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Painting in hot weather

Protect your paintwork – and yourself – from the heat by painting in the shade and using an umbrella. House exterior is painted in Resene Double Concrete and Resene Everest, window frames in Resene Half Black White.

It’s no surprise that whenever the sun is out is when most people decide to tackle painting projects around the home, because warm, dry days provide the best conditions for a great finish. But sweltering temperatures can present a few issues for you and your paint, so follow our MasterStroke by Resene guide to ensure successful painting in hot weather.

“In the heat of summer, I’d recommend starting earlier in the morning, once the dew has dried and before it gets too hot,” says Resene paint expert Jay Sharples. “You really want to avoid painting in direct sun as the paint will dry much quicker and start getting harder to apply.”


Jay’s top tips:

  • Keeping you and your paint cool is important, so try to avoid painting in direct sunlight. Overcast conditions are best, but if a cloudless day stretches out ahead of you, a good plan of attack is to start early, ahead of the sun, and work your way around the building, keeping ahead of the sun as you go. Take a break during the hottest part of the day, for the sake of your finish as well as your health, or use that period to prep, for example sanding or priming surfaces.
  • Use shade protection where you can. A gazebo or large sun umbrella will help keep you and your Resene products cool, while allowing you to continue painting even in the heat of the day.
  • Keep in mind that if the surface you’re working on is dark, it will get hotter in the sun than light coloured areas. With this in mind, it is a good idea to try to do your darker areas when they are in the shade and are cooler. And if you do have to paint in direct sun, try to paint the darker areas first before they heat up. If darker areas are already very warm to touch, give them time to cool down and work on lighter coloured areas first.
  • Paintbrushes need to be considered when it comes to painting in hot weather. Wrap your brushes in a reusable plastic bag to keep them fresh during breaks. You can do the same with your roller and roller tray too.
  • If you find your paint is drying too fast, which can be a common problem during hot weather, Jay suggests lightly pre-dampening your surface with water.
When taking a break, wrap your paintbrush in plastic wrap to ensure it doesn't dry out. The colour pictured is Resene Norway.
Do the same if using a roller – when your break is over, simply unwrap and get rolling! This roller has been using the colour Resene Pukeko.
  • Never leave your main paint tin in direct sunlight. On very hot days, Jay suggests leaving your main can of Resene paint indoors and just pour the paint you need for each painting session into a paint pot and paint from that.
  • Jay says colour choice can impact hot-weather painting, too. Lighter colours tend to be less affected by the heat than darker ones. Bright organic reds and yellows are more vulnerable to fading caused by UV radiation, but a final coat of Resene Clearcoat UVS with UV inhibitors can help them last longer.
  • Resene Hot Weather Additive is another product that’ll help combat the effects of scorching temperatures on your finish – add it to your Resene waterborne paint to slow down the drying process and give a longer wet edge. “Resene Hot Weather Additive really helps with the flow of the paint for a great, professional finish.” Avoid over working or overspreading the paint as this will make it dry faster and is more likely to lead to a streaky or patchy finish.
  • If you are planning to paint a dark colour and your home is already feels too hot in summer, consider choosing a Resene CoolColour. A Resene CoolColour is designed to reflect much more of the sun’s energy than a standard colour reducing heat buildup.
  • If you find the middle part of the day is too hot to paint, use the time to start on prep for another project or move to painting inside out of the sun.
  • Remember to pace yourself when you’re tackling a large project outside. Break large projects into smaller manageable chunks, wear sun protection and take regular breaks.

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