The weather is warming up here in NSW now that we’re well into Spring and looking forward to Summer. Like many people, you may be considering painting the exterior of your home. There are quite a few details to address, but if you’ve weighed all of your options and decided to do it yourself, you will have to work carefully.
One of the biggest concerns in summertime painting is early paint failure. Most lay people don’t realize that paint cures in addition to drying. Curing is the process in which paint achieves its maximum hardness, which can take some time. In high heat, the dry time accelerates, which minimizes the cure time. This means that the paint is not allowed to harden to its best durability, and the result is a paint job that will need to be redone sooner than you’d like because of flaking or peeling.
When the weather is nice and temperate, with temperatures below 33 degrees, you should be able to complete your project with no problem. When the heat rises above that temp, however, you will want to take some special precautions. If you cannot wait until a cooler time of year to complete your project, here are few tips for making sure your paint job cures appropriately and looks great:
First, make sure you’ve selected an appropriate paint for your project. The label should show the guidelines for temperature established by the manufacturer. As long as you are reasonably close to these guidelines, there are ways to accomplish your task and end up with a beautiful and long-lasting paint finish.
The best strategy is to work in the cooler hours of the day, such as in the early morning. Have your preparation completed ahead of times you can begin right away. You may also be able to paint in the evening, or late in the day, but in this case, it’s important to test your surfaces, as they may be quite hot, which will have the same poor result as painting in the heat.
Work in the shade as much as possible, which will help keep the freshly applied paint from drying too quickly. As the day moves on, the shaded areas will change. Move with it, even if your previous area was unfinished. You can come back to it at a cooler time. Consider completing the job in parts, so you can avoid painting in the excessively high afternoon temperatures.
Another idea is to remove any items like doors and shutters for painting in a garage or other shaded space. Allowing them to cure properly will save you the hassle of scraping and sanding and repainting on another day.
Lastly, if you have no choice but to paint in excessive heat, the best option is to apply fewer coats. Switching to a higher quality paint product or a “self-priming” paint, or even priming the day before will allow you to use fewer coats without sacrificing a smooth and durable finish.
Following these few guidelines, you’ll be able to work safely and properly within the limitations of your products, and your exterior paint job will be one you can enjoy for a nice long time.
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