What is the right weather in which to paint the exterior of my house?


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What is the right weather in which to paint the exterior of my house?

Painting and decorating in Ireland, especially exterior painting, has its challenges.

Painting exteriors in Winter

In the winter time, especially in Ireland, it is very important to have the right weather for painting outside, both for oil and water bound paints.

Exterior painting with oil paints

For oil paints the day might be “mostly dry” but if the air is damp and there is very little or no drying out, then the surface will be damp. This is especially important on raw or exposed wood. If the surface is damp then don’t paint it if you want the paint job to last (most importantly) as the paint will go on ok, but if the surface is damp it will undermine the longevity of the job. Also on very windy days, it is not advisable to finish woodwork; as dust and debris will be blown on to it and it will dry and stick. Temperature is a consideration with oil paints but not as much as emulsion, generally above 5 degrees and you will be ok as long as the air is dry, and you stop painting by 3 o’clock.

Exterior painting with emulsion paints

There are a couple of things to consider when painting exteriors with emulsion paints

1. The temperature must be above 7 degrees, and stay above 7 until the paint is dry. If the temperature drops, and the paint freezes, then it will simply fall off the wall in time.

2. If rain is forecast, but it is not raining at present, yet there is very high humidity with low temperatures, it is not a good idea to paint because the paint in these conditions will not dry, and when it rains, several hours later it will be washed off the surface, sometimes causing havoc. So in short, temperature, humidity and rainfall.

Painting exteriors in Summer

In Ireland, we do not have to worry too much when painting and decorating in summer, but I have on occasion come across one or two things to consider.

Exterior painting with oil paints

When painting oil paints, it is not advisable to use gloss paint in direct sunlight, especially if it is a hot, sunny day, as it will heat the paint and cause it to run and sag.

On very windy days (obvious enough) it is not wise to finish paintwork using either gloss or satin as (same as during winter) dust will stick to the finish, which will not look good!

Exterior painting with emulsion paints

It was only in the States where I experienced days that were too hot to paint – the paint just turned to porridge in the can and did not apply to roasting hot surface at all well. I think in Ireland we will be ok for this one for a while. May we all have the perfect weather for painting!