When Is It Too Hot for Exterior Painting in Wilmington, NC?

calander Aug 6 , 2023 user-iconAnderson Painting

Not all summer days are ideal for home improvement projects, specifically exterior painting. Painting when it is too hot and humid outside will only create problems and result in a poor finish. But how hot is too hot for exterior painting?

This article will explore reasons to avoid scheduling a paint job when it is scorching hot outdoors and discuss the perfect temperature for exterior painting in Wilmington, NC.

How Temperature and Humidity Affect Painting

Professional painters do not paint exterior surfaces during extreme temperatures and high humidity for many reasons. Here are some of them.

Drying Time for Paint

In high temperatures, paint tends to dry too quickly. This may seem like a good thing, but it is actually not. Rapid drying can lead to brush marks and roller streaks, leaving an unsightly appearance on the painted surface. High humidity also isn’t ideal because the paint will take much longer to dry. You can end up waiting hours before being able to apply a second coat.


Painting adhesion is affected by many factors, humidity being one of them. High humidity is particularly problematic for wooden surfaces because wood absorbs moisture in the air. The surface won’t dry properly when it’s too humid. When you paint over a surface that isn’t completely dry, the moisture will be trapped underneath the paint. The paint may start peeling two to three years after application.


Achieving a flawless exterior paint finish is impossible when you paint during extremely hot or humid days. Applying paint on a hot day will cause the surface of the paint to dry quickly while the lower layers remain moist. As a result, blisters, bumps, lifting, and cracking are likely to develop. On the other hand, painting the exterior when it’s too humid can result in surfactant leaching, which is white or brown discoloration on the paint.

When it comes to painting, timing is very important. It should not be too cold, hot, wet, humid, or windy. To determine the perfect time to schedule your exterior painting project, watch weather forecasts and time your projects when conditions are optimal.

Why High Temperatures and UV Exposure Are Hazardous for Painters

Painting exteriors when it is too hot does not only affect the paint job. It also affects the painters.

When the sun beats down relentlessly, the sweltering heat can cause exhaustion and dehydration, affecting the painter's concentration and even resulting in potential accidents on the job.

Aside from that, hot days expose workers to excessive ultraviolet rays. We all know that UV isn’t good for the skin, and while painters can wear protective clothing, they remain susceptible to the damaging effects of this type of light.

Hence, you should make sure to schedule your painting project when it is not too hot to paint the exterior.

Average Temperatures in Wilmington and When They Reach Their Peak

Summers in Wilmington can be hot and oppressive. But this does not mean there will be no days ideal for exterior paint application.

The city’s average high temperature is 89 degrees Fahrenheit. This typically occurs in July, the hottest month of the year, and the temperature does not fall below 37 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter on average. However, Wilmington once experienced a high temperature of 104 degrees.

The ideal temperature for painting exteriors will vary depending on the type of paint you’ll be using. For oil-based paint, the ideal temperature ranges from 40 degrees to 90 degrees. On the other hand, latex paints require higher temperatures of not lower than 50 degrees but not over 85.

In terms of humidity, the perfect range is 40% to 50%. However, the maximum humidity level for most paints is 70%.

Tips for Exterior Painting in the Summer

Are you planning to paint your exterior this summer? Here are a few tips to make sure you get a great finish.

Check the Weather Forecast

Checking the weather forecast is the only way to know the best time to paint your exterior. Schedule your paintwork when the temperature and humidity are within the ideal range for five consecutive days. This is the amount of time needed for the paint to dry all the way through and for the paint film to reach its maximum durability and hardness. Also, it should not rain 48 hours before the paint application. Should the surface get wet, you will need ample time for the moisture to evaporate from it.

Consider the Time

Timing is essential when it comes to summer painting. When it is too hot to paint the exterior of a house, the paint job and the painters will suffer. Aim to start early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun's intensity is less harsh. High temperatures can cause the paint to dry too quickly, leading to uneven application and reduced paint adhesion. By avoiding peak sun hours, you'll have more control over the paint application process and achieve a smoother finish.

Chase the Shade

In the scorching summer heat, painting in direct sunlight can pose challenges. Not only does the sun accelerate the drying process, but it also creates glare, making it harder to detect any imperfections in your paint job. Whenever possible, try to paint in the shade to achieve better visibility and more comfortable working conditions. If your property lacks natural shade, consider setting up temporary covers or umbrellas to shield the area you are working on.

Avoid Windy Days

Painting on windy days can lead to various issues, from debris and dust getting trapped in the wet paint to the paint drying too quickly. Wind can also cause overspray, making it challenging to control the direction of the paint application. If the weather forecast predicts strong winds, you’re better off postponing your painting project to a calmer day.

Find the Right Contractor for Your Exterior Painting in Wilmington, NC

Exterior house painting in Wilmington, NC isn’t something you should do yourself. Siding protects your home from the elements, so it needs reliable protection (in the form of paint) to do its job properly for many years to come. And because of the complexities of a painting project, hiring a professional painter will always be a wise move.

So, how do you find a contractor that can guarantee quality results? Well, here are a few ways.

Research and Referrals

Seek recommendations from family, friends, or neighbors who have had positive experiences with painting contractors in the area. Online reviews and ratings can also offer valuable insights into the reliability and quality of work provided by different contractors.


Verify that the contractor you are considering is licensed to operate in Wilmington.

Experience and Expertise

Look for contractors with a proven track record in exterior painting. Experienced contractors are more likely to understand the unique challenges posed by the local climate and have the expertise to handle them effectively. Request a portfolio of their previous projects to assess the quality of their work.

Estimates and Contracts

Obtain detailed written estimates from multiple contractors that outline the cost of materials, labor, and any additional services. Compare these estimates to ensure they are reasonable and transparent. Once you've chosen a contractor, make sure to sign a contract that clearly outlines the scope of work, timelines, payment schedule, and other essential terms.

Communication and Professionalism

Choose a contractor who communicates promptly and professionally. A reliable contractor will be responsive to your inquiries, address your concerns, and keep you updated throughout the painting process.

Anderson Painting is a trusted and established contractor for your exterior painting project in Wilmington, NC and surrounding areas. Our company has been offering interior and exterior painting to residents and business owners in the Greater Raleigh area for many years. Expect nothing but the best when you trust the team for your exterior painting.

For more information on Anderson Painting’s services, please don’t hesitate to contact the team.

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