Finding the Right Temperature to Paint Outside

men painting the outside of a house

As most people know, painting in the winter and cooler months is a big no-no. Once the temperature gets too low, we have to put off our outdoor painting projects until the next spring or summer. So now, as we enjoy the warm weather of summer, a question is raised. Can it also get too hot for exterior painting? In other words, what is the right temperature to paint outside?
Hirshfield's provides high quality exterior paint.

Timing is Everything

Here is what our experts at Hirshfield’s suggest for the best time to take on an exterior paint job.

  • An overall general rule of thumb is that oil-based paint can be applied when the temperatures are between 40°- 90° F and latex paint is best applied between 50°- 85° F. However, latex paints are best for most exteriors (we recommend 100% acrylic).
  • Ideally, choose a day to paint your exterior with temperatures ranging from 60° to around 85°F with little to no wind. Too much wind can cause the paint to dry too quickly.
  • 40% to 70% humidity is the perfect range to ensure that the paint dries properly.
  • If the temperatures are too high or too low, your paint may not bind together correctly which can lead to unwelcome cracking and peeling. Latex paint can also be difficult to apply at high temperatures because sometimes the heat will cause it to dry out too soon.
  • In the hot and humid summer months, it is suggested that painters begin painting on the shady side of a house and working around the home to avoid the glare of the sun. This is an added bonus because it also keeps painters out of the blazing heat!


The summer months are truly ideal when considering home renovations, but often procrastination can set in and the summer will be over before renovators have even stepped a foot inside of a Hirshfield’s store. If that’s the case, make sure to finish all exterior painting before the bitter cold sets in and it’s too late.

Concerns for Cool Weather

Hirshfield’s Paint Manufacturing has a complete line of premium 100% acrylic latex paints and primers that have been specially formulated to be used in temperatures as low as 35°F. But take note that in order for the paint to properly dry and cure, the air and surface temperatures should not drop below 35° for 36 hours after application. However, to stay on the safe side and avoid any unwanted speed bumps, Hirshfield’s expert Mark Masica suggests painting in no less than 50°F weather. Masica also recommends painting from 10a.m.-3p.m. to achieve maximum results.

Keep in mind that lower temperatures mean slower drying and longer curing times, which means be patient. Allow ample time between coats, generally 24-hours. That tip is especially critical when you’re painting with darker colors, which have more colorant, or when applying a latex paint over an alkyd primer.

Remember the Rain

Regardless of temperature, remember that rain can (and will) cause issues with exterior paint. “If rain is expected in the next 4-8 hours I tend to hold off,” says Mike Adochio,  Hirshfield’s Architectural Rep. “It is more important that the area is dry before you paint than after to assure that you will get a good bond,” Mike says, but you still need 4-8 hours of dry weather after the paint is applied.

You can also check the label on your paint can for additional information or talk to your local Hirshfield’s paint expert. Hirshfield’s does offer a wide selection of paint for your exterior painting projects.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

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