As the summer comes to an end, the school year approaches, the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler, we begin to be asked by customers “How late into the year can we paint a house?” Of course, the answer is the same every year – it depends on the weather.
There have been years where it snows in September or October and we have to mostly shut down our exterior painting efforts. Other years, we’ve successfully painted houses the week of Thanksgiving! Here in Northern Colorado, the seasonal forecast is tricky for us house painters. On some days, it may be dry and warm, but too windy to paint or put up masking. Other days we have the afternoon thunderstorm that rolls through. So, to answer the question of how late into the year…optimistically, into November, but you never know.
In the autumn mornings, we often have to combat cool temps and dew and then deal with the early setting sun. It can be warm on one half of the house and chilly on the other side. And it depends on what substrate we’re painting, the level of outdoor exposure and the type of paint.
Let me tell you about a recent example. On a recent warm fall day, we were painting the exterior of a house. Particularly, this house had metal railings in the front and the back. The railings were in good condition (no rust or chalking) and so the crew proceeded to paint them. The back railings were painted first and then the front. It was late in the day and things really started to cool off quickly. The front railings, facing east, hadn’t seen the sun for several hours. Even though the air temp was satisfactory, the metal railings in the front were getting cold.
A couple days later, we noticed both coats of paint were peeling – but only on the front. The back rail was in good condition. We used it as a teaching moment for the crew: even though the air temp was okay, the cooler metal didn’t allow the paint to properly dry and cure before the overnight low temps affected it. For the house, which has composite siding, we used Emerald paint from Sherwin-Williams, but for the metal we used a different paint that is a bit more appropriate.
For a free consultation, please contact us at (970)314-1023 and we’d be happy to help!