Exterior house painting is an important maintenance task that can help protect and beautify your home. Choosing the right time of year to paint is crucial for achieving optimal results.
The weather conditions in the UK vary greatly throughout the year, so selecting the ideal painting window can make the difference between a smooth painting project and a potential disaster.
This article will examine the key factors to consider when determining the best time to paint the exterior of a house in the UK.
Weather and Temperature
The main consideration when picking an ideal painting time is your area’s typical weather and temperature patterns.
For most regions of the UK, late spring through early autumn provides a good window for exterior house painting. During these months, temperatures are usually mild to warm, rainfall is lower, and humidity levels tend to be moderate.
Avoiding Cold Weather
Painting in cold weather is risky. Low temperatures can prevent proper paint adhesion and drying. Most exterior paints should only be applied when ambient temperatures are between 10°C to 32°C. Painting too cold often leads to peeling, cracking, or delamination.
The same goes for early mornings and nights during spring and autumn, when temperatures can dip low.
If you must paint in cooler weather, choose paints specifically formulated for lower application temperatures. Use darker colour paints, which absorb more heat.
Before painting, make sure surfaces are completely clean and dry. Adding extra coats can help paint cure properly in marginal temperatures.
Avoiding Hot Weather
Extreme heat in summer can also cause issues like rapid drying and bubbling of the paint. Direct sunlight can prematurely cure paint, while high humidity may delay drying. Ideal painting temperatures are between 10°C to 25°C.
When painting in hot weather, work during the cooler morning and evening hours. Watch for surfaces getting too hot, which can cause paint to dry too fast.
Adding paint retarder can help in high-heat situations. Mist water spraying surfaces in direct sunlight to cool them before painting. Work on shaded facades during peak sunlight.
Avoiding Rain and Moisture
Wet weather is another impediment to successful exterior house painting. Rain can wash away fresh paint, and moisture can seep under existing paint layers and cause peeling. Dry conditions are best for paint properly curing and bonding to exterior surfaces.
Never paint exterior surfaces if rain or heavy dew is expected within 24-48 hours. Check long-range forecasts before scheduling painting jobs.
Overnight dew can also ruin newly painted surfaces, so complete work early enough to allow proper curing time before evening moisture sets in. Having tarps available to cover surfaces in case of surprise showers is recommended.
Sunlight Intensity and Direction
The angle and intensity of sunlight is another important factor. Direct sunlight can dry the paint too quickly, leading to visible roller marks and brush strokes. Painting on shaded surfaces or during overcast days allows for even drying.
North-facing facades receive the least intense sunlight in the UK. South-facing walls get the harshest sunlight, especially during summer. If painting in spring or summer, focus on north, east and west-facing exteriors during peak sunlight hours. Move to southern exposures in the late afternoon when sunlight is less intense.
Alternate painting between sunlit and shaded areas over the course of a day. Watch for surfaces becoming too hot and paint those areas later when cooled down. Having a building’s facades on multiple orientations allows flexibility to move painting locations based on sun angles.
Low Pollution and Allergens
Air quality can also affect paint job results. Painting should be avoided during peak pollen seasons in spring and times of high pollution. Rainy periods help clear pollen and other particles from the air.
Low wind speeds are also desirable to minimize dust and dirt from ruining freshly painted surfaces. Calm conditions allow for better paint adhesion and even drying.
If compelled to paint during high pollen or pollution periods, use protective covers to prevent contamination of painted surfaces. Tacking cloths can also help remove airborne particles before they settle into fresh paint.
Optimal Time Window
Considering all these factors, the optimal time window for exterior house painting in most regions of the UK is late spring through early autumn.
Late May and early June is often an ideal spring slot. Temperatures are comfortably warm, rainfall decreases, and sunlight angles allow for good drying conditions on various exposures.
Morning frost becomes less likely, reducing moisture concerns. The threat of sudden heavy downpours is also lower than earlier in spring. Just beware of the potential for heavier pollen counts during peak spring.
July and August offer the longest painting weather window but also the hottest temperatures. If undertaking summer painting, focus on the morning and late afternoon hours and choose shaded north and east-facing sides during peak sunlight.
Having paint retarders, water sprayers, and tarps available to deal with direct sun and heat is important during summer. Cooler night temperatures can aid drying in the evenings.
Early autumn, from late September to mid-October, provides another good opportunity for exterior painting. Temperatures are cooling but still mild, rainfall is low, and humidity is dropping.
Morning dew potential increases in autumn, so completing work early in the day allows moisture to evaporate and paint to dry before the evening. Beware of more frequent cold fronts starting in late October.
While picking the right painting time is crucial, proper planning and preparation will ensure painting success. Here are some key tips:
➜ Inspect surfaces and make any necessary repairs before painting
➜ Clean surfaces thoroughly and allow them to fully dry
➜ Select top-quality exterior paint suitable for local conditions
➜ Pick calm, dry weather days and avoid painting if rain is forecasted
➜ Pay attention to temperatures and sunlight to prevent issues
➜ Prime surfaces if needed and apply the paint generously and systematically
➜ Allow adequate drying time between coats
➜ Protect freshly painted surfaces from rain or damage until fully cured
➜ Have tarps, sprayers, retarders, and other items to deal with weather
➜ Alternate painting locations based on changing sun exposures
➜ Finish work early enough to avoid evening dew and moisture
Best Time To Paint The Exterior of a House- Final Note
Choosing the ideal painting time requires paying attention to weather patterns, temperatures, sunlight, and other local conditions. For most of the UK, late spring to early autumn provides the best window for exterior house painting success.
Proper planning, preparation, and application are also key. Avoiding cold, hot, or wet conditions while painting in calm, dry, moderate temperatures will help ensure your paint job withstands the elements. Adaptability and watching for changing conditions will keep your painting on track.