Many times we are asked “What are the best weather conditions for exterior painting”?  Our answers probably won’t be surprising but some of the explanations may be helpful.

Weather plays an important role in exterior painting.  It’s a good idea to pay attention to the weather when using any kind of exterior paint.  However, we will be specifically discussing acrylic latex paint in this article. 

It will come as no surprise that weather can drastically affect the outcome of your exterior paint.  The best weather conditions for exterior painting are those with mild temperatures (between 50°- 90°F), low humidity, and little wind.  

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Cold Weather

Cold temperatures below 32°F can be detrimental to the outcome of your paint.  Paint manufacturers have specific guidelines on the paint can, but there is a standard practice among good painting companies.  Reputable painters will warn against painting in freezing temperatures.  Exterior painting that occurs in temperatures colder than recommended by manufacturers can result in paint failure.  In freezing temperatures the paint is susceptible to issues with adhesion, cracking, and peeling.

Some paints today are advertised as being specially formulated to use in temperatures as low as 35°F.  While these special formulas can work in colder temperatures, 35°F still isn’t considered one of the best weather conditions for exterior painting.  What isn’t widely known by most consumers is that the surface temperatures must adhere to the 35°F rule as well.  Both the air and surface temperatures must remain above 35°F during, and for at least 36 hours after application for proper curing.  Due to the risk of poor outcome most painters will not paint during the cold winter months.

Humidity

The next consideration for best weather conditions for exterior painting is humidity.  If humidity is high (greater than 60%) the moisture in the air can affect the protective qualities of the paint.  Weeping, or surfactant leaching can occur in acrylic paints. Humidity can also cause adhesion issues, peeling, and other paint failures.

Surfactant leaching is caused when the paint dries too slowly due to poor drying conditions like high humidity.  Surfactant is a compound in the paint that helps to separate and stabilize pigments.  High humidity can cause this compound to rise to the surface of the paint film and cause a sticky residue.  Typically leaching can be washed away easily.  However, it’s much easier to avoid the situation by just working in the best weather conditions for exterior painting.

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Wind

In addition to temperature and humidity, wind is another deterrent for exterior painting.  High winds can cause problems and isn’t one of the best weather conditions for exterior painting.  The paint can collect contaminants from blowing dust and other particles that can ruin your paint job.  Further, the wind can cause the acrylic latex paint to dry too quickly.  This can result in poor film formation.  Acrylic paint is a water-based coating.  When it is applied to the surface, the water evaporates during drying which creates a uniform film.  This film is what creates a good protective paint.  

The best advice for weather questions relating to exterior paint is to ask your professional painter.  They will be able to explain the best weather conditions for exterior painting in your specific climate.

Contact Paint Pals for a free no obligation painting estimate. We have been serving Northern Colorado since 2009 with many happy clients!

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