Though it’s not the ideal time for exterior painting I have painted an exterior during every calendar month at one time or another.
Painting in the late fall does have its challenges, and for the Tri-Cities it isn’t necessarily the temperature. More often than not the biggest challenge is the wind making it hard to get an even application on the house.
How We Work Around the Wind
One thing I’ve learned about the wind in the Tri-Cities is that on a windy day it doesn’t always blow all day long. Quite often either the morning will be calm and the afternoon breezy or the morning will be breezy and it will calm down in the afternoon. With an exterior paint job we don’t have to have calm conditions the whole time since the real critical time is when we are spraying, which isn’t all the time. There is quite a bit of prep work before we spray and brushing and rolling of the trim after we spray which can be done even with a bit of a breeze.
How We Work Around the Cold
The biggest issue with the cold temperature is not the temperature when the paint is applied but the temperature that night. If it doesn’t freeze during the night then it’s not a problem to be painting in temperatures in the low forties or even the high thirties, but if it freezes and the paint didn’t get a chance to dry then we may end up doing that section over again.
If it doesn’t freeze at night then the paint can take its time to dry. One time I painted an exterior on a Friday and due to the foggy conditions in the low forties the paint was still wet on Monday morning but finally dried when the fog lifted.
If the weather forecast calls for freezing at night I like to see at least two hours above forty degrees on the shady side of the house to give the paint time enough to dry. If the temperature is in the upper thirties but the sun is shining on the side that we are painting the siding will absorb the sun’s energy and actually dry out fairly quickly. On those cold, sunny days we time it so we finish on the west side of the house where we can paint a lot closer to sundown and still have the paint dry before it freezes.
For cold weather painting the most difficult part of the house is the north side which for half of the year never gets any direct sun light. For the rest of the house we can just follow the sun by starting on the east side in the morning, do the south side next, and then finish on the west side in the afternoon. The north side? Well, sometime we just have to hope for at least one day out of the week when it’s warm enough or end up waiting for better weather. Generally, for any month of the year in the Tri-Cities, there will be one good week for exterior painting so if you’re flexible but you really want to get your house on the market this winter we can get it done.