What is The Best Time to Paint The Exterior of a House in UK?

When you’re trying to make sure your home is in perfect condition and stands out for all the right reasons, you need to stay on top of the exterior paint work.

The problem is that you can rush into it, start painting at the wrong time of year and do more harm than good before you know it. Now that you’ve come to the experts, it’s about time we told you everything you need to know. 

The hotter the better when painting the exterior of a house

Just because your mood can drop in the long winter months doesn’t mean that applying a fresh coat of paint to the outside will lift your spirits. Before you know it the rain will start falling and wash away all those hours of hard work, costing you time and money in the process.

No one wants that to happen, which is why waiting until the sunshine returns in the summer is always the best approach. 

Hot sun doesn’t just ensure the rain can’t wash away the new coat — it also greatly speeds up the drying process. Given how unpredictable the weather can be in the UK even in summer, this is good news for anyone looking to dodge an untimely shower or downpour. 

Spring is also a good time to paint the exterior   

If you’re looking to paint your home yourself and don’t want to get completely exhausted in the summer heat, there’s plenty of spring sunshine too. While it will be a little cooler which means you won’t get sunburnt, there’s still the chance of a flash downpour.

You also might not want to sacrifice what could be a nice break from work early in the year to spend all week on tiring DIY. A quick call to the experts here at Advanced Painters, no matter where you are in the UK, will solve that problem in a couple of minutes. 

Try to avoid painting exteriors in high humidity   

While we said the hotter the better, the caveat on this is that when it’s humid you want to avoid painting your exteriors. Humidity might make you sweat and bake under the sun, but it’s not great when you want the paint to dry.

All that extra moisture in the air slows the drying process down, causes the job to take longer, and increases the chances of a sudden shower ruining your hard work. 

It’s also important to know that periods of high humidity often come right before a torrential downpour or full blown storm. That’s the last thing you want heading your way when all you want to do is stand back and admire your handiwork. 

How do you pick the perfect time?

Here at Advanced Painters we’ve built up years of experience when it comes to gauging the weather and figuring out exactly how long a job will take.

We’re also flexible and adaptable when it comes to the professionals who can work on your property, and the tools they can use. Ideal when you want to get your exteriors painted without the headaches. 

How Summer Weather Can Affect Exterior Paint Jobs

Summer is a popular time for exterior house painting, but the hot weather can cause some issues. The heat and humidity mean paint takes longer to dry, and rain storms can ruin a fresh coat. However, with some planning you can have a successful paint job.

First, check the forecast and pick a string of dry, sunny days. You’ll want at least 2-3 days of good weather to complete the job. Start early in the morning when temperatures are cooler. The heat of the day can cause paint to blister, so finishing up by early afternoon is best.

Second, choose a paint formulated for summer use. Look for a paint with “hot weather resistance” that allows moisture to escape.

Oil-based paints are very durable but slow to dry in heat and humidity. Latex or acrylic paints are a better choice. They dry faster and have built-in mold and mildew resistance.

Third, prep the surface thoroughly. The hotter it is, the more the sun can bake grime and debris onto siding and trim. Scrub surfaces, then rinse with a hose to remove anything the sun has baked on. Let all areas dry completely before painting.

Finally, consider a primer for the first coat. A quality primer will provide good adhesion for the topcoats of paint. It dries quickly and provides a uniform surface for the finish paint. Two coats of finish paint, waiting 2-4 hours between coats, will give you the best results.

Why You Should Avoid Painting in Autumn

Autumn may seem like an ideal time to paint the exterior of your house, with the cooler weather and leaves changing color. However, there are a few reasons why you should avoid painting in the fall and wait until spring instead.

Temperature and Humidity

The temperatures start dropping in the fall, which can negatively impact the paint. Most exterior paints require warm temperatures to properly adhere to surfaces.

Colder weather also brings more humidity, and damp, humid conditions prevent paint from drying and curing properly. This can lead to issues like blistering, peeling, and mildew growth.

Limited Daylight

The days get shorter in the autumn, giving you less time to paint and for the paint to dry between coats. Some areas may not get direct sunlight at all, making it difficult for multiple coats of paint to dry completely. Proper drying time is essential for paint to adhere and harden correctly. Without it, the final results won’t look as professional.

Fallen Leaves and Debris

Painting in the autumn means you’ll be battling falling leaves, twigs, and other debris landing on wet paint and sticking to surfaces. Not only does this require constant cleaning and re-painting of areas, but when the debris dries onto the paint it can be difficult to remove without damaging the finish. It’s a hassle you can easily avoid by waiting for spring.

Weather Uncertainty

Autumn weather can be unpredictable, with rain and wind picking up at a moment’s notice. Getting caught in poor weather conditions while painting can ruin your work and require re-doing sections. The damp, humid air also prevents proper adhesion and drying of the paint. For the best, most durable results, choose a season with more stable weather like spring or summer.

How to Prepare for Exterior Painting in Winter

To prepare for painting the exterior of your house in the winter, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind. The cooler temperatures and increased chance of rain or snow means you need to take extra precautions.

Check the forecast

Pay close attention to the weather forecast for the days you plan to paint. Look for a stretch of dry, sunny days with temperatures above 10°C or 50°F. Colder, damp weather can prevent paint from drying properly and bonding well. If rain or snow is expected, reschedule your painting.

Use appropriate paint

For winter painting, use an exterior paint specifically formulated for cool weather. These paints have ingredients to help them cure at lower temperatures. Regular exterior paint won’t adhere as well and won’t last as long.

Start early

Get an early start to take advantage of the warmest part of the day. Begin painting as soon as temperatures are above the recommended minimum for your paint. The warmer the temperature is, the better the paint will apply and cure.

Consider a primer

For the best results, consider applying a coat of exterior primer before the topcoats of paint. Primer helps paint adhere better to surfaces. Then apply at least two coats of your chosen exterior paint, waiting the recommended time between coats. Additional coats may be needed for proper coverage and protection.

Keep equipment warm

Store all painting equipment, including paint, brushes, and rollers, in a warm area when not in use. Cold equipment and materials will be more difficult to work with and can affect results. Keeping everything at room temperature will make for an easier painting experience.

FAQs – Your Most Common Questions Answered About Exterior House Painting

So you’ve decided to paint the outside of your house. Great! But when is the best time to start such an undertaking in the UK? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about exterior house painting.

What months are best for exterior painting?

The spring and summer months, from April through August, are typically the best times for exterior house painting in the UK.

The weather is warmer and drier, which allows paint to cure properly. The increased daylight also gives you more time to work outside. Avoid the colder months when rain and frost are more common.

How long will it take?

The total time will depend on the size of your home and how much of the exterior needs painting. As a general rule of thumb, plan on at least 2 to 3 days for an average sized house.

Additional time may be needed for proper surface preparation like pressure washing, repairs, priming any bare wood, and applying a topcoat sealant. It’s best to schedule your work over a period of good weather to avoid rain interruptions.

Do I need to do any preparation?

Yes, proper surface preparation is key to achieving a professional quality, long-lasting paint job. Clean the exterior of dirt and debris, then inspect for any necessary repairs or touch-ups.

Scrub stains and prime any bare wood. For the best results, consider pressure washing before painting. Allow all surfaces to dry completely before you start painting.

How many coats of paint will I need?

For most exterior paint projects, two coats of paint are recommended for optimal coverage and durability.

The first coat provides coverage, while the second coat protects the first and provides an even finish. Additional coats may be needed for certain paint colors or on surfaces that were previously dark colors.

Always follow the recommendations on your specific paint product for the best results.


So there you have it, the key things to keep in mind when planning exterior house painting in the UK. Summer offers the warmest temperatures but also the highest chance of rain.

Spring and fall can be a bit unpredictable weather-wise but also offer some good opportunities if you catch the right week.

Whenever you decide to paint, the most important thing is allowing adequate time for proper surface preparation and applying at least two coats of high-quality exterior paint for the best results.

If you do your due diligence and choose a time of year that works with your schedule, you’ll be well on your way to transforming the look of your home and increasing its curb appeal and value. Happy painting!

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Advanced Painters are professional painters and decorators in the Home Counties. From exterior painting and rendering, to uPVC window spray painting and interior decorating, we produce high quality finishes that will transform the appearance of your property.

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