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  • ExteriorPainting FAQ

    Frequently asked question about exterior painting

    Exterior: Spring Product Application FAQs

    Reprinted from Sherwin-Williams 


    Q: When painting outside, how long does the temperature need to stay in the suggested range? Some people say it's okay to paint all day, even if the temperature is above the minimum recommendation for only an hour or so.

    A: Ideally, the temperature should be in the suggested range and above the dew point for at least 48 hours after application. Colder temperatures and moisture on the surface will not allow a paint film to form properly. This will shorten the life expectancy of the paint and could cause surfactant leaching, mildew growth, frosting, and adhesion problems. When the forecasters predict changing temperatures that may drop below the normal recommendation of 50° F for latex paint, consider using a house paint that can be applied and will cure at temperatures as low as 35° F. This will give you the opportunity to extend your painting season by as much as two months in most areas of the country.

    Q: When daytime and nighttime temperatures differ significantly, should I be concerned about when to stop painting?

    A: Yes. You want to follow the label directions for the product you are using. Most products require at least 4 hours of dry time before moisture can settle on the surface. The cooler the temperature the sooner you should stop painting.

    Q: What is the optimal temperature to paint outside?

    A: Until a few years ago you needed to paint above 50° F. Sherwin-Williams now has products like Duration, Resilience, SuperPaint and A-100 Exterior that will allow you to paint down to 35° F.

    Q: When using an oil-based product, how much time is needed for the product to set up sufficiently to withstand rain or precipitation?

    A: A minimum of eight hours is recommended when the temperature is above 70° F. The cooler the temperature the longer the wait.

    Q: In cold weather, why will dark colors turn white or frosted looking?

    A: When latex paint is applied in temperatures below the manufacturer's recommendation or when the paint is exposed to low temperatures and/or high humidity too soon in its curing process, it doesn't form a proper film. To get rid of the "frosting," rinse the surface thoroughly with warm water. A garden hose works best because you need a lot of water, not a lot of pressure.

    Q: There seems to be a lot of discussion about the best method to paint the exterior of a house. Some say use a brush, some claim it is best to spray on the paint and then back-brush it, and others say just using an airless sprayer is best. What do you think?

    A: Painting with an airless will usually get more paint on the surface than with a brush. If applied properly - keeping the gun 12" away from the surface at a 90° angle and applying the recommended mil thickness of paint - airless spraying is the most efficient way to paint most large exterior surfaces. Brushing, while you are able to work the paint into the surface, takes considerably longer. For windows and intricate trim work, you almost have to brush the paint on the surface.

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CertaPro Painters of Minnetonka, MN
4737 County Road 101 #176
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Ph: 952-994-4443