When Is the Best Time to Paint Outside

Painting the outside of your house is best done in the fall or spring when temperatures are moderate, and the weather isn’t too hot or too cold.

The best temperature range for painting outdoors with latex paint is from 50° to 85° F. Painting during hot weather can cause latex paint to dry too fast, resulting in brush marks and clumps of paint on the paintbrush. Painting when it’s too cold can cause the paint to not adhere well to the surface, resulting in cracking and peeling.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals released into the air by some paints when they dry. Breathing VOCs isn’t good for your health or the environment, so be sure to buy low VOC or no VOC paint when painting inside or outside your home.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Besides raking leaves, one of the other things that’ll be getting done around the neighborhood during the fall is painting. That’s because the best time to apply latex paint is when the outside temperature is moderate.

You know if it’s too hot, it dries too quickly, and it leaves some ugly brush marks on the surface that you’re painting. And clumps of paint will get in the brush, making it real hard to do a quality job. Now if it’s too cold, it just won’t bond as well to the surface where you’re applying it. So now is the time to get it done.

But while you’re doing a little painting, think about painting green. Not the color, but “green” as in with the environment in mind. Now you’ll see that most water based, latex paints contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds.

As the paint dries, it gives up these chemicals, which are released into the air for about six months after you’ve applied the paint. Inside your home that means a strong odor and poor air quality for you. But outside it means ozone pollution and the release of smog forming chemicals into the atmosphere.

None of that stuff is good stuff, so many paint manufacturers have begun reducing the level of VOCs in their products to address this concern. Now it’s possible to find paints, like this one, which is actually formulated to give off about nine times fewer VOCs by weight.

So check the label before you start, and get that painting done before the cold sets in.


  1. We own an older home and in need of a kitchen make over. It’s not vented and I can’t cook in the summer because gets way to hot. (Gas Stove)no venting over stove. Also there is no window over the sink so no looking out while doing dishes. Would like to know how hard it would be to put in new flooring such as tile. Badly in need of kitchen cabinets make over and hard wear.Would like to know how to update the doors on cabinets there just plain. I’m disabled and my husband has had triple bypass. Can you give me some pointers and maybe some non experience tricks. Ty Fielder Family from Ft.Smith Arkansas

  2. What are the exterior paint colors, including the trim? Also, is the back the same as the front, because on photos, the back looks more light gray, while the front looks white, or off white? Thank you.

  3. Have been waiting on a painter, who’s been a close friend for a long time, to come over and paint the treehouse I built for my two nieces and nephew. After about 6 months with Thanksgiving coming up soon, I gave up waiting and painted myself. Was worried about the low temperatures, with it being only in the high 30’s in the early morning, that it was gonna be warm enough for the paint to stick well. Luckily my mother bought oil based paint; so when I started my mid morning painting adventure, with the temp in the mid 40s, the stain that I applied spreaded nicely and even dried well before the late afternoon.
    I learned the tricks to cold temp painting, application techniques on unfamiliar styles, and a new trick to put a smile on my Mom’s face; which was the best award, even tho I think the paint job looked just as good as if the professional ‘friend’ had come and tackled the job..


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