The Best Time Of Year To Paint Your Home's Exterior, According To An Expert

The exterior of your home creates the first impression everyone gets when they visit, impacts the value of your house, and plays a role in the overall style of your space. However, over time many exterior features (like siding or paneling) begin to wear, often due to natural weathering. If you have areas that are peeling, cracking, or fading, or there are gaps caused by shrinking wood and sunspots, it may be time to do some repairs and re-paint the home. And while a fresh coat of paint could do wonders, this can be a big and expensive job that creates a lasting impact. 

Knowing when to paint is sometimes just as important as knowing it's time to update your exterior. To that end, when is the best time of the year for such an undertaking? Jan Walter, a professional painter with more than 25 years of experience, shares his answers to this question in an exclusive interview with House Digest. Walter blogs at Go Colorize, which helps people avoid making mistakes when painting their home.

Advice for those in cooler climates

Weather is a big factor in every project — and that's one of the biggest concerns in cooler climates, as noted by Jan Walter. "If you live in the northern parts of the United States, painting your home's exterior is best done from May to October when temperatures are higher and the days are longer," he shares. Getting out your gear in late fall could be worrisome, though. "You shouldn't paint when it's below 35 degrees Fahrenheit or if temperatures are predicted to drop below that during the night," Walter continues. "If you do, it will affect the finish of the paint, which will be more flat/matte because of moisture and dew that forms on it."

Get the most out of this big project, too, as Walter recommends. "If you start early in the painting season, then you will have more time to enjoy your newly painted home," he adds. "The paint will have fully cured, so it's prepared for the winter or harsh weather conditions." If you instead start later in the year, you may have to clean up the exterior in the spring after winter. 

Advice for those in warmer climates

Just as a chilly climate can impact the best time to paint, so too can hot weather, according to Jan Walter. "If you live in warmer climates like the southern United States, fall to late spring work best because of cooler temperatures, but exterior painting can be done year-round in this region," he reveals. That means this could be a wintertime project for you if the day is just right. "The ideal conditions to paint are on a cloudy day with a temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit," Walter continues. "And you want to avoid any forecasted rain within two to three hours."

That may sound like a lot of factors to get perfect, especially in some areas of the south, but there are good reasons for putting off this project until it's the ideal day. "That temperature range is because it's not only good for the paint but also comfortable for the painter," Walter points out. A hot, sticky day under the blaring heat in an area like Texas or Florida wouldn't be comfortable. "That paint also dries fast, so if you paint in the morning, then you can usually recoat it in the afternoon," Walter adds. "If it's very humid, then it will take longer for the paint to dry."

Consider the sunlight

Temperature matters as does humidity, but how much sun is present can also impact exterior home painting projects. "If you paint on a clear and sunny day with high temperatures, then stay in the shadows," Jan Walter recommends. "It's better for you and the paint." He also shares that just being smart about your day and structuring your work around the current conditions matters. "If it's a side of the house that has sun in the afternoon that you need to paint, then start with that so you won't have to stand in the sun for too long," he continues.

Most importantly, check the weather reports and stay up-to-date on the changes that could occur. And of course, take painting your home seriously to ensure that this update adds value to the property. Finally, ensure you're able to paint your home like a pro at just the right time. "If you want a more specific timeline for your region, then check with your local painting company for advice since this can differ," Walter concludes.