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When is it Too Hot to Paint Outside?

exterior painting hirshfield's

Painting an exterior in the summer

When temperatures reach the 80’s or higher, you might not even be tempted to leave the air-conditioned confines of your home or workplace, let alone work on house projects outside.
But these high temps beg a pretty common question — how hot is too hot for painting the exterior of your home?

The ideal temperature depends on what type of paint you use.

Latex paints work best when applied in temperatures between 50° and 85° Fahrenheit. However, if you decide to use oil-based paint, their ideal range is slightly broader — 40° to 90° Fahrenheit.

High temperatures bake paints.

At best, a too-high temp will cause the paint to dry too fast. With too hot of a surface, the paint never gets a chance to adhere and possibly leaving you with a cracked, peeled, or blistered exterior (below).

blistering-paint

But Midwesterners know that temperature isn’t everything when it comes to working conditions! When painting the exterior of your home, you also have to consider precipitation, humidity, and wind speed.

Don’t work in wet or humid conditions.

You probably know that you shouldn’t apply fresh paint during, before, or after rain — but did you know that high humidity can lead to almost as many issues? The paint wants to dry but it can’t dry. If the humidity is high then condensation can form on surfaces in the late evening or overnight. This can cause streaks, fading, or poor adhesion to the surface.

If the humidity is high then condensation can form on surfaces in the late evening or overnight.  This can cause streaks, fading, or poor adhesion to the surface. If it’s too hot with low humidity, or too hot with high humidity, you can have application issues. Uncertain? Pick up the phone and call your local Hirshfield’s paint expert!

The wind is no friend to paint.

Windy conditions blow debris into your paint and can lead to uneven drying. If the wind is blowing more than 15 miles per hour, it might even blow you off your ladder! The best wind speed for painting is anything under 8 mph — which is basically a gentle breeze.

Consult weather forecasts before scheduling time to paint.

Check your forecast for:

  • Temperatures between 50° and 85° Fahrenheit
  • Mild humidity between 40 and 70%
  • A stretch of time that will avoid precipitation – 24 hours before and after application

If you’re looking for a reliable weather report resource, forecast.io aggregates several different predictions together to give the most likely weather possibility.

Consider the house and the painter.

For best results, paint opposite the sun. Painting between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a mild day will:

  • Ensure you have plenty of light to see what you’re painting
  • Let the house dry off any morning condensation
  • Give the exterior time to warm to the right temperature
  • Allow the paint to dry before the cool night comes

Always make sure to 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, including Hirshfield’s House Coat, Hirshfield’s Platinum Exterior and Select 1000.

Hirshfield’s is your local Minneapolis-St. Paul paint retailer. The experts at Hirshfield’s are here to help you with everything from window-treatments to paint colors. Hirshfield’s manufactures paint right here in Minneapolis.

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