In the Commonwealth of Virginia, we know a thing or two about heat. Summer days can be excruciating, and even spring and fall days have been known to feel like the the middle of July. All American Painting Plus has what it takes to work in any weather, but we want to remind our customers that there is such a thing as weather too hot for painting.

This isn’t because All American Painting Plus painters tap out when the mercury is up. The problem actually lies in the paint itself. If you want a paint job that looks great and lasts, it’s important to find a string of days with the right temperatures forecasted.

What is the Ideal Weather and Temperature for Outdoor Painting?

Oil and latex paints both need to be applied when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. In the winter, you really shouldn’t paint in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for oil based paints and 50 degrees for latex based paints. In the summer, the high temperatures for perfect application are 90 for oils and 85 for latex paints.

Temperature is not the only consideration. Humidity plays an important role in the way paint dries. Too little humidity and the paint will dry too quickly for real integrity of the surface; too much will keep the paint from drying at normal rates, increasing the risk of irregular appearance, as well as damage by wind and detritus. The best humidity range for outdoor painting is 40-70%. Bet you’ve never checked the humidity before when doing DIY paint jobs!

What Happens to Wet Paint When it’s Too Hot Outside?

Both oil and latex paint have binding properties that only work properly in the temperature range already described. When the weather is too hot (especially in direct sunlight), the paint dries before it can fully bind, leading to cracks or peeling, now or in the future. For latex paints, direct sun on hot days or ambient temperatures above 85 degrees may dry the paint before it can be properly brushed out. This creates a horrible mess that will ruin an otherwise good paint job.

How Can You Paint Well on Hot Summer Days?

It’s important to remember that professionals like the ones at All American Painting Plus all have tricks of the trade. In the case of summertime painting, it may be possible to apply paint to a house or business, even when the temperature is flirting with the cutoff points we’ve already discussed.

The best way to avoid damage to a fresh coat of paint is to “work your way around” a house or other property. When painting in the shade, outside of direct sunlight, you give the drying paint a couple of advantages. On the one hand, shade temperature is much cooler than the temperature of air in direct sunlight. The other benefit is that direct sunlight has radiation that increases the rate of drying even beyond the influence of temperature alone.

It’s not impossible to paint on hot summer days, but there are certain factors which can ruin a paint job before it’s even complete. Talk to All American Painting Plus about how to schedule a paint job while the ideal weather conditions are occurring.