Painting Temperature: How the Weather Can Affect Your Paintjob

  • admin
  • February 6, 2018

Putting together an efficient plan for a paintjob takes a lot of mental tallying. You need to assemble a good crew, invest in quality materials and tools, and tour the premises and predict the expenses to come up with a reasonable, yet profitable bid.


Not only that, there are environmental factors to consider, the chief one among them being painting temperature and weather.


Even the best technical paintjobs can lose their luster due to unfavorable weather conditions.


Too hot and the paint may dry too fast, which can lead to chips and cracks. Too cold and the paint may dry too slowly, which can lead to blisters and peels. To ensure a perfect paint job, it’s vital to work in ideal painting weather conditions.

But what are the ideal temperatures for painting? When is it too hot? When is it too cold? What other weather conditions besides temperature can adversely affect your painting job? Read on to learn the answers to all of these questions and more.


Ideal Painting Temperature

The best time to paint is when temperatures range between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Painting labels will tell you differently, recommending temperatures between 50 and 90 F. However, surface temperatures can be 10 to 20 degrees higher than the air temperature (unless there’s shade in which case the opposite may apply), so if you want to ensure successful adhesion, stick to the 60-85 F range.


When Is It Too Cold to Paint?

When the painting temperature is too cold, the paint can’t cure properly because it takes longer to dry. Improper curing makes paint susceptible to not only dirt, insects, and other debris, but also peeling, bubbling, cracking, and chipping. It also shortens the life expectancy of paint, and the moisture can result in mildew growth.


The threshold for too-cold temperature varies depending on the type of paint. If you’re working with oil-based paints, don’t work in temperatures lower than 40 F. For latex or water-based paints, don’t go lower than 50 F.


When Is It Too Hot to Paint?

Excessive heat is bad for painting because rapid drying can cause paint to bubble and blister. Try not to paint in temperatures over 90 F.


If you live in a hot region and can’t avoid scorching temperatures, it’s still possible to avoid blisters and bubbling. Just paint around the sun—in other words, paint in the shade so the surface stays reasonably cool. Here are some tips:


  • It’s usually safe to paint the north side at any time of the day.
  • Paint the east side in the late morning.
  • Reserve mid-afternoon hours for the south side.
  • Save the west side for last, when late afternoon hits.


Try to keep painting to daylight hours. If the paint doesn’t dry before night, cooler temperatures can cause dew to form, which is less than ideal.


Additional Considerations

Other bad painting weather conditions include wind, rain, and excessive humidity. Wind can wreak havoc on your paint project by causing the paint to dry too rapidly or blowing dirt and other debris onto the surface.


Rain and high humidity can slow down the drying process, which can lead to improper curing and other issues.


Ideally, you should paint in low humidity, mild temperatures, and little to no wind. However, there will be times where you’ll have no choice but to paint in less than favorable conditions. In such cases, you can use the following tips to weather the elements:


  • When painting in humid conditions, allow the last coat to dry thoroughly before starting your next coat, however much time it takes.
  • Always open the window when painting inside, even if it’s cold. Paint dries much more slowly in an enclosed room. You can also crank the heat and turn on a fan for better curing.
  • Choose the right roller and brush depending on the temperature and paint consistency.
  • In cold weather, set up scaffolding, wrap everything, and heat the area.
  • A good bonding primer will help you in any weather.


By knowing when and when not to paint, and what conditions are ideal for a great paintjob, you’ll be able to produce better results and increase your paint sales.


For more tips on how to run a successful painting business, it is highly recommended that you check out Painting Business Pro. This site contains informative articles and videos on every aspect of the painting business, from sales and marketing to production and profitability.

They also offer a comprehensive professional painters program that gives you all the knowledge you need to take your painting company to the next level.

Share this article :