Exterior painting this time of year can be tricky in Omaha. We have wide temperature fluctuations. One day in the upper 50’s the next in the 20’s. Complicating the matter is the drop in temperatures at night. Many manufactures these days make exterior paint that is considered “low temp”. Suitable for fall painting or use in lower temperatures. When these products first came out they were marketed as low temp paint. Now many of the exterior paints available from major manufactures are automatically “low temp” products so you need not specify that you need a low temperature paint.
Low temperature tolerant paints are great but what about the painter? It is difficult to work outside when you cant feel your face or hands. Just because there are products that enable you to paint outside doesn’t mean that is the best choice. It is hard to pick a specific date for stopping exterior painting but as a general guideline we usually stop by the 2nd week of October. The window of opportunity to work outside shrinks day to day after about October 15th.
It is always best to wait for ideal weather to do exterior painting but if you find yourself in a situation where you must do some fall painting here are some general guidelines to make the most of it.
- Make certain that the product you will be using is in fact a low temperature tolerant product.
- Use a reliable weather service and monitor the weather. You will want to make note of temperature, dew point and sunrise/sunset times.
- Plan on starting the project later in the day and end earlier in the day.
- Dress for colder temperatures. Use layers. As you heat up from working you can remove what you need to. A warm hat works wonders. So does a warm drink like coffee/hot chocolate.
Besides having adequate temperatures, the dew point is just as critical. The dew point is the temperature at which water vapor condenses onto surfaces. It is very important to work in temperatures several degrees away from the dew point and to stop painting early enough to allow drying before the temperature can fall into the dew point range.
This will allow the paint to cure properly. Condensation on a newly painted surface will cause premature paint failure.