Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>October 'best month to paint' house exterior?
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October 'best month to paint' house exterior?

I live in Seattle and have collected several bids on residing my house in Hardie Plank and painting. I realize that the painting season is coming to an end, and am anxious about going forward with the project now, rather than just waiting until June. A comment from one of the contractors struck me as strange. He said that in Seattle, October is actually the best month to paint houses. This came from a guy who owned his own painting company. Is there any truth to this statement? He said this in early August, so he didn't really have an incentive to promote October at the time. Several other contractors have said it's no problem to paint in the fall. The proposed paint is Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint, which is supposed to be fine down to 35 degrees. But I'm really worried about the lower temps and increased moisture in October, as I have read that for the best paint job the night time temperatures should be above 50 and that there should not be any dew or moisture on the house. Am I getting a bunch of hooey from contractors who just want the work now, rather than the spring, at the expense of my paint job? Would I be better off waiting until June? Thanks!

Re: October 'best month to paint' house exterior?


I am not sure that October is the ideal month here in the North- West (live in Portland), but it is certainly a suitable month barring a really premature nasty spell.I like late summer/early fall because the house is at its driest after the heat of the summer. The extreme heat and winds of the summer are past. Drying too fast is much worse than drying slowly in terms or getting a good cure of the paint film. I know of no paint that says you should be painting over 90 degrees. Many of the later generation paints allow for application down to 35 degrees. Freezing temperatures will damage the paint, merely being cool will not. As a concession to cool weather, I would often quit painting earlier in the afternnon so as to allow the paint to properly film over before the cool and dew of the night. I would not paint over heavy dew, but a trace of dew will not hurt the application if you are rolling and brushing the finish. Indeed, Benjamin Moore used to reccommend that you dampen a wall down first if you absolutely had to paint in very hot weather! Latex paint is afterall water soluable!

I have Hardi-Plank on my house and have been pleased with it. It is stable, doesn't burn, termites don't like it and it takes paint very well. My bias is that I would rather paint it on site. You get unlimited color choices, the caulking will match perfectly since you will have painted over it and you don't have to touch up construction dings in the finish. I personally would prime the Hardi-Plank again in addition to the factory primer. Tint the primer to the finish color and then finish coat over it.

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