Painting in Southwest Florida During the Winter Months

A web visitor wrote to us:

“I live in the Fort Myers area and want the exterior of my home painted. I would prefer to have the painting done in December, January or February. I don't want my home painted during rainy season.”

I hear the above statement repeated almost every time I get a phone call for exterior painting. Many homeowners feel that the winter months in Florida are the best time to paint the exterior of their home, when it is actually the worst time. If you look at the temperatures we have been getting lately - we have been getting cold fronts coming through every other week. When the temperature gets in the 40 at night and barely gets above 60 during the day, the stucco surface still remains cool. Even though the paint companies say it is okay to paint down to 35 degrees, no one considers that the paint does not dry thoroughly and in a timely manner when applied in these temperatures.

As you can see in the first photo, this is a home we painted on Sanibel in December 2017 and if you look closely at the vinyl siding, there is water dripping off the siding. This picture was taken at noon.

In the second picture, you will see what we had to do at the end of the day in order to be able to paint the front handrails. We had to cover the handrails with drop cloths to keep the dew off the surface, so in the morning, the drop cloths soaked up the moisture and kept the moisture off of the surface and we could paint it.

One thing most homeowners don't think about is once the paint has been applied; it takes time for it to properly dry before the evening dew comes in. Many times, when we paint the exterior of a home this time of year, I try to get the majority of the home painted before 11 a.m., especially the north side of the home which never gets sun. This gives the paint 6 hours drying time before the sun sets and the evening dew comes in.

A good painter pays attention to the weather, tries to use the sun to their advantage and stops painting at 3-3:30 p.m. each day in the winter months. They should always end their day on the south side, to utilize the sun to dry the paint they just applied. If a painting company is painting the exterior of a home and painting up to 5 o'clock, they are not thinking about what is best for their client - they are only worried about making deadlines and moving on to the next paint job.

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