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Exterior Painting in the Off Season

It’s always sad to see summer go, but in the Pacific Northwest, there’s truly something wonderful about our fall and winter seasons. The air is a little crisper, the trees start to change color, and of course, the rainy season begins. Those living in the Pacific Northwest know best that you truly cannot predict when the rainy fall and winter season will begin and how long it will last. Because of this, exterior projects are rushed to get finished, and homeowners call in a panic to try and squeeze in their painting project during September and October. But there’s no need to fear the rain too much when it comes to painting. At ITech Painters, we keep projects going even during the winter months, it just takes a little bit more patience and understanding of the painting process.  

Last spring we discussed the possibility of painting during our rainy season and what to keep in mind when scheduling exterior work during the off-season. The two most important factors when painting exteriors is the temperature and the retention of moisture. Paint can be applied at temperatures as low as 35°F in most cases, and as long as the siding is not retaining moisture. So while we begin moving into our off-season for exterior work, we wanted to take the time to elaborate more on what to know and what to prepare for as a homeowner in order to keep working on exterior projects during the fall and winter months. 

Checking for Moisture

You may have read our previous blog post about painting in the rain, but if not you can view it by clicking here.  As we have mentioned, paint can be applied outdoors at temperatures as low as 35℉. But aside from the temperature outside, it’s even more important to check how much moisture is within the siding and trim itself, and if there is any pending rain that can ultimately affect the paint job. 

Now checking your weather app doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to paint outside. Siding retains moisture, and even though the temperature outside might be above freezing, your siding may still be at freezing temperatures in the morning due to the amount of sun exposure it has received. Because of this, we suggest making use of shorter hours during the day; begin paint application around 8-9am when the sun has been up for at least a few hours, and finish applications no later than 3:30pm to allow for a few additional hours of sunlight to help the paint to dry.  

You should always check for moisture buildup on the siding and corner boards as well. Although the siding may be dry to the touch, running a finger along exposed nail heads and caulking is an important step in checking for moisture, as it can reside in these small cracks and gaps around the house. What you don’t want to do is move forward with preparation and caulk over moisture buildup, risking the chance of trapping in moisture, risking the build up of dry rot in your siding and trim.

Paint Application and Product Choice

The first thing we suggest to our customers who plan on painting their exterior during the rainy season is to consider a paint upgrade. Most major paint companies have a specific product that has been created for application during high-moisture seasons allowing for quicker dry times and durability.  

Sherwin-Williams Resilience paint is a fantastic product built specifically for this type of weather. It is pricier than products such as Super Paint or A100, but the coverage and ease of application during our winter months allows for us to paint quickly and cover appropriately even with our shorter winter work days.  

Resilience paint is built with what Sherwin-Williams calls MoistureGuard technology that helps fight against any moisture issues during application. Sherwin’s suggested temperature for application is as low as 35℉, giving painters plenty of warm days for application during the winter months in the Pacific Northwest. Resilience paint also has the ability to dry in half the time of other latex paints, with a mildewcide built into the paint itself, adding that additional layer of coverage from the natural elements.

Another stand out product line is Miller Paint Company. Founded in the Pacific Northwest, their entire paint line takes into consideration the climate here and how to battle the elements all year round. Products, such as Acri-Lite, also have early moisture resistance allowing for application to begin early in the day with a dry time as quick as one hour for the first coat of paint. It’s also easy to wash and remove dirt and debris without causing any effect or damage to the paint job itself, and can be applied at temperatures as low as 35℉. And because Miller Paint was made in the Pacific Northwest, they were built for the Pacific Northwest, and offer top-of-the-line warranties on their products to ensure their coverage stands the test of time.

Because of this, we can still keep the progress of our paint jobs moving forward quickly and efficiently, even with reduced hours of sun and during our moisture-heavy days. 

Pros and Cons of Paint in Fall and Winter

The majority of homeowners who either hire out a painting contractor or who paint themselves wait for the summer months to paint. June through September are the busiest time for any painting contractor, and finding a contractor who still has availability during these months can be quite difficult if you didn’t plan ahead of time early in the year.  

It may seem a bit scary to have your house painted during the off season, but hiring the right contractor and reading over their application process and the paint product they recommend thoroughly for your project could save you a significant amount of money to paint during the off season rather than wait until the spring or summer. Because demand is much lower during the winter, prices are also lower, making it a great time to schedule exterior work. This may take a bit more patience for the homeowner, as projects will take a little slower than during our hot, summer days. But by doing your homework, and hiring the right professionals, your house will be well protected from the rain for years to come at a fraction of the cost.

Have any other questions about painting exteriors during the off-season?  We are always happy to help! Email us at for more information.   

Have a paint or color question you would like answered? Please send your question to and we will do our best to try and answer it in an upcoming blog post.

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