How warm does it have to be to paint outside?Front door painted red on cottage style home

Guest Contributor – Isabelle Grainger –

If you have ever attempted to paint your house or any other building you would be aware of
the fact that it is an extremely difficult job to do in the colder winter months. Subzero
temperatures and their ensuing frost and snow mean that your paint job might get botched –
not to mention the fact that you will be very cold and chilled to the bone, long before you
finish your task. This is why once the temperature drops below a certain point it is all but
impossible to continue your paint job. Here one has to ask the key question ”how warm does
it have to be to paint outside?” Let us take a quick look at some of the more important and
relevant answers:

Colorful paint cans and swatches

The seminal importance of timing

As a general rule, oil-based weather shield paint may be applied in temperatures between
40°- 90°F. Here, it is pertinent to note that latex paint is always best applied when external
temperatures hover between the 50° to 85°F range. Ideally speaking, you should try to
choose a day when the external temperatures range from 60° to 85°F approx.

Morning Dew

Vector in the wind and dew into your calculations

You also have to take care of the wind factor and refrain from all painting activities whenever
the wind is blowing very hard. This is because windy and dry weather can cause the paint to
dry prematurely and it will crack easily afterward. It would be well worth your while to check
the humidity before you commence painting activities. The humidity should be between the
40% to 70% range so that your external paint job will dry properly. Too high, or for that
matter, too low a temperature can easily lead to binding issues with the paint's molecules.
This can, in turn, result in cracking and peeling related problems. Finally, dew drops on the
walls and the roof can mix with the paint so that it will lose its adhesive properties and you
will have to redo the whole job all over again within a few months only.

cold temperatures

Low-temperature concerns

If you want your paint job to dry and cure properly, it is imperative to ensure that the surface
and air temperatures should not drop to anything lower than 35° F for at least one and a half-
day, post-application. The ideal temperature would be anything up to and over the 50°F
range. This can be achieved between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The lower the external
temperature, the longer will it take your paint to dry, and you will have to be more patient.
You should also allow at least 24 hours duration in-between coats if you want your paint job
to last on your house or any other building you want to paint. If you are considering painting
your home siding, your best bet would be to hire home remodel contractor who will be able
to help you paint the siding, just the way you want.

Rain falling on clear umbrella

Watch out for the rain

Apart from the external temperature, you have to consider other atmospheric conditions such
as rain, storms, and other issues that can (and almost certainly will) create problems with
exterior paint. If the weatherman says it will rain, don’t start painting until the storm or rain
warning has passed. If you paint on a wet area, the paint might not hold properly.

Read the instructions carefully

When in doubt, check the label. You should always check the blurb on the paint can or even
ask for advice from your friendly neighborhood paint storekeeper. It is also a good idea to
mail the manufacturing company or log on to their site and get in touch with their customer
service representative for guidance regarding the usage of their products. Follow their
instructions to the letter, for best and long-lasting results.


If you want a paint job that will last a long time, you should get in touch with a home
remodel contractor to ensure the very best paint job you can get. Apart from that, it is a good
idea to paint within the 35 degrees to 70 degrees F range and in dry conditions when there is
no fear of rainfall.