As the vibrant colors and brisk air of autumn bring a fresh, new beauty to your community, it is only natural to want the same for your home. And what better way is there to celebrate that cozy fall feel than by freshening things up with a new coat of exterior paint? The only question is: “Should you paint in the fall or wait till another season?”
Here are a few reasons why fall may not only be an acceptable season for exterior painting, but even a preferable one. We’ll also run through a few potential challenges to consider.
Advantages of Painting in the Fall
- Consistent Temperatures: Exterior paint needs just the right temperature range in order to dry properly. If it’s too cold, the paint won’t dry. If it’s too hot, it will dry too quickly, resulting in a cracked finish that will likely chip away over time. That nice, moderate fall temperature does more than just feel good, it makes for perfect exterior paint conditions.
- Less Insects: When painting an exterior surface as big as a house, bugs crawling or flying into drying paint can present a real problem. Thankfully fall sees a dramatic decrease in these pesky paint-destroyers.
- Low Humidity: Humidity can affect the drying time of paint and its ability to set properly. During fall, the humidity levels are usually moderate, which is ideal for paint to adhere and dry effectively.
- Increased protection: If you live in an area with a harsh winter, you have the extra incentive to ensure that your home is well prepped in the fall. Heading into the long winter months with a fresh coat of paint will do wonders towards preserving the materials beneath when exposed to ice, snow or sleet.
Challenges to Painting in the Fall
While there are many advantages to painting in the fall, it’s essential to be aware of some challenges that the season may present, too. Just keep in mind that as long as you take these things into account and plan ahead, you can dramatically decrease any risk of your paint job being adversely affected.
- Shorter Days: With the sun setting earlier, there’s less daylight to work with. It’s essential to plan ahead and start early in order to utilize natural light effectively and avoid needing to work into the night. Aside from keeping you or someone else from going to bed, the dramatic temperature drop could prevent your exterior paint from drying.
- More Debris: Both the dry air and the falling leaves makes for an increased risk of unwanted debris landing on wet exterior paint. Depending on where you live this might be inevitable, but staying close by while your paint is drying and carefully picking off any leaves/debris is a good way to prevent a permanent blemish.
FAQs about Outdoor Painting in the Fall
Every homeowner keen on leveraging the beauty of fall for a fresh coat of paint will have questions. To make your painting endeavor more informed, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Q: How do I know if it’s too cold to paint outside?
A: Always check the paint can label. Most outdoor paints will specify a minimum temperature (often around 50°F or 10°C). It’s crucial to ensure that temperatures remain above this minimum for at least a few hours after painting.
Q: Can I paint if it’s forecasted to rain?
A: It’s advisable to avoid painting if rain is expected within 24 hours. Moisture can affect the paint’s adherence and drying process.
Q: Should I use a different kind of paint in the fall?
A: Not necessarily, but always choose high-quality exterior paints. They often have additives that make them more resilient to varying temperatures.
Q: How early in the morning can I start painting?
A: Wait until the dew has lifted and the surface is dry. Typically, late morning is a safe bet, but this can vary based on local conditions.
Q: What’s the latest in the day I should paint?
A: Aim to stop painting early enough that the paint can dry for several hours before temperatures drop in the evening.
Your best bet is to put your exterior painting project in the hands of a skilled, experienced painting company. We know how to navigate the weather and varying conditions, pairing just the right product with your needs to ensure a successful outcome. If you live here in New York or Connecticut, contact us at A.G. Williams Painting Company. We’d love to serve you and your home.