Weekly Hack: Fall painting tips

Updated: October 24, 2019

By Marina Pousheva/Shutterstock

Did you put off your cottage painting jobs all summer? Good news: you don’t necessarily need to wait until next year to tackle them. Fall can be one of the best seasons for painting and staining, even exteriors or outdoor projects. Time the work just right—the weather must cooperate—and you’ll cross a job off your spring to-do list months early!

*Watch the forecast, and pick a warm, dry week. You’ll need two rain-free days before painting.

*Most paints and stains won’t adhere properly unless the temperature is at least 10°C, but check product labels.

*The sun is your friend. Schedule the work during the sunniest hours of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

*Allow for extra drying time between coats. The cooler the temperature, the slower the product will dry.

*Even if your painting surface doesn’t look wet, wipe it down with a rag right before you start applying your first coat. Minute, almost invisible amounts of moisture can settle on exterior surfaces overnight.

*Don’t paint if it’s windy, dusty, foggy, or—obviously—raining.

*Painting inside? If your cottage is prone to moisture and mould problems, it could be that you have high indoor humidity, even in the shoulder seasons. And that can interfere with painting: ideal relative humidity for painting is 40 to 70 per cent. (You can monitor it with a hygrometer.)

*Assuming your cottage is winterized, you can paint inside no matter how cold it gets outside—but if you’re painting the walls, keep in mind that they’ll likely be colder than the temperature in the room. Turning up the heat before, during, and after painting can help raise the surface temperature of the walls.

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