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How to Paint Your House After Rain: 5 Tips and Tricks

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We all know the feeling of waiting for perfect weather before starting a painting project. But in reality, if you wait too long then your house will never get painted! So here are some tips on how to paint when it isn’t exactly seasonally perfect outside.

At the end of the day, paint and water just don’t mix. But you might be asking yourself can I paint on a rainy day or even a day with scattered showers? Will rain affect the colour of my final paint job?

Here are the 5 things you need to keep in mind when painting in less-than-ideal conditions:

  1. DO NOT PAINT when the surface is currently wet (with rain)
  2. Never paint when the surface has recently been wet (within the last 4 hours – ideally 1 whole day)
  3. Interior painting is usually fine
  4. Your paint job isn’t effected by humidity unless condensation forms on the surface
  5. Low temperatures – below 10° or above 35° will stall the paint drying (curing) process.

When Can You Paint Your Exterior After Rain?

When it rains, you should not paint the exterior of your house. This includes all stages: from beginning with an unpainted dry surface to a fully cured painted one no matter how much rain has fallen during this time period. You can expect the surface to be dry in around 4 hours, but we recommend waiting until 12 hours if possible. This time period varies based on how humid the weather is, or if its a cloudy day vs a sunny day with direct sunlight onto the surface of your properties exterior walls.

If it is a particularly humid day, it’s worth making sure there is no condensation as this should be treated the same as rain, and you should not paint until the surface is fully dry.

What To Do If Your Wall Is Wet

Is your surface visibly wet right now? You cannot paint until the surface is dried completely Unfortunately, even a few scattered drops counts as wet.

What To Do If It Rained Recently

Even if your surface isn’t visibly wet, there is still likely micro-moisture that can affect your paint application.

An exterior wall with direct sunlight with temperatures above 25 degrees should be fully dry within 4 hours. As mentioned above, for the best results we recommend waiting a full day to be on the safe side. Even though the flat surfaces have dried, other more intricate areas might still need to dry, such as:

  • Sections that are hidden from the sun
  • Hairline cracks existing wall
  • Nail holes
  • Trims

What Happens When Water Comes In Contact With Paint

If you don’t judge it correctly, whilst painting one of these areas, built up water may drip onto your newly painted surface causing light streaks. You will have to apply a second coat to fix this problem.

Can I Paint Inside While It’s Raining

There are absolutely no issues painting indoors when it’s raining, however, there are a few things to consider. Make sure to close any open windows (as it’s common to open windows to remove the paint fumes), so water doesn’t splash onto window sills or walls.

When it’s humid, you can expect it to take longer for the paint to dry then on sunny days. You will need to take this into consideration when waiting to apply your second coat. Again be cautious of humid conditions that cause condensation to form on the surface of your newly applied paint.

Making A Plan For Painting In The Rain

Most experts recommend to halt any painting work if there is a single grey cloud in the sky. But if you’re in a rain-prone area it’s not possible to work this way. Professional painters especially cannot afford to stop painting work every time a rain cloud comes onto the horizon.

When you can paint your home is determined by climatic conditions such as moisture and temperature (not necessarily by what season it is). Even though weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate usually the day-of forecast isn’t too far off.

Temperature and Paint

For the most part Australia’s overall temperate climate shouldn’t leave you in a situation where your paint won’t dry due to a low temperature (or a super hot day).

According to Dulux, the temperature of your house affects the performance of the paint. When applying paint, the wall temperature must be above 10°C and below 35°C throughout the painting process. A good rule of thumb is to think whether you would hang the washing out or wash the car in this weather.

Using Acrylics in hot weather

To slow down the drying rate, Dulux Hot Weather Thinner may be added to the paint at the rate of 50ml per litre. Most acrylics are touch dry in twenty minutes at 25°C and 50% humidity, this means the hottest weather in the summer months will accelerate the drying process. Here are some tips for painting in summer:

  • Don’t paint in direct sunlight or onto a hot surface.
  • Try to follow the shade where possible.
  • You can add up to about 5% water to your paint to change consistency.
  • Use two brushes. Keeping one in a bucket of water and alternating them, stops them drying out.

Use Acrylic paint for exterior use

We would generally recommend the use of acrylics in exterior situations. As oil-based enamels age they become very brittle and chalky and therefore have a tendency to crack and flake off the surface. Acrylics, however, retain their colour better, do not chalk to any great extent and do not become brittle, giving a longer lasting, more durable paint finish.

We recommend (and use) 99% of the time Dulux Weathershield® as it is a fantastic acrylic paint with greater flexibility to withstand sudden temperature changes (paint expanding and contracting) and has great UV protection properties.

Fixing a Rained On Painted Surface

There is no easy fix for a painted surface that isn’t fully dry and has been rained on. The water can thin the paint and cause it to dry as a different colour and also affect the texture of the painted surface.

The best (and only) way to fix this is to wait until the paint has fully dried. If it’s severe cut away any raised lines of paint with a straight-edge razor. You may also need light sanding. After the surface is smooth (and fully dry) the surface must be re-painted.

If this sounds too difficult to manage, we highly recommend hire a professional painting company to save you the hassle of weather watching and dealing with an unpredictable climate. Array Of Colour have been painting in Brisbane for over 20 years and during this time have developed an outstanding system for avoiding rain, and project managing to get your job completed as soon as possible, but also safely, and with the best final result!

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