As the temperatures drop it seems like people slow down on outside projects around their homes. There are a number of reasons for this change. Time consuming tasks like mowing and trimming do not have to be completed during the winter. Plants and weeds in gardens and flowerbeds often die off during the winter and minimize the amount of time that is necessary for maintenance. And the hours of daylight in the afternoon are shorter after the time change occurs. There are some outside tasks that do not need to be done – and should not be done – during the winter. You may be asking if exterior painting is one of those tasks that just should not be done in the winter. The answer is, it depends on the weather. If you are thinking of doing an outside paint project on your house you should consider how the temperature will affect the paint. There is a range of temperatures that is ideal for painting. Painting outside of that range can leave you with poor results.
Ideal temperature for painting
The ideal temperature range for painting can vary slightly depending on the paint you choose. The can or tub of paint you buy will have temperature recommendations written out on the packaging. In general, oil based paint can handle a more extreme variation in temperature than latex. Oil based paint can handle temperatures as low as 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface to be painted must not drop below that number for best results. Latex paint has a slightly different threshold – it needs a minimum temp of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you choose to paint below these temperatures you risk the quality of your paint job. Consult the instructions on the paint you purchase to ensure that you are following temperature guidelines.
Consequences of painting in the wrong temp
It can get too cold for paint. If you paint when the temperature is below the recommended level you risk the quality and longevity of your finished product. When the temperature is too cold it can prevent your paint from adhering properly to the exterior of your home. This can cause the paint job to look splotchy and streaky. In addition, you will likely find that the paint will start to peel and crack much sooner if you apply it in weather that is too cold.
How to ensure you paint at the correct temperature
There are two ways to ensure that you paint at the correct temperature when you have a project. The first is to carefully research (and follow) the recommendations and requirements of your paint. This can be a little tricky when you start to learn that you need to consider both ambient and surface temperature. The second option is to bring in professional help. A top-notch painting contractor will be able to determine when the temperature is appropriate for painting.
If you want to squeeze in a new exterior paint project this winter, you need to consider the temperature. Do not try and paint if the weather does not line up with the requirements of the paint – you will pay for that later. If you need help determining if you can get a paint project started, reach out to the pros at D&D Painting.