There comes a point when it’s just too hot for exterior painting – either because the paint will dry too quickly to wear well over time, or because you’ll quickly wear yourself out working in the heat and humidity. Where’s the painting point of no return? For most people and paint, right around 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
However, just because you decide to put down your brush and head indoors doesn’t mean you have to stop painting. This is a great time of year to spruce up your interior, especially when applying water-based latex paint.
In terms of the weather, it couldn’t be better indoors. . .seriously. Of course it’s nice to be sheltered from the direct sun, with the AC or fan turned to “high”. But long, hot summer days produce great light indoors, and it often lasts until 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock, or even later, so you get a lot of bonus time to paint.
With so much natural light, you don’t have to rely nearly as much on lamps and other artificial light. That usually translates into fewer missed spots in dark corners and elsewhere – greatly reducing the need for touchups later on.
Working with more light can help in another way: Because the wet edges in your paint will be easier to see, you’ll be better able to roll or brush on your paint from the wet area into the dry and “feather on” the color. The result will be a smoother, more uniform finish, presenting a more professional painted appearance.
Of course, it’s always advisable to provide good ventilation when painting inside your home. But many products in the current generation of water-based latex paints are quite “green”, that is, very low in VOC emissions. As a result, these coatings are perfectly safe to work with indoors — and, because they have virtually no odor, you can put your room right back into use when you’re done painting.
If you’re especially anxious to complete the job, use one of the new “paint and primer” products. These special high-end paints will conceal your existing wall color just like a primer, and provide beautiful color just like top quality paint. They cost a little more, but you’ll need fewer coats, so your work will go faster.
With a little luck, the weather will be cooler tomorrow and you’ll be able to resume your outdoor painting. Meanwhile, your to-do list will have gotten a little shorter because you were smart enough to paint indoors.