Category Archives: Painting exteriors? Watch the weather

Summer’s Here

With summer weather there are some special precautions to take.  It is a common belief that paint that dries faster is better.  This is not the case.  Paint that dries too fast does not adhere as well,  The best painting temperature is below 85°.  When the temperature gets above 85° the paint dries too fast and does not have time to stick to the substrate.

So, a few simple rules:

  • Paint Early.  Start painting as soon as the surface is dry.
  • Stop painting as soon as the temperature starts flirting with 85°.  I’ve heard it said that if it’s too warm for you it’s too warm for the paint.  You should embrace this rule and use it as an excuse to get a cool drink, sit down and watch a baseball game.  If the person who wants the job done complains refer them to this blog and say there’s nothing you can do about the weather.
  • Start on the south side of the house and let the sun chase you around the house.  South side to west side to north side to the east side.  This way the only time you are painting a sunny side is in the morning before the surface has had a chance to get too warm.  The surface temperature of a wall in direct sun on an 80° day can reach 120°.  I once went out to a job where a guy was painting a south wall in the middle of a 90° day and watched the paint start peeling before he had finished painting the wall.  I never could convince the guy that it wasn’t a paint failure.

A few other things to remember.  You should wash your house before you start painting and you should give it some time to dry.  This is extremely important if you have bare wood.  I like to recommend a week before priming the bare wood but if the temperatures are warm and humidity is down you can cut that to three days if your priming with Seal Grip Latex Primer.  If you are priming with an alkyd primer you should err on the conservative side and give it some extra time.

Remember, your successful paint job is our best advertisement.  When you’re done with your house we don’t want to see you again for exterior paint for a decade or more.  We do want to see your friends and neighbors after you tell them about Salem Paint Company and the quality products and advise that you received here.

Craig