Last Minute Painting Before Winter

At Sharper Impressions Painting, naturally business slows down over the holiday season – after all, most folks’ thoughts turn to the festivities, fun, family and food that accompany Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, rather than to decorating. But what if you’re desperate to have the exterior of your home painted before winter really sets in? Is it even possible to paint during the colder, darker months?

Well, the answer is “yes” and also “no”. Obviously it all comes down to the weather during the days that your paint job is scheduled – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that painting while it’s raining or snowing is not a very good idea, to put it mildly! And while you might protest that you can handle inclement weather and don’t mind painting in sub-zero temperatures (the hard work will keep you warm, right?) the same can’t be said for your trusty tin of paint.

There are two things to bear in mind, whether you’re thinking about taking on the challenge of painting the exterior of your home yourself, or are considering hiring a professional such as Sharper Impressions Painting, and those are temperature and weather – or moisture to be more precise.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can get away with – and what will leave your paint job, and your home, in a sorry, soggy state over the winter holidays.


It goes without saying that paint should only be applied to a surface that is completely dry; it simply won’t adhere to the surface you are painting otherwise – whether that’s the exterior of your property, or a kitchen cabinet. And just because you woke up and the sky is blue (or more likely, gray) that doesn’t mean that you – or your painter – are in the clear. During winter, the air is naturally damper, and even humidity can have an adverse affect on your finished result.

If it has rained, hailed, sleeted or snowed, the general rule of thumb is to wait a day before painting – although don’t forget that, just because a surface may feel dry to the touch, a porous material such as untreated wood or concrete may still be damp inside. Another thing to remember is that while you may have packed up your ladder and brushes for the day, your paint will still be drying overnight – and that means it could be affected by that evening’s low. The key here is to check weather reports, compare that night’s low with the previous evening’s, and of course look out for any mention of snow or rain.


Paint brands come with a minimum and maximum ideal temperature range in which they can be used. Good quality paints that are recommended for outdoor use can come with a minimum temperature point as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 1.6 degrees Celsius). While this is good news for anyone who wants the outside of their house painted regardless of the biting cold, slow down before you grab your paintbrush and thermals because you also need to take into consideration that paint really doesn’t like sharp or sudden changes in temperature – whether hot or cold. You might be lucky and catch one of those mild winter days where the temperatures are in the low sixties – but how far is that going to drop come nightfall? Think of your poor paintwork as it clings to the side of your home, desperately trying to dry!


Well we told you “yes and no” earlier when it comes to the question of being able to paint your home during the winter, and while you might just be lucky enough to get away with it – providing the temperature and climate are aligned in perfect harmony – there is a good chance that you might be left waiting until spring starts to bloom.

Of course, in a country as vast as the US, location plays a huge part in a successful outcome too. Painting your cabin in Upstate New York in the middle of January? Probably not going to happen. Painting your vacation home in the Florida Keys in December? You might stand a decent shot at it.

No matter where you are, the sooner you decide to paint your home before winter is upon us, the better. And if all the consulting of weather charts, picking the perfect day, and testing wood for dampness sounds like too much hard work (and that’s without the painting itself!) why not give the team at Sharper Impressions Painting a call? We’ll be happy to ensure that your home’s exterior is picture perfect before the holiday season rolls around.