Whether you’re a Florida native, semi-native or recent transplant, those who have the privilege of owning a home in the Sunshine State will one day need to paint it. However, the first two groups presumably have the wisdom of experience on their side, while relative newcomers may be asking, “What is the best time of year to paint my Florida house?” As you may well be suspecting, there is a right answer to this question! Because guessing wrong can have very expensive consequences, our experts at The Paint Manager are here to help!
First, Florida’s climate is semi-tropical. If you’re accustomed to experiencing four distinct seasons, they don’t exist here, which can be confusing. What we do have, Floridians usually classify as “hurricane season” and “dry season.”
Florida weather – rain and paint don’t mix
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, although August and September are typically the most active months. During hurricane season, we also have almost-daily afternoon thunderstorms – which are actually good, as they provide temporary relief from the triple-digit summer temperatures of mid-June, July and August.
Don’t try to paint between the afternoon storms. Paint won’t adhere well to damp surfaces, and the exterior walls may not be completely dry the following day – much less ready for the onslaught of that afternoon’s rain. As for temperature, the maximum should be 90 degrees. Hot weather and direct sun cause paint to dry too fast, which is another reason house painting should be avoided during summer.
In addition, Florida summers are characterized by high humidity – giving rise to that frequent comment, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” This not only makes outdoor work more uncomfortable when it isn’t storming, it slows the paint-drying process and increases the possibility of moisture becoming trapped, which eventually will cause bubbling. Even if you hire a professional painting contractor (which we highly recommend), keep in mind that although the crew may be “used” to working in various kinds of weather, they’re human – and are more likely to do a better job if the heat index isn’t 107 degrees and they aren’t drenched in sweat after two minutes under the blazing sun.
Should you not be deterred in taking the DIY route, use special caution in summer. Heatstroke is a real risk.
While the drawbacks of house painting during hurricane season should now be obvious, dry season has its own limited windows of opportunity – so it’s important to make the most of those times.
Can you paint a Florida house in winter?
Definitely, yes! In fact, October through late March are the best months of the year to paint a Florida house! The season is relatively dry, and temperatures never achieve the sustained frigid levels of Northern states. Sunny days are plentiful and pleasant. The earlier in March, the better, however. What we lack in snow, we make up for in pollen.
Pollen season – how bad can it be?
Just as rain and paint don’t mix, neither does pollen and paint. Each spring, every blooming plant in Central Florida simultaneously spews pollen into the air, coating all stationary outdoor objects with a thick yellow layer. As you probably already well know, this includes your car. While it may not be as obvious, this also includes your house. A good observation-based guideline is to not paint while plants are actively producing pollen. Wait until your car stays pollen-free for one week after it’s washed, and you and your co-workers, friends and family have stopped sneezing every 10 minutes.
All right – we admit that may have been facetious, but only somewhat. Even if you pressure wash your house before painting during this annual airborne event, pollen will quickly return in all its sticky, grainy glory, and adhere more tenaciously to your home’s damp exterior (and remain when it dries). Painting over pollen creates a rough, low-quality appearance and shortens the life of the paint job. Being patient will ultimately pay off.
Once the pollen has subsided, the window of opportunity again opens until hurricane season starts. Spring cleaning can include repainting your house, as well as the usual seasonal sprucing-up of landscaping.
Weather conditions may be favorable in mid-November, but as this is typically a busy, demanding time of year for many reasons, it may not be best for home improvement projects.
No matter which season you decide to paint your Florida house, the following steps are essential to achieving the best result:
- Use high-quality caulk, primer and paint. If hiring a professional painting contractor, you may have already chosen the paint brand and colors. By the way, most pros can help you select colors, if you lack confidence in that area – as well as provide advice on the type of paint that’s best for your home’s building material.
- Do all prep work carefully and properly – it will help the paint adhere better, and create a smoother surface. If hiring a contractor, discuss such work and make sure it’s included in the estimate.
- If your house was built before 1978, check for lead-based paint. While there are DIY testing kits available, results aren’t always accurate. Be safe, and hire a lead abatement company to perform the test.
- If doing it yourself, use the right tools and safety equipment; follow manufacturer’s directions.
Leave it to the pros!
The Paint Manager has served Central Florida since 2000 with quality professional residential and commercial painting services. Visit our website to learn about many other services we provide – including pressure washing, roof cleaning and stump removal. Become a member of The Paint Manager to receive a 15% year-‘round member’s discount. Contact us to learn more about our services and membership discount offer.