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Painting in the Summer Heat

It's another hot summer! As a place that doesn't regularly have summers with temperatures over 90 for very many consecutive days, we don't often need to worry much about painting in hot weather. But the past couple of years have brought more of those days than in recent years, setting records across the Northwest region.

As usual, we receive a lot of inquiries about the subject when temperatures reach the upper 90's and into triple digits. One such question might be something like "Can it be too hot to paint?".

The answer is a definitive yes, it can. Being that we typically get hot weather well into September, for those of you with painting your exterior still on your summer list of "to-do's", here are a few tips for you for painting in high temperature weather.

When air and/or surface temperature exceed 90 degrees, the application and drying characteristics of paint can be compromised. The warmer it gets, the more you risk having problems. Most paints will adhere and cure even when applied over very warm surfaces, but you may have trouble with lap marks, brush strokes that don't go away, and sometimes bubbling as the water (or solvent) evaporates too quickly.

In hot weather it is best to paint early in the day when temps are lower. Stop painting if you start to notice application problems or if the surface you are painting is in direct sunlight during the heat of the day. Experienced painters will start on surfaces that are shaded early in the day and work into the shade as the sun goes overhead. Pay attention to the surface temps as well. Metal surfaces that have been in full sun will hear up a lot faster that masonry or wood. Dark colors absorb heat and will raise surface temperatures as well. These surfaces also stay warm much longer as well.

Basically, you simply don't want the paint to dry too fast. It can be a recipe for disaster. So remember that while you can paint in the heat, there are a few guidelines for you to adhere to, ensuring your paint will too.

Cold Weather Painting Tips