Painting the exterior of your house is an easy path to a total makeover for the entire property. But it's not always a good time of year to get that paint makeover. How can you choose the right time? And what can you do if it's the wrong time? Here are a few answers.
The Best Time to Paint
For paint to dry properly, it needs even temperatures and dry days. Ideally, temperatures shouldn't drop below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But they also shouldn't rise above about 90 degrees either. The less the temperature swings wildly, the faster and more even the paint will bind and dry. Remember that paint needs more than a few hours to fully dry, though. So you don't want to get started if rain, freezing temperatures, or a heat wave is forecast the following day or two.
Because of this need to be consistent and warm, the best season for house painting is late spring or early summer. Wait until spring rains have passed, but paint before the highs of summer hit.
Acceptable Times to Paint
What if you can't get the job done at the ideal time of year? The good news is that modern paint technology allows paint to work in harsher temperatures than before. Good quality latex paint may be able to dry properly in temperatures down to 35 or 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This opens up the option of painting exteriors into the fall and early winter in most areas of the country.
Although the temperatures may allow for painting earlier in the spring, the possibility of monsoons or drizzly weather may cause moisture or humidity problems.
What to Do if You Can't Paint
Even though house painting season now extends beyond the traditional parameters, you can paint in most parts of the U.S. all year long. What can you do if your home needs an immediate makeover and you simply can't wait until the dry, warm season? Try updating other exterior features to spruce up the appearance.
You can get a lot of mileage from repainting the front door, for instance — and you can take the door inside where the environment is more conducive to painting. Bring in a few fresh colors, like new rugs, replaced hardware, and evergreen plants. Updating an old garage door also does a lot for the home's appearance. Or consider doing a mini-makeover by updating the house's trim, which requires much less time to dry solidly due to small amounts of paint used.
Ready to update your home's exterior? No matter what time of year, you can give it fresh color and a new life.