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Why You Shouldn’t Paint Outside During Winter



Most Houstonians wish for the cold weather all year long, waiting for relief from the hot and humid stickiness of the rest of the year. Thus, winter in Houston may seem like the perfect time to paint outside because cooler temperatures are more comfortable and easier to work in, but temperatures in the winter may be too cold for the chemical reaction that needs to occur when paint is applied. This is why most experts advise not to paint your exterior after December 1st.

Some paint companies may claim that painting in the winter is okay to do. Of course, this all depends on the actual temperatures during the week you choose to paint, but considering how unpredictable Houston weather is, I wouldn’t risk it. In one account, a customer had their house painted during the winter season and within a year or two their paint started flaking and cracking. They ended up spending even more money trying to get their paint job redone. The reason behind this failure is the way the paint had dried and bonded.

Most paint can labels say that the recommended temperature for painting is 50 or 55 degrees fahrenheit. During the winter however, temperatures here can sometimes reach as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night. These temperatures will not allow the paint to dry properly and will result in paint that is flaking, peeling, and cracking. Paint has to be applied during warmer temperatures so the paint can bond with the oil or latex applied. Paint applied during warmer temperatures can last up to six years whereas paint applied during cold temperatures is known to last only up to two years.

Certain exterior paint jobs require particular materials such as primer, putty, and caulk for a smooth finish. These all take time to dry and the changing temperatures of winter weather do not give all three painting components enough time to dry and do not give you your desired paint job. If putty isn’t dried in the proper temperature it can crack and will have to be removed or replaced.

Fall can be a questionable season as well in other areas, but in our climate here it may be ok. Houston exterior painting jobs are best done in the months of spring, before it’s sweltering, but once you know it’s too late for the temperature to drop down into the 40’s. This is the safest time for such projects in our Texas town, however Pro Painters will offer our Houston painting services any time we are called upon. Feel free to give us a ring for any type of project any time of year and we’ll take care of the things you’d rather not.