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 ideal temperature depends on what type of paint you use.
We recommend 100% acrylic paint for most exteriors, and these 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).
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. Humidity causes condensation, which affects adhesion, which can result in streaks or faded spots.
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
And if you have additional questions about painting conditions, ask the experts in our paint department. They love to help!
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.