We can take it as a given that no one is going to be doing exterior painting during a thunderstorm or on a snow day. Setting those to one side, what weather conditions are appropriate for exterior house painting here in the Washington, D.C. area? What are the temperature considerations or ideal moisture levels to keep in mind? How do you decide when to paint your home exterior?
Just like in most areas of life, there is a spectrum of options for this. There are ideal conditions you can wait for, but then there are also acceptable conditions that work fine. Of course, there are also unacceptable conditions to avoid when performing exterior painting. Let's take a look!
Temperature and Exterior House Painting
Most exterior paints are designed to be applied when the exterior temperature is above 50 degrees. However, don't just wait until the outdoor thermometer reaches that temperature. For best results, the surface you will paint should also have time to warm up to that same number.
If you need to paint when it is colder, ask your paint store employees about low temperature exterior paints. These special paints are formulated to cure when the weather is colder.
On the other end of the range, you probably do not want to be using latex exterior house paint when it is above 85 degrees outside. This type of heat causes the paint to dry too quickly, and it does not cure like it should.
For northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland, this means that we do most of our exterior painting between April and September.
Is Direct Sun OK for Exterior Painting?
On a mildly warm day, it is fine to paint a wall that is in direct sun. However, if the mercury is reading anywhere near that 85 degree cutoff, direct sunlight can intensify the issue and cause a problem.
The best way to avoid this issue is to plan your exterior house painting in a way that accounts for the sun's movement. Here in our service area (Maryland, northern Virginia, Washington, D.C.), the south and east sides of our homes receive the earlier daylight, while the north and west sides are lit up later in the day. Paint on the shady side of your home, and you will do fine!
How Does Rain or Humidity Affect Exterior Painting?
A wet surface simply cannot be painted, so if your have had recent rain, heavy dew, or a sprinkler that splashed the wall, you need to wait for the surface to be thoroughly dry before you paint.
If at all possible, plan your exterior painting for a time when the walls will have 24 hours (or more) to cure before any rain in the forecast. This will also help ensure good results.
Humidity can also be a complicating factor in exterior painting. Your house paint will cure best when the outdoor humidity is between 40 and 70%.
What If I Can't Get Ideal Exterior Painting Conditions?
Sometimes an exterior painting project is urgent, and the weather just is not cooperating. It is possible to do your house painting when the humidity is a little too high, the weather is a bit too hot, or rain is forecast sooner than 24 hours. Pushing one or two of these limits a little bit can be OK. However, if you are stretching all three of the factors, or you stretch one of them too far, your project could end in disaster!
Williams Professional Painting
The best way to ensure beautiful, durable results from your exterior painting is by hiring a professional house painter. This is because...
- A local house painter knows the weather patterns in your area, and is experienced in knowing what conditions are acceptable or not
- A professional exterior painter can get the job done far quicker, which means you can take advantage of a short window of suitable weather
- Experienced professionals know what products to use, how to prepare the surfaces, and the best exterior house painting methods
Williams Professional Painting has been operating in the Washington, D.C. region for over 40 years, earning a consistent reputation for exceptional painting and dedicated customer service. Besides exterior painting, we also offer carpentry, molding installation, interior painting, kitchen cabinet painting, popcorn ceiling removal, and much more.