Too Hot to Paint Outside A Homes Exterior
Trying to figure out if surface is too hot to paint outside on your home's exterior surfaces is a very common question for DIY'ers. Having been asked this 1000's of times. This article will go into our techniques, which works best.
This is especially true during extreme heat, closest to the Sun, here in Denver, Colorado, being here in the Mile High City.
As most paint manufactures recommend applying 100% Acrylic Exterior Paint on a surface temperature ranging anywhere from 35 to 90 degrees. However surface temps can be much different than the ambient thermometer you may see, staring at the mercury.
It is vitally important you follow paint manufactures recommendations, since they have spent millions, researching, testing, and developing actual paint you are ready to use.
Product label warranties are in place to ensure your paint coating will supersede what is expected, if you follow application recommendations. Each paint manufacture employs scientist, technicians, and lab workers conducting multiple tests in every climate setting imaginable. So there you go, if you wish not following what is recommended, the paint job is on your own nickel.
Painting homes and businesses well over forty years, we follow the steps listed below, when painting during the middle of Summer, baking in the hottest portions of the day. Rarely do we ever wonder if it's too hot to paint outside, a homes exterior, taking safety precautions before hand, with personal protection equipment, (PPE).
Having painted many years ago in the Deep East Texas, where you can literately fry eggs on the sidewalks. Understanding this, you will want to follow the following suggestions, making sure your paint does not appear over-easy in a fry-pan, with no hint of bacon.
Our Plan Of Action Painting On The Hottest of Days
Over the years we have developed a plan of action, painting during the hottest days of the year, as our safety is the number 1 priority. This insures the safety for our painters, laborers most of all, second to the new paint coating itself.
We wake up before the crack of dawn, normally around 5:30am, getting all set up, getting ready for the Sun to rise. Starting on the West side first, still being cool through the night, many times our painters spray the siding on the East side after the noon hour, thereby staying out of direct Sun.
Having the North and South sides to finish up painting during this time. Depending on trees, and vegetation, any large sweeping sides may be accomplished any time during this time, ideally out of direct Sun's rays.
Painters Safety Gear For Extreme Heat
Our painters safety gear with steps during extreme heat is different than other months. Knowing the Sun rises in the East, sets in the West, we tend to stay out of the Sun's rays as much as we can throughout the day. We make sure an ample supply of cold water on hand, Sunscreen, painters hats, pants, long sleeve tees, bandanas, and safety sunglasses.
This goes without saying, you do not want to wear flip-flops, thongs, or shoes where your toes are exposed in any construction setting. You always want the correct safety equipment, and in painting, painters wear steel toed safety boots, as in any industrial, commercial setting, from building trades to the oil field.
Painter's Safety Gear During Outside On Hottest Days
- Cold water
- Dust mask
- Work gloves
- Steel toe safety boots
- Safety Sunglasses
- Bandanas, sweat bands
- Painter's large brim hats
- Steel Toe Safety Boots
- Painters pants, long sleeved tee shirts
A good rule of thumb when painting outside during the heat of the day is drink plenty of water, regularly. Do not get in a hurry, over exerting yourself. Start at the top of your home, working down. If you feel light headed, loose feeling in any parts of your body, Stop! and get some rest under the nearest shade tree.
Safety of Your New Paint Coating During Extreme Heat
It is imperative you take steps to insure the safety of your new paint coating outside during the hottest of days. Each home is laid out differently, but if you are not sure which direction your home is facing, good to use a compass. If you can complete the majority of painting on the West side before High Noon, it's OK to start on this side. Giving yourself enough time to spray out the East before the afternoon Sun's heat.
Reason staying out of the Sun's rays, is two-fold. Not only it can be uncomfortable painting in extreme heat, the substrate can be approximately 10-15 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature. If it is 95 degrees out, and you are in direct Sunlight, the surface could very well be over 110.
Many tools available helping paint during blistering heat of the Summer, the Klein Dual Laser Infrared Thermometer is one of our favorites, it is very accurate, and easy to operate.
Actually you'll probably have more fun testing siding temperatures, than actually painting your home. Sells for around $50.00, but very well worth, considering the cost of your exterior paint.
Allowing the exterior paint coating to dry properly, we see it cures, drys to touch normally 10-15 minutes in the shade at 90 degrees. If it drys any quicker, stop! You will not want to be scraping paint back off, like cottage cheese. Therefore, paint in the shade during extreme heat, as your paint will love you for it too!
- Do not paint in direct Sunlight in the hottest portion of the day
- Try painting in the shade, where trees may shade you and the exterior surface
- Get up before the crack of dawn, getting a jump start on the cooler temperatures
- Do not get in a hurry, trying to finish the job, painting when the surface is too hot
- Wanting exterior paint to dry to touch within 10-15 minutes, not any quicker
Hope this helps when painting during the hottest portion of the season, determining if it is too hot to paint your exterior. If you are like many, who tell their wives, "I read it on the internet, and it's too hot for me to paint the exterior", this article should help.
Hope you enjoy your more leisure time fishing, golfing, or just hanging out at the local lunch spot with buddies, watching multiple TV's and sporting events. "Yea, got my painters painting my home today, hotter than a pot stove". Now keep in mind, there is a time when it is too cold to paint, having written an article on that to cover both extremes, and should help you as well.
Final Note Painting Outside During Hot Temperatures
Above all, be safe while painting outside during the heat of the day. Wanting your exterior paint to properly dry, not as if you put it in a microwave, drying in seconds! Ideally, it is best to allow your paint to try drying the longest during the Summer months, on the shady side of your home before direct Sunlight.
Knowing there is temperatures too hot to paint outside, as well as too cold, you might consider hiring a reputable painting contractor handling all these concerns for you. This can allow you taking time off with the family. Plan a trip to the Caribbeans in the Winter months, or a trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the heat of the Summer, while your home is being painted.
Would like to hear your comments below, and if you are in the Denver area, and it's just too hot for you to paint, give us a call, more than happy giving you a free paint cost estimate, our painters in Denver, tackling exteriors of all shapes & sizes, with yours included!
There’s nothing like a bit of humidity to make painting work a challenge. For painters, high humidity can cause issues with the drying and curing times of the materials you use. This isn’t an issue if you’re working indoors in a climate-controlled environment, but it can be a major pain in most other situations. If you aren’t careful, all your hard work could be wasted on a humid day.
This doesn’t mean that you have to shut everything down once humidity starts rising, of course. While extreme humidity can cause work delays in some cases, it’s often possible to work on humid days without having the humidity ruin your applications.
Why Humidity Affects Paint and Adhesives
Most people know that humidity can ruin a paint job. There are even warnings on the cans of most paints and adhesives letting you know that high humidity will give you problems. However, it’s possible that your crew (and that could possibly include even you) isn’t aware of just why humidity’s a problem. As with most things, understanding a problem is the first step toward overcoming it.
Paints and adhesives typically contain solvents in addition to the water or oil that acts as a base. This is what cures your paint or adhesive. Under normal humidity, the water or oil in the paint evaporates at about the same rate as the solvent; this gives you the nice smooth finish you want in your finished product.
High humidity affects the evaporation rate, resulting in curing going faster than evaporation. This leaves water or oil behind in your finished product, which at best causes early flaking and at worst creates an awful mess.
Choosing the Right Materials
Some materials handle high-humidity application better than others. Choosing a faster-drying paint or fast-set adhesive makes a big difference when the humidity is high since it’s designed to dry out quicker than the materials you’d normally use.
This means you have to be more careful with your application, of course; fast-dry paints and other materials get tacky much quicker, so you don’t have nearly as much time for correction. Spray application and thin coats can save you a lot of problems here, since there’s less chance of accidentally introducing unwanted texture during application.
Get an Early Start
During the summer, humidity often increases as temperatures rise. This means the humidity is typically lower during the early part of the day and higher in the afternoon. If you’ve got work to finish, take advantage of this by doing as much of your onsite work as possible during the morning hours while the humidity is lower. Reserve the afternoon for indoor work in climate-controlled locations and things like paperwork, job bids and supply runs.
Be sure to keep morning dew in consideration, however. Starting too early might mean that you’re working with damp materials, which just add more water to the mix and take you right back to the drying problems you have when humidity is high. Worse yet, if things are too wet then you could end up with bubbles or materials that your paint or adhesives just won’t bond to.
Improve Air Flow
If your situation allows for it, you can speed up drying by using fans to increase air flow over your drying paint. While this isn’t practical in all situations, there are some scenarios where you can add to your airflow in humid environments. The increased airflow speeds up the evaporation process, helping it to catch up with curing and ensuring that excess moisture isn’t left in your paint.
Watch the Humidity
In the end, one of the best ways to avoid issues with high humidity is to keep an eye on the humidity and avoid working in environments that are too humid. Humidity up to 70 percent is fine to work in and environments with 80 to 85 percent humidity are usually fine with precautions.
If the humidity goes above 85 percent, though, you’re going to have a hard time, no matter what you do. To avoid potentially serious complications, pack things in and come back in the morning if the humidity hits that point.
Which month is worst for high humidity in your area? How do you compensate for it?
A. The usual recommended temperature range for latex paints, the type used most often, is 50° F to 90° F, says Rico de Paz, our paint expert. That’s mainly for exterior painting; indoor temperatures are usually well within those limits. Just avoid the high end of the spectrum because the temperature of the surface you’re painting may be higher than the air around it.
For example, on a summer day the air could be 85° F, but the sun beating down on a house all day could raise the wall temperature above 100° F.
When the surface or the air is too hot, paint dries too quickly, so it may not cover well or allow the brush marks to smooth out. And if it’s too cold, the paint may be too thick to spread or even out, or it may not adhere well.
Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Wait for temperate weather. Don’t paint on hot days, in the rain, or during windy or dusty weather. Ideal temperatures for painting are between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot weather causes the paint to dry too quickly, as does direct sun. When possible, follow the shade.