As we mark the Fall Equinox today, the days cool, and the daylight hours begin to soften and decline. You may be worried that you still have not completed that exterior home painting project. When is the latest –end of the road, must-have-the-last-drop of paint applied date to get the house painted before winter’s snow and winds release their mighty fury in Kansas City? There are a few factors to consider and it starts with the paint.

Paint has come a long way since the ole whitewashed fence look of Mark Twain’s era. Technology—yes the same technology that ushered in the computer age also created a new market for exterior paint! Low-Temperature paint is the new kid on the block. There used to be a time when exterior painting was limited to days when temperatures did not dip below 50 degrees F.

Sherwin William’s Duration, Resilience, SuperPaint and A-100 Exterior–can be applied down to as low as 35 degrees.
Benjamin Moore’s Aura, MoorGuard, MoorLife, and Super Spec paints can also be applied at lower temperatures, with a minimum recommendation of 40 degrees.

If the temperature fluctuates wildly, as it may do the closer to the Winter Solstice on December 22, the paint does not have time to cure and that is a big problem.

The second factor to consider is the weather conditions during the year . In Kansas City, the temperatures in the Fall season tend to even out and more closely match in the daytime and evening. Keep this chart handy for planning to find out when is the best time to paint.

Some of the problems common to exterior painting in cold weather are poor color uniformity, water spotting in latex paint, slow and inconsistent drying time and film cracking. Don’t paint before a cold snap is predicted. Sub-zero temps can wreak havoc on freshly painted surfaces! The paint has been dry to the touch for at least one day, possibly two.

A condition to avoid is water and moisture–even dew, while prepping, applying and curing paint. Water tends to create a barrier between the paint and the surface. If that happens –think a rainy fall evening with shorter dry time during the day—the paint will not adhere, get gummy and eventually peel or bubble off.

Sherwin William’s recommends dry conditions and moderate temperatures for at least 48 hours after application or suffer from “surfactant leaching, mildew growth, frosting, and adhesion problems.”

So what is the perfect time to paint? In the Midwest and Kansas City in particular the temperature begins to drop off below 35 degrees just before Thanksgiving. There are exceptions, of course and possible opportunities to paint even into early December.

If you want your home properly protected time for the blustery winds and precipitation, painting sooner that later will help you sleep easier as winter comes to Kansas City.