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Best Temperature To Paint Outside

by | Feb 11, 2022

Finding the best temperature to paint outside is essential to a quality painting job. But when is it too hot or cold to paint outdoors? And what’s the ideal temperature to paint my home’s exterior? These are only a few of the many house painting questions homeowners ask themselves during the fall and summer months.

Whether you’re planning a DIY project or hiring a professional painter to tackle your outdoor painting, there are a few important rules to consider.

best temperature to paint outside

First, you’ll want to consider the weather conditions before starting any exterior painting project. Specifically the air temperature and the surface temperature of your siding. As you can imagine, temperatures affect the drying time, adhesion, and longevity of your paint job.

Next, consider the humidity level outside. Increased water vapor, especially with direct sunlight, can cause your latex paint to blister.

In this article, we’ll cover what high and low temperatures mean for you, the best time to paint per region in the United States, and which paint to use in certain temperatures. 

Looking for updated exterior paint pricing information? Visit our comprehensive exterior home painting cost guide to learn more.

Ideal Exterior Painting Temperature

As a rule of thumb, the best temperature to paint outside is 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with an ideal painting temperature range of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This translates to roughly 4 to 32 degrees Celsius as the best temperature range and 10 to 21 degrees Celsius as ideal temperatures to paint exteriors.

Accordingly, you’ll want to pick days where weather conditions don’t reach either end of this range. Painting in extreme temperatures can affect the longevity of your job. More specifically, paint needs adequate temperatures to dry and cure properly.

Often overlooked, you can also find the ideal paint temperature on the label of most exterior paint cans. Indeed, paint manufacturers recommended temperate ranges per product are often found on the side of the can.

exterior house painters

Depending on where you live, the timing of these projects can be tricky. For that reason, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. We researched the best months to start on that exterior painting in various regions.

Thinking about reusing old paint? Check out our article on how long paint lasts to learn more.

The Midwest

Starting with one of the more challenging regions, we have the Midwest. This includes cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit.

Midwest temperatures range from sub-zero weather in May to 70 degree days in March. Here is our advice.

Evidently, early summer and fall tend to have the most ideal weather conditions and temperatures to paint outside. First, there is typically less rainfall and thus lower humidity. Secondly, the temperature change from daytime to nighttime is pretty minimal. If you are looking for affordable “catch-all” exterior paint for your siding we suggest Behr Exterior Paint and Primer in One.

behr stain blocking paint and primer

This product has excellent durability, versatility, and weather resistance. You can apply this exterior paint to vinyl, trim, doors, wood, and even outdoor furniture. Not to mention, it can be used in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Southern States

Next, we have the coveted warmer states of the southern region. Places like Texas, Florida, and Arizona offer much more flexibility throughout the year to begin painting your home. With warmer temperatures year-round, you will want to make sure to be mindful of how the daily temperature lows and highs. As a result, early fall may be your best bet to paint your house exterior.

southern states warm climate home

Equally important is avoiding direct sunlight and very high temperatures. Often times the incredibly hot summer months in Arizona can cause exterior paint to blister and bubble. We suggest that you use UV-resistant paint to help withstand that strong summer sun. UV-resistant paint will not only prove more durable but also keep your paint color from fading.

With this in mind, we have recommended both Behr Marquee Exterior Paint and Sherwin Williams SuperPaint Exterior to paint outside. You can’t go wrong with either choice!

behr marquee and superpaint sherwin williams

Looking for a painter in Texas but worried about the price? Check out Improovy’s latest painting cost guide: How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House in Dallas?

Now if you live in a cold climate, don’t worry. We have a whole section dedicated to painting outside in cold weather. You can find some great suggestions below!

Does Humidity Matter When Painting Outside?

Unfortunately, the temperature is not the only weather factor that you should keep an eye on when choosing to paint your home. High humidity can have noticeable, potentially negative, effects on any freshly painted surface. First, too much water vapor in the air will increase the time it takes until the paint dries. This means that you’ll want to be extra careful about timing the application of any second coat. More specifically avoid running your paintbrush or roller over-drying paint. This can cause brushstrokes that you’ll struggle to make smooth again.

bubbling siding paint high humidity

Secondly, high humidity levels mixed with direct sunlight can heat up the surface temperature of your siding and cause bubbling in the paint. If this happens try to avoid popping the blisters for a day or so. Basically, latex paint can flex with temperature changes and may shrink back to adhere to the siding.

watertite mold mildew paint

Lastly, high humidity and water vapor can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew. We’ve all seen it, the green and black spots that creep up on our siding. It’s never a fun job to clean that up. That’s why we suggest using mildew-resistant paint in climates with higher humidity. A great option is Rust-Oleum 500 Mold and Mildew. This is a self-priming paint with a duration of five years. You can find it at your local Home Depot, Lowes, and even Amazon.

Cold Temperatures Effect On Paints

Indeed, cold temperatures can affect paint. More specifically, lower temperatures impact the paint’s consistency and drying time.

To play it safe don’t paint outside when it’s below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oftentimes, paint manufacturers will suggest a low-temperature paint additive to normalize the product. This results in better adhesion and resistance to staining or cracking in cold weather.

painting home cold weather

With all of this in mind, we suggest opting for a high-quality primer to ensure good adhesion. A great option is Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Primer. This provides excellent adhesion for a topcoat. In terms of a great topcoat, we’d suggest Sherwin Williams Resilience Exterior Acrylic Latex. Markedly, this product line was created to withstand colder, more harsh weather conditions.

rustoleum stops rust primer sherwin williams resilience

Best Paint For Outdoors

Like any big and expensive decision, you want to do your homework to make the best decision. Before picking your favorite paint color, you’ll want to know what type of paint you should be looking at.

Latex Paint

The most common paint choice since the 1950s has been latex paint. Oftentimes, latex paint is water-based which is better for you and the environment. Latex has low VOCs, is easier to apply, has a faster drying time than other paints, and is easier to clean. As a result, latex paint is our most recommended type of paint for both exterior and interior painting projects. 

Coming in first place for the best exterior latex paint is Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior Paint. This product is incredibly durable, self-priming, mildew resistant, and thick enough to typically get the job done in one coat.

sherwin williams duration

Acrylic Paint

Second, in line with common types of paint is acrylic. You might be surprised to learn that acrylic paint is often more desirable than latex. The reason for this is its better durability and elasticity. Acrylic paint can withstand direct sunlight far better than latex. Still, latex is far more commonly used. 

While latex paint is water-based, acrylic is chemical-based which makes it harder to handle. For instance, cleaning spills will require paint thinners and chemical-based products. Another issue to watch out for is harmful paint fumes. Not to mention, more coats of paint are needed for coverage as well. 

If you’re in the market for affordable acrylic exterior paint, we recommend Behr Pro Acrylic.

behr pro e600

Oil-Based Paint

Finally, there is alkyd paint or more commonly known as oil-based paint. The solvent in this type of exterior paint is a strong resin. This makes it incredibly durable to sun damage. Similar to acrylic house paint, this product is hard to handle. Accordingly, it needs more care in application. Oftentimes, this type of paint is recommended for smaller surfaces or iron-painted surfaces. Keep in mind, the stronger chemicals in this product cause more damage to the environment. As a result, proper disposal measures should be taken.

Our top choice for this category is Valspar Duramax Stucco Paint. This product is designed for weather extremes, such as high winds and driving rain. Likewise, it offers protection against mold and mildew. Lastly, it offers a 100 percent acrylic formulation. This means it covers hairline cracks in existing paint for a smooth surface.

valspar duramax masonry stucco paint

Ideal Painting Temperature Conclusion

All in all, we know that trying to find the perfect spot in your contractor’s schedule can be tough. We hope that this article about the ideal painting temperature provides guidance.

Improovy’s award-winning painters can help. We have one of the fastest turnarounds in the house painting industry. Get your free interior or exterior painting quote today.

Need more expert residential painting advice? Take a look at a few related home painting tips and tricks from the pros below.

Frequently Asked Exterior Paint Questions

  • What is the best exterior paint brand?

    No surprise to us, Sherwin Williams paint products hold first place in various categories. Indeed, their exterior painters are known for durability and maximum coverage. With great reviews and warranties, you'll find most contractors prefer Sherwin's paint for exteriors.

  • Which is the best brick paint?

    If you are looking to paint any brick or masonry, consider using KILZ Masonry Waterproofer. This product is water-resistant to 12 PSI, mildew resistant, and acrylic latex-based making it a great option for porous brick. Learn more about the best brick paint colors trending this year.

  • What's the best deck stain?

    Decks are high maintenance and, as a result, expensive to maintain. If you haven't switched to composite decking, we suggest Ready Seal 105 Exterior Stain and Sealer for wood decks.