When Is the Best Time to Paint?

Getting ready to paint your home’s exterior? Hold on! Make sure you choose the right time to paint to avoid poor curing and drying disasters. Read on for the details.

Painted House

Best Times to Paint Your House

  • Fall: Fall has two big advantages when it comes to painting around your house, especially outdoors. First, the Georgia summer heat has died down, and you won’t need to worry as much about the associated sun and humidity, which keeps exterior paints from drying properly. Second, the rainstorms and wet of winter haven’t quite struck yet. Dodging these two bullets is very important when applying a new coat and giving it enough time to set and dry properly.
  • Spring: Spring isn’t quite as ideal as fall, but if you find that the winter rains are already coming, you may want to delay a painting project until spring. Winter is not only too rainy for painting, but also frequently too cold, especially if the temperature drops close to freezing! Paint reacts badly to those conditions. Wait for the warmer, dryer days of spring: Exterior coats need a proper surface temperature to cure. Otherwise, they end up sagging or freezing in ugly brushstroke patterns.
  • Dry conditions: Ultimately, finding dry weather is important no matter what season you paint in. Nothing can ruin a still-wet coat of paint like a rain shower. Focus on weather conditions and predictions. If the weather is humid or very overcast, you may want to practice patience rather than risking a messy painting project that will need to be redone.
  • Any mild weather: If you really need to get a project done, look for a stretch of days where the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees, and there’s no sign of rain in the forecast. A slight breeze may help in cases of high humidity. On short notice, that’s the best you can hope for.

Paint Supplies

Paint and Siding

The best paints for siding offer elastomeric properties. Essentially, that means that the paint dries with inherent flexibility that will last over the years and prevent cracking. Look for exterior paints that have elastomeric ingredients. Depending on the type of siding you have, you may also want to buy or ask about paints and costs associated with vinyl, wood, metal, or other siding materials. The good news is that most siding can be painted with the right approach. When in doubt, take a look at the painting directions and see what the manufacturers recommend. It’s not necessarily tailored to the Georgia climate, but this advice is a good starting place.

Outdoor paint also comes with sheen options like flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss. Flat finishes tend to give the best results, particularly when it comes to older or rougher siding. Semi-gloss and gloss paints are used most often for trim work.

Finally, don’t paint on damaged siding. Replace or repair your siding before you start a painting project so all that work doesn’t go to waste!

Photo source: Flickr

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