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Potential Effects from Painting in High Humidity

In South Louisiana, we are used to the high, and sometimes unbearable, humidity levels. Especially during the hot days of summer, a high level of humidity can seemingly increase the temperature to intolerable conditions. It is mostly common knowledge that painting while it is raining outside is a task to reschedule, but what about in high humidity environments? How can you paint in these conditions both inside and outside of your home? What affect will that have on your finished product? When should you yield to the professionals? Painting is hardly an easy job, and high humidity levels can make that job even harder. Let’s go over some tips on painting in those conditions, both inside and outside.

Tips to High Humidity Painting

Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is in the air. The higher the humidity, the more water vapor present. This can hinder painting projects in a big way, as the water from paint needs to evaporate for it to dry to a hard surface. This evaporation needs to happen before the solvent in the paint does, and with too much humidity in the air, the extra water can delay evaporation. That means that the paint will not fully cure. If condensation occurs on the surface of the painted area, this can damage the paint finish and ultimately, ruin the look of the project.

So, can you paint in environments with high humidity at all? Of course you can! By taking certain precautions, your paint project does not have to wait another day. The same is true for both indoor and outdoor projects.

For outdoor projects, the ideal level of humidity is between 45-50% but can be completed with levels as high as 80-85% humidity. Preferably, the best time to tackle these projects would be in the morning when temperatures are beginning to rise. The humidity levels drop as the day goes on and increase as we transition into nighttime. The less of a factor humidity can be for you, the better! Start by painting the surfaces that have been warmed and dried by the sun. As those are completed, more of the surfaces will have been warmed and dried. Also, use thinner coats when painting with humidity in order to speed up the evaporation of the water within the paint, increasing the drying time.

For indoor projects, the humidity isn’t as much of an issue as with outdoor projects, but it can still play a role that needs to be factored in. Because these projects are taking place indoors, you can control the environment more efficiently than if your painting surface was outdoors.  With this in mind, to counteract the humidity inside the home, be sure to provide adequate ventilation to the area. You can also use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in the space. Raising the temperature and/or running the air conditioner in “Fan” mode can also help lower the humidity levels and provide a drier environment for painting. As with outdoor projects, using thinner coats of paint will help speed along the evaporation and drying process in these environments.

Though there are different aspects to consider when painting in different environments, use the following tips to counter the high humidity and paint a beautiful surface regardless of the humidity levels:

  • Be sure to dry all surfaces fully prior to painting. Sanding can assist in the drying process. Wiping down all non-wooden surfaces can also help.
  • Fill in all defects on the surface and allow that to dry prior to sanding.
  • Use a fast-drying primer.
  • Paint in thin coats to speed up drying process. Multiple coats can be used if needed.

Painting in these conditions can be quite a monumental task to conquer. When in doubt, consider hiring a professional painting company such as JMA Painters! Their trained professionals are qualified and knowledgeable in painting in a multitude of weather conditions, including high humidity environments. Humidity can ruin your projects, so leave it to the professionals and have no doubt that your job will be completed by quality professionals. Especially in Louisiana’s humidity, let JMA Painters complete your big or small projects with skill and expertise.

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