House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What’s The Best Temperature to Paint Outside? Tips & FAQ

man painting house

Painting things outside, such as your home, bike, exterior doors, car, or equipment means ensuring that the weather will be ideal. Painting outside in the wrong conditions can leave you with a subpar paint job or paint peels off within the next few weeks or months. So what temperature is best when painting outdoors?

Many paint experts recommend painting outdoors only when daytime temperatures are between 60- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also best to ensure that there will be no precipitation or strong winds that day as it can definitely affect the temperature and the paint job.

light bulb divider

The Ideal Conditions for Painting Outside

Strong winds can cause the fresh paint to streak, and high humidity levels mean that the paint will start to drip with condensation, thus ruining the overall job. Ideally, it’s best to paint in the spring and summer months of the year. It’s also better to paint in a somewhat shaded area than in direct sunlight.

This is especially true for the times of the day when sunlight is the strongest, such as from 12 pm to 3 pm. Depending on what you’re painting and the type of paint that you’re using, strong sunlight and heat can damage the paint before it dries.

man painting metal roof
Image By: tkemot, Shutterstock

How to Remove a Bad Paint Job

There are several ways that you can remove paint safely and effectively. The best method will depend on the type of paint that was used and the material that it’s on. Here are some of the most common ways to remove paint from different objects.

Electric Sanders

For exterior paint removal, you can use either the belt sanders or orbital/rotating sanders–which are cheaper. Sanders can quickly remove paint and you don’t have to apply much pressure. Be careful with this method and use precautions as dust can get into your eyes, hair, and lungs. You can usually buy a good electric sander from a home improvement store for about $40 to $70 or more.

Heat Guns

Electric heat guns can also be used to remove paint. They’re safer than blowtorches, as they don’t burn hot enough to emit harmful fumes. Although you are less likely to burn down your house, they still pose a fire risk–especially if they’re usually responsible.

However, a heat gun has the advantage that it can be adjusted to increase or decrease its heat according to your removal needs. Although heat guns don’t produce flames they can still catch dry materials on fire if the gun is hot enough, so always use caution and be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before operating the tool.


Sandblasting is best for larger projects, and it’s usually used in industrial applications. However, they can be used to remove paint from wood and metal. Sandblasting can bring out the grain of your wood, giving it a rough and grooved look. This method is typically used by professionals as it takes some training to use the sandblasting tool safely.

Propane Blowtorch

For many years, homeowners have been using the blowtorch as a favorite tool because it is inexpensive and fast. Acrylic paint softens under high heat, which makes it easy to remove with a putty knife.

However, its drawbacks can sometimes outweigh the benefits. The biggest drawback: the open flames. Open flames can be dangerous, even outdoors.

Chemical Strippers

This method involves applying chemical paint strips to the paint surface. The paint bubbles up and then softens afterward, which allows you to simply wipe or scrape off the excess. Chemical strippers are safer than other methods, but they should also be used with precautions including safety masks and gloves. You want to prevent spillage when working with these chemicals, as they can easily damage furniture, flooring, and cabinetry finishes.

Manual Scraping

And then there’s the old-fashioned way of using a putty knife. Sometimes, a sharp, rigid putty blade or a blade for scraping paint is the best way to remove paint from materials such as wood or metal. Although chips and dust will accumulate, it’s less noticeable than if you used an electric sander. Scraping may be the best choice if the material has a small surface area or areas that are hard to reach with larger tools.

To keep your scraper in tip-top shape, get a sharpener and a whetstone. Although scraping can be tedious, it is the best option for general exterior or small paint removal tasks. Also, note that scraping (like sanding) can produce dust and other airborne particles. So, before you begin with this method, make sure to wear adequate eye protection and a ventilator mask.

light bulb divider

Exterior vs Interior Paint

Most people looking for advice on painting outdoors are usually planning to paint the exterior of their homes. When it comes to painting your home, you have two choices of paint, exterior and interior. But what are the differences between the two different types of paint?

woman painting metal roof
Image By: Stanislaw Mikulski, Shutterstock

Interior Paint

Exterior paint is made with harder resins than interior paint. Paints made from harder resins are more resistant to scuffing or scratching. This means the paint won’t easily attain scratches from airborne particles such as grease, debris, or everyday dust. The use of harder resins allows for cleaning and scrubbing. There are two types of indoor paints: oil and latex. Many people prefer to use latex paint indoors as it has a lower odor and is easier to clean up.

  • Easy to clean
  • Prevents scuffing
  • No strong odors
  • Reacts strongly to wide temperature swings
  • Not ideal for all surfaces

Exterior Paint

Softer resins are used in exterior paints, which makes them more durable in many cases. These resins are more flexible and can withstand some bending. Exterior paint that is less susceptible to moisture and freeze/thaw cycles.

This means that the paint is stronger and stands up better against harmful UV rays and strong winds. Exterior paint is also treated with additives to fight mold and mildew. Exterior paint is always recommended for the exterior of homes as it will stand up to harsh temperatures, precipitation, and sunlight without fading quickly. On average, you can expect a good exterior paint to last anywhere from 5 to 7 years.

  • Doesn’t fade fast
  • Mildew resistant
  • Comes in oil or latex options
  • Good for harsh temps and weather
  • Moisture resistant
  • Can be more expensive
  • May have strong odor


divider 4

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Know When It’s Time to Repaint My Home’s Exterior?

Most exterior paint jobs will need an update every 5 to 7 years. Stucco, on the other hand, can typically be painted less often if it doesn’t have extensive cracking. It’s usually time to paint if any surface shows signs of failure, such as peeling or cracking in the paint film or if the wood or stucco is noticeably cracking.

What Kind of Sheen Should I Use for My Home’s Exterior?

Exterior surfaces can be given a choice of three sheens: Flat, semi-gloss, and low luster.

The best sheen is usually determined by the surface. Stucco tends to look best with a flat sheen. If the wood siding is in good condition with no cosmetic imperfections, a low luster paint can look great. Semi-gloss is usually applied to trim elements.

It’s resistant to dirt and can withstand the elements, including rain and sun. Painting your entire home exterior with semi-gloss may not be the best option, as it will reflect sunlight, essentially making your home brighter from an outside view–which can be off-putting.

How Long Does It Usually Take to Paint a Home?

A typical 1000-square-foot home could take up to 1-3 days depending on its size, outside temperature, the building materials used, and the condition of the current paint job. A simple color scheme and full exterior (including trim) paint job can usually be completed by a two-man crew in a day or two.

divider 4


The ideal time to paint outdoors is during the spring or summer months when the weather is usually warmer and ideal painting temperatures are about 60 degrees to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. You also want to ensure that there won’t be strong winds or a chance of precipitation on the scheduled paint day, as this can negatively affect the paint finish and prolong drying time.

Featured Image Credit: Vladimirs Koskins, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools