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House Painting in the Rain: Is it Possible?

by | Apr 29, 2022 | Exterior Painting

Living in the great northwest always means we have a good chance of rain most months out of the year.  Rain is a necessary evil we must deal with for many reasons but not really a great thing if you are trying to paint your home.

An Introduction to House Painting in the Rain

 As a painting contractor, we typically don’t paint in the rain unless it shows up unexpectedly or if we are working undercover.  It can be done in some circumstances but for the most part, we try to avoid painting in the rain.

Can You Paint in the Rain?

Painting the exterior of a home in the rain is not a great idea in most cases.  If you are trying to paint surfaces that are not getting wet like your eves, outdoor ceilings, or doors that are protected from the elements you can get away with it.  In most cases, you would not want to paint your siding, gutters, or other items that are getting wet while it is raining.

Some paints are made for days when the weather is not ideal or we have a lot of moisture in the air.  Paints like Sherwin Williams Resilience are designed to dry fast so they can get wet within a short period of time and be fine.  Most exterior paints are designed to have moisture resistance in about four hours.  Resilience is designed to be resistant in two hours.  This is a popular product that painters like to use in early Spring or late Fall when we don’t know what the weather will be doing from hour to hour.

Can You Paint When It Rains? Our Advice

If a surface is already wet we really don’t suggest trying to paint it.  So if it is raining or has just rained you can’t paint the surface if it is already wet or at least you shouldn’t.  We see people trying to do that sometimes but that is usually on new construction homes as they have deadlines to meet.  This is one reason we see paint failure in newer homes much faster as they may have been painted in cold wet weather.  

If you are in the middle of painting a home and it starts raining it is usually not a major emergency unless it is a heavy rain. 

What Happens if It Rains on Fresh Paint?

You may notice some watermarks if the paint gets wet too soon.  Most of the time it will not cause the paint to fall off but it can make it look bad.  If this happens you should just stop painting and wait for the home to dry off again and then repaint the affected areas.  If it is a hard rain you may want to protect surfaces from paint runs as that can happen.  

When Is the Best Time to Paint Your Home in the PNW?

We usually get about 5 months of good exterior painting weather and another 2-3 months where it is possible under the right conditions.  Most of our exterior painting in the Pacific Northwest is done from May-September as the temperatures are fairly warm and rain chances are much lower.  We do have years where we paint exteriors in March, April, and October if we get good weather.  Many days are sunny and dry in Spring or Fall but we may have too much moisture on the surfaces to paint.  Many paints say you can apply them in temps as low as 35 degrees but we typically don’t paint when it is that cold.  We prefer to get temps above 50 degrees for the best results when painting the exterior of a building. 

can you paint in the rain

Exterior Painting with Absolute Painting

We work closely with our customers and explain to them we are always at the mercy of the weather.  Our team is constantly watching the weather forecast so we know what to expect most days.  If we are not comfortable painting your home in certain conditions we will let you know that we should wait for a better day so the job lasts longer.  It is not an exact science but we have been doing this for over 25 years now so we have a lot of experience with the weather! 

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