Can You Start Exterior Painting In The Rain? The Pros & Cons

May 18, 2024By Tyler Bains
Tyler Bains

Truth About Exterior Painting in Wet Conditions

When it comes to maintaining the exterior of your home, painting is a critical task that not only enhances aesthetic appeal but also provides a layer of protection against the elements. However, homeowners often find themselves at the mercy of the weather, especially in regions prone to rain.

The question arises: can you paint the exterior of a house in rainy weather, or is it a recipe for disaster? Let's delve into the myths and realities surrounding exterior painting in wet conditions.

Why You Should Avoid Rainy Days

There's a longstanding belief that exterior painting should only be done in perfect weather conditions—sunny, dry, and with moderate temperatures.

The myth suggests that rain is the arch-nemesis of fresh paint, causing immediate washouts, uneven drying, and a host of other issues. While there is some truth to the challenges rain can pose, advancements in paint technology and professional techniques have changed the game.

Nowadays, yes you should avoid rainy days as it can ruin the longevity of your paint but a bit of mist will not ruin your project as paints have come a long way.

handyman painting house external wall for home renovation

Duration of Wait Between Painting and Moisture

At the heart of the matter is the relationship between paint and moisture. Water-based paints, in particular, are sensitive to high humidity and direct contact with water. When paint is applied to a wet surface or exposed to rain shortly after application, it can lead to inadequate adhesion, streaking, and prolonged drying times.

However, not all paints are created equal, and some are specifically formulated to handle higher levels of moisture.

Modern Paints and Techniques 

Modern exterior paints have come a long way, with many brands offering options that can tolerate light rain or high humidity. These products often have quicker drying times and are designed to form a resilient layer once dry.

Additionally, professional painters employ techniques such as timing the application between rain showers and using protective coverings to shield freshly painted areas from unexpected drizzles.

How Can You Paint While Its Wet

To ensure the success of an exterior painting project during uncertain weather, follow these best practices:

  1. Check the Weather Forecast: Plan the painting project during a period with the lowest chance of rain, ideally with a few dry days in a row.
  2. Select the Right Paint: Choose paints that are formulated for damp climates and can withstand some exposure to moisture.
  3. Prepare the Surface: Ensure the surface is clean, dry, and free of mildew before painting. This might involve scheduling surface preparation for a dry day well in advance of painting.
  4. Utilize Techniques to Mitigate Moisture: Professionals may use fans, heaters, or other methods to speed up drying times and reduce the impact of humidity.

When to Postpone the Painting Project

Despite the best preparations, there are times when it's wise to postpone an exterior painting project. If heavy rain is forecasted, or if the surfaces are already saturated from previous rainfall, it's best to wait for better conditions. This will prevent the paint from failing to adhere properly and ensure a smooth, long-lasting finish.

Professional Advice Goes a Long Way

For those considering an exterior painting project during the rainy season, consulting with a professional painter is crucial. They can provide valuable insights into the local climate, the best type of paint for the conditions, and the ideal timing for the project. Their expertise can make the difference between a botched job and a beautifully painted home that stands up to the weather.

professional exterior painting

The Final Word

In conclusion, painting the exterior of a house in rainy weather is not strictly off-limits. With the right approach, materials, and professional guidance, it can be done successfully. It's important to weigh the risks and be prepared to adjust plans according to the weather. By doing so, you can achieve a stunning exterior paint job that endures through the seasons, rain or shine.