What is the Ideal Time to Paint the Exterior of a House

Your house’s exterior is the first impression of your home. An easy-on-the-eyes exterior design is nice to see as you’re pulling up to the garage, and it’s a welcoming site you can be proud of when guests visit. At least, it is when it’s got a fresh coat of paint.

When is the Best Time To Paint The Exterior Of A House

If your home’s exterior is due for a paint job, you’ll get the best results from using the right kind of paint under the right conditions. Painting outdoors under the wrong conditions, such as extreme temperatures or too close to a rainstorm, could result in improper curing, warping, bubbling, cracking, peeling, and chipping. Painting a house is enough of a hassle without having to start over from scratch due to a bad first try. Read on to find out how to prevent these frustrating problems.

The Ideal Time to Paint the Outside of Your Minnesota House

There are a lot of things to factor into this answer. The short version is “Summer. Usually. Depending on the weather.”

Here’s what you need to know to decide the best time for yourself based on the current weather conditions.


50 degrees F used to be the rule–no painting below that. But with newer paint formulas, we can now get away with painting outdoors in the cold as long as it stays above 35 degrees F. The thing is, you can’t just go painting when the high is 35 degrees in the afternoon and expect everything to turn out fine. The temperature must stay above 35 degrees during the entire curing process (sometimes multiple days depending on the paint type).

This means that if it’s winter, you’ll have to wait until the low is consistently 35 degrees F or higher before painting. If the paint gets too cold before it dries, a few things can happen. It will stay tacky for longer, making it more likely that dirt blown in by the wind could stick to it, and impressions from a bird or a tennis ball or even a leaf hitting it will likely be permanent. It could also warp while wet, putting it at risk for bubbling, peeling, cracking, or chipping.

In Minnesota, the low temp historically stays above 35 degrees F from late April through early October. So it’s a good idea to avoid painting through most of the fall and all of winter. If the weather is on the edge but you really want to paint, keep an eye on the forecast for your area. If you live in southern Minnesota and it’s unseasonably warm, you may be able to get away with it in November or March.

However, painting between April and October isn’t a guaranteed perfect time. Temperatures that rise too high can cause paint to cure too quickly, which can also lead to cracking or peeling. Extremely high temperatures are less likely to be a problem in Minnesota since temperatures above 85 are the danger zone, and the high temp rarely surpasses 80 degrees in the summer.


But keep in mind that direct sunlight can cause the same problems as painting in extremely high temperatures. Direct sunlight can raise the surface temperature well above 85 degrees F even if it’s a cooler day, so it’s best to paint an area that will get direct sunlight on a cooler day to prevent overheating and inappropriately fast curing.

If the area you want to paint will get direct sunlight for part of the day, paint after the direct sunlight exposure to that area has passed for the day. This will allow the greatest amount of curing time for the paint before the direct sunlight returns.


Rain is an obvious problem for outdoor painting jobs–you don’t want water droplet patterns in your finished project. But there are more water dangers to a paint job to consider besides getting rained out.

Did you know that rain a few days before beginning your paint job could cause a problem even if it’s been dry recently? If you’re painting a porous surface like untreated wood or masonry, there’s probably still moisture within that hasn’t fully evaporated yet. Painting over that moisture could cause bubbling later as it tries to evaporate but is trapped by the paint.

High humidity will cause similar problems to extremely cool temperatures–too much moisture in the air slows down the drying process, leaving the paint vulnerable to dirt or insect damage. Dew could also become a problem by wetting your curing paint early in the morning if the humidity is too high. The best way to avoid is to find a time at least a week after the last rain and as many days as the paint can says it will take to cure before the next rain.

So When is the Best Time to Paint an Exterior in Minnesota?

The best time to paint the outside of a house in Minnesota is between late April and early October when the low is consistently above 35 degrees F. Choose a day that won’t go above 85 degrees. It’s best to find a time when it’s been dry for a week or more and no rain is expected for the curing time listed on the paint can (usually 1-3 days). And lastly, if the surface you’ll be painting will get direct sunlight, wait until right after the direct sunlight exposure for that day and paint as soon as it’s over to allow maximum curing time before the next direct sunlight exposure.

That’s a long list of things to consider, but the effort to find the perfect time to paint your Minnesota home’s exterior will be worth it when you get to enjoy your finished project without having to repaint a messy first try.

Highest Quality Outdoor Paint

Man Painting Exterior

In addition to choosing the right conditions to do your outdoor painting under, selecting a good-quality exterior paint is another important step. Never use interior paint as this isn’t made to withstand intense weather, even once it’s dry. There are some other specifications to consider when choosing the best outdoor paint for your project. Here are some high-quality exterior paints with specific strengths.

Kilz Exterior Siding, Fence, and Barn Paint

This exterior paint only requires 6-8 hours to dry before recoating. It will need a little longer to dry all the way, but if you’re pressed for time between good weather conditions, this could be a great choice for you to get the drying done faster on wood, plastic, or fiberglass surfaces.

Rust-Oleum Zinsser 31.5 fl oz. PermaWhite Paint

If mold and mildew resistance is a high priority for you, this paint is a great option to consider. Especially if you’re painting an area that gets little to no direct sunlight or gets wet often such as by a sprinkler or being near a body of water.

KILZ Interior/Exterior Self-Priming Masonry, Stucco, and Brick Paint

For masonry projects, this paint is perfect for its ability to bind to textured surfaces. It’s also good for providing water resistance and for preventing mold and mildew growth. It will accentuate the rugged, textured look while keeping it looking natural.

Choosing the Best Color

Did you know that some colors of outdoor paint are much higher-maintenance than others? The darker the color, the more quickly it will fade, especially if it gets a lot of sun exposure. If you choose a darker color for your exterior, you’ll need to repaint more often than if you choose a lighter color.

Whether you’re working with a lighter or darker color, if you’re covering up a different color, it’s best to plan for at least a couple of coats to get the job done. Make sure you buy enough paint and plan for enough ideal weather condition time to allow each coat to dry appropriately.

Wrapping Up Outdoor House Painting in Minnesota

Painting the exterior of a house is a big job, especially considering all the weather conditions that need to be aligned to provide the best environment for proper paint curing. The prospect could feel overwhelming, but you can tackle it if you just focus on one area at a time. It doesn’t all have to get done in the same day.

If you feel that it might be more of a hassle than you’d like to deal with, we’d be happy to handle it for you! With nearly two decades in the business of painting homes, the Minneapolis Painting Company is well-suited to take on whatever exterior painting needs you may have.

In fact, we’re so confident that our exterior painting will go above and beyond your expectations that we offer a 3-year 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our projects. Contact us today for a free quote.