From the United States to the United Kingdom to Japan and beyond, temperatures across the globe are soaring. It isn’t just summertime, either, as Russia experienced its surprisingly snowless winter this past year. There are many reasons for this, but all that weather and geopolitics aside, what does it mean for painting schedules?
After all, the traditional wisdom is that you want to wait for temperatures that are hot enough to dry the paint quickly but not so hot as to pose a health hazard to yourself.
So how hot is “too hot” when it comes to painting domestic and commercial properties, and how can and should you manage the temperature situation when it comes to painting your properties?
First, we need to draw a distinction between what counts as “too hot” for you and what’s “too hot” for your paint. The latter can be helped along by heat, after all, as this can make it dry faster.
This is one reason why a lot of painting does not tend to be done in the winter. After all, you tend to need temperatures of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for paint to dry properly. That just simply isn’t in the cards (or weather forecast) for much of the Northern Hemisphere come wintertime.
At the same time, if the weather is too hot, your paint could dry too fast, which could also be a problem. The faster your paint dries, the less time you have to work with it, which isn’t good for large construction projects that require precisely that.
That’s why the optimal temperature for painting outdoors tends to sit somewhere between 50 and 85 degrees. However, humidity is no friend to paint drying, so if you live in a climate where greater warmth equals higher humidity, the range is narrower and not quite as warm.
Of course, all of that is secondary to the human equation and the question of how hot is too hot for you and your painting team. You don’t want anyone to collapse from overheating or suffer from dehydration.
For this reason, you should typically avoid extreme heat over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is just too hot for most heavy-duty outdoor activity.
If you must paint in high heat, you need to take breaks even more frequently than you should already do in cooler climates. This is necessary for ensuring that your body does not overtax itself. You should also have plenty of fluids handy.
Of course, your paint dries so fast in the high heat in part because of the constant exposure to sun. This itself gives the biggest lifehack in terms of painting in high-heat situations, which is to paint the side of your home which is in shade and then work around to other parts of the home as the sun moves. The exposed parts of your home where you have painted will dry quickly in the sun while you and your fellow painters remain in the shade.
By following these tips, you can paint smarter, faster, and better in higher temperatures.