When Can Exterior Painting Start after the Winter?

Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Saturday, April 07, 2018

Like golfing, grilling and gardening, many activities slow down or stop in the wintertime. Exterior painting is no exception to this, even though our winters here in Portland are fairly mild. Is it that painters are simply averse to being outside in poor weather? Not at all! Rather than the painter’s comfort, the real question is how the weather affects the exterior paint’s appearance and longevity.

For exterior paint to live up to its intended performance, it requires certain conditions during its application process: dry skies and mild temperatures. And as every Portland resident knows, those two requirements rarely occur at the same time during the winter!

Dry Skies for Exterior Painting

To paint the exterior of a home, the surface must be thoroughly dry before the painting starts. Even if there is no water dripping on the surface, many siding materials can absorb moisture out of the air, which will try to seep out again. This can wreak havoc on a new paint job, causing premature paint failure. For this reason, exterior painting should not happen immediately after a very wet period. It’s best to give it a day (or more) to dry out if possible.

It is also not a good idea to paint while rain is falling. It will cause unsightly splatters and runs, creating a disaster that will be difficult to fix.

Finally, when an exterior paint job is complete, it is ideal if the new surface has a day to dry and cure before the next rain falls.  In other words, you need at least one dry day before and after your exterior painting project to ensure best results.

Mild Temperatures Are Good for Exterior Paint

Most premium exterior house paints require a minimum temperature of 50° (f) for optimal adhesion and performance. This doesn’t just mean the air temperature must be above 50 degrees, but also the surface you are painting. Also, the painting should not be done if the temperature is likely to get significantly below that level during the following night.

There are some paints being produced now which can cure at lower temperatures, so if you would like exterior painting done earlier in the season, talk to your painting company about low-temperature paints.

The Bottom Line: When Can We Start Exterior Painting?

Our average daytime temperatures here in Portland creep above 50 degrees in March, but they don’t typically stay high enough for exterior painting until April. In addition, the rainfall in March makes it unlikely to be a good time for exterior painting, though it is possible.

At Sundeleaf Painting, our exterior painting season typically begins in April and really picks up in May. It gives us one more reason to look forward to the end of our wet Portland winters!

Premium Exterior Painting in the Portland Area

If your home needs some exterior painting after the winter, Sundeleaf Painting would be delighted to serve you. We offer high-end painting services for discerning clients here in Portland and in Vancouver, Washington. Besides exterior painting, we also offer pressure washing services, plus wood restoration and refinishing. If you would like a free estimate for painting your home, give us a call or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sundeleaf Painting, Inc.
2037 SE Ochoco Street
Portland, Oregon 97222
(503) 236-9797

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