How Temperature and Humidity Affect Paint and Painting Application

While states that experience cooler climates need only worry about rain and wind for exterior painting projects, homeowners in Las Vegas must contend with temperature and humidity during both interior and exterior projects.

The type of paint is also important, when it comes to temperature and humidity. By way of example, temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended when using oil-based paints; however, latex and acrylic paints work much better in temperatures that exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to check the optimum working conditions for any paint you choose.

Each manufacturer will provide guidelines for use on paint containers. It is in your best interest to follow the instructions, as each paint formula is designed for use within specific temperature and humidity parameters. Take your time when purchasing paint, and make sure you are well informed on likely temperatures and humidity levels before you go shopping.

Temperature and Drying Paint

Temperature recommendations are cited for a reason. Depending on the paint, the temperature can either increase or reduce drying times. Lower ambient temperatures cause some paints to thicken, causing a longer drying time.

Thicker paint that takes longer to dry will result in running or sagging. The result is an ugly and uneven surface, which will often require starting the project from scratch after re-preparing the surface. This will cost you both time and money that could have been avoided by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

In order for paint to properly apply to the substrate (the surface that the paint is being applied to), it must be allowed to dry under suitable temperature and humidity levels. Too cold and the paint may not adhere, leaving you with paint work that is patchy and unsightly.

Bumps and wrinkles occur when paint is allowed to dry too rapidly. Think about cooking a thick steak in a microwave on high power in less than two minutes. You will find that the outside of the steak is hard and dehydrated, while the centre of the steak remains raw. The same principle applies to rapidly dried paint. The surface dries before the center, resulting in bumps and wrinkles.

Humidity and Drying Paint

High humidity creates increased water vapor in the air and on surfaces. Water-based paints rely on a calculated ratio of solvent (water) to pigment, resin, and additives. Too much humidity adds solvent to the paint, thinning the mixture and preventing it from drying within expected timescales.

Painting wooden surfaces is also problematic in high humidity, as wood is porous and will absorb any excess moisture from the air. Added moisture will usually cause the paint to peel and bubble as it dries. It doesn’t matter how many coats you use, if you continue to apply paint in conditions with adverse humidity, the results will likely be the same.

Then there is the problem that low temperatures and high humidity present for exterior painting. Surface condensation can ruin a paint finish, and that is something you will want to avoid when carrying out large exterior painting projects.

Avoiding Problems

It is a good idea to monitor temperature and humidity levels during painting projects. However, you should also avoid painting during times of the day when adverse levels of temperature or humidity are likely to occur. You can also use website services, such as Weather and Climate, to help you predict the best times of year for your project.

If you are carrying out a large project, using different types of paint, planning becomes much more difficult. Rather than taking a gamble, it makes more sense to seek the help and expertise of professionals. The cost of hiring professional painters is far outweighed by the multitude of problems you are likely to run into when painting in Las Vegas.

The Painting Company has worked in the best and worst temperature and humidity levels that Las Vegas has to offer. Our team is familiar with the various recommended temperature levels for different types of paint.

We carefully plan each job to ensure the weather conditions in Las Vegas are never an issue when it comes to completing your project. Best of all, our painters have a keen eye for identifying potential problem areas and adjusting the plan mid–project, in order to compensate.

You won’t want to trust your major projects to anyone other than the The Painting Company. When the heat is on, you can rely on us to keep our cool and get the job done quickly and professionally.

Reach out to the The Painting Company to help you complete your all-weather painting projects. We offer professional advice as well as a range of products and services to the fine people of Las Vegas.

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