Depending on where you live it may not be the best idea to paint in the fall. It makes sense that it would be a great time to paint with the nice weather, lower temperatures and less humidity. These conditions make it comfortable for the painter, but not so comfortable for the paint. If you paint the exterior of your home under less than ideal conditions the paint may start to crack, peel and flake off within a year or two. The job will need to be done again sooner than anticipated, costing you more money.
Paint Failure Problems & Their Cure
The bottom line is that paint jobs fail before you would like it too in the drying and bonding of the paint. There are two things that happen during the process of drying and bonding. First, the latex or oil dries up as the paint dries. Second, there is a chemical reaction within the paint. For these processes to occur, a relatively warm environment is needed. If you read the information on a paint can you will find that it’s recommended not to apply it if temperatures are below 50 to 55 degrees. Fall days bring daytime temperatures in the 70’s during the day but may drop below 30 degrees overnight. The daytime temperature is ideal but as the temperatures lower, the paint is still going through the chemical reaction that is necessary for it to adhere correctly. It’s impossible for the paint to adhere correctly in the lower temperatures. If paint does not adhere correctly to the surface being painted, it will start to peel off in as little as a year or two. Fall may not be the best time to paint if your home has windows that need putty. Putty takes a long time to dry because a lot of it needs to be used to make it thick. You may have problems because it will not cure correctly in cooler temperatures. It will start to crack and you’ll need to remove it and replace it. To get a tight paint job that looks great you will need to use a lot of latex caulk which also needs warmer temperatures to dry and cure properly. Primers also need warmer temperatures to dry properly.
Fall Exterior House Painting Tips
If you really want to go ahead and paint in the fall there are some tips for more success. There are paints that you can purchase that allow for application in temperatures as low as 35 degrees F. A general rule of thumb for fall painting is to do it between 10:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon. If possible, start painting on the sunniest side of the house and follow the sun around your house. Lower temps mean slower drying and curing times so make sure you wait at least 24 hours in between coats. Be mindful of dew pits. The dew point is the temperature where the moisture will condense on the surface. Unless the surface temperature is at least 5 degrees higher than the dew point, you shouldn’t apply paint because you may have water spotting if dew forms on a painted surface that hasn’t cured correctly.