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Spring Painting: Watch The Weather

Spring can be a great time to paint your home or building exterior, but it does require careful planning. Multiple issues from humidity and temperature to pollen can wreak havoc on your project. If you've decided there's a project you want to accomplish this spring, here are a few general guidelines to help insure success.

exterior of house painted in spring

Outside Temperatures

The temperature outside can play a major role in whether or not your paint dries correctly. The temperature outside will determine what type of paint should be used. These guidelines do vary by manufacturer, so be sure to check the instructions on any paint you choose. However, there are a few general rules to follow.

  • Water-based paint: According to Consumer Reports, this type of paint shouldn't be applied unless the temperature is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to also keep an eye on the overnight weather. Water based paint will require several days to cure and if the temperature drops below 32 degrees, dew can form on the surface and cause the water in the paint to evaporate too slowly.
  • Oil-based paint: Oil based paint should be applied when outside temperatures are between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure that the temperature stays within this range for at least 48 hours.
  • Latex-based paint: Latex paint should be applied when temperatures are between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure the weather stays within this range until it's completely dry or you risk problems like blistering, peeling, and other defects.

Air Humidity

Optimal humidity levels for outdoor painting are between 40 and 50 percent. Of course, this is just a general guideline, and it does vary depending on manufacturer. Always check the label on any paint you purchase to find optimal humidity and air temperatures. Painting when the humidity is too high can lead to improper drying and defects in the surface texture.


Obviously, it's not a good idea to paint when it's pouring outside. But also keep in mind that even if you paint while it's sunny, it can rain as soon as you’re finished. You'll need to check drying times with the manufacturer and make sure the weather forecast gives you plenty of time for the paint to dry before the rain clouds appear. Otherwise, the rain can wash away some of the paint, causing a thin or uneven texture. The type of paint you choose will affect drying times. Latex paint dries the quickest, some as fast as two hours, while oil-based paint can take around 24 hours.


Something you may not have considered when planning your spring project is the pollen count. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you could be quite miserable trying to paint with a runny, stuffy nose and watery eyes. Check local pollen counts to plan painting and also take good allergy medication. With a little extra planning, you'll be more able to complete your project.

The general rule with the above points is to check with your paint's manufacturer. A painting professional can also guide you through the process and ensure that you have a quality and beautiful exterior when you're done. Contact us at Major Painting Company with any questions or help with your next painting project.

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