Exterior painting is a key factor to maintaining the beauty and curb appeal of the outside of your home.  While interior painting can be done any time of the year, in any season and almost under any condition painting the exterior is not as forgiving.

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The temperature, the humidity, the rain, are a few of the things that impede on when you can start any exterior painting project especially here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  

To get optimal results and success for your next exterior painting project here is a break down of when the best time of year to paint the exterior of your home is.

Best Season For Exterior Painting 

The natural elements of our Canadian weather is what primarily dictates when the optimal season and time of year is to do any painting of the exterior of our homes. 

The fluctuating extreme heat and frigid cold, along with rain, snow, ice, humidity, scorching sun, snow are natural elements that cause problems with paint adhering properly. 

The optimal seasons for exterior painting in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is spring, summer and fall or between the months of April and October and here are the reasons why. 

Exterior Painting in The Spring 

Spring is a good starting season for exterior painting since the weather is typically just starting to warm up.  Typically not too hot and not too cold makes it a perfect time of year except for the typical start to spring with plenty of rainy days to help wash away our snowy Ottawa winters and speed up the flowering blooms for our much anticipated yearly tulip festival. 

As much as spring is a great start to the exterior painting season since it is unlikely that we’ll experience any further deep freezes yet still a little to early for extreme heat and humidity that hinders the paint from properly adhering to the exterior surfaces, we do caution that you do not to paint any exterior surfaces that have been exposed to rain for at least three days after the rainfall. 

Wet exterior surfaces are saturated in high humidity and moisture that will block the binding, drying and curing of any exterior paint. We recommend you wait at least 3 days after any rain to allow the exterior surfaces ample time to completely dry up naturally which in turn will give the exterior paints to properly adhere and cover the surface, and the right amount of time to dry and cure properly. 

Before you get started on any exterior painting project take the time to do a walk around the property to perform your annual spring home maintenance to ensure there are no windows repairs or replacements necessary as well as ensuring all gaps and cracks are properly sealed with exterior caulking. 

Exterior Painting in The Summer 

As much as we all long forward to the sunny, warm days of our short Ottawa summers the sun and extreme heat does create some challenges for painting the exterior. 

Summer is typically the most optimal time of year and season to do any exterior painting as it is most likely to give us more good days than bad ones. 

We do caution however that you do not paint in extreme heat where the sun and humidity levels are high as this not only poses a hazard to your own health but it does create problems with the exterior paints drying to quickly. 


Extreme heat and direct sun create an overheated exterior surface that causes the paint to dry up too quickly which in turn can cause problems with paint not curing properly that might lead to paint not sticking properly, bubbling, streaks, blistering, cracking along with peeling and flaking. 

One good tip is to start where the sun is not shining first and move along as the sun turns. In other words simply put start by working in the shaded parts first to avoid painting in direct sunlight. 

Exterior Painting in The Fall 

Ideally temperatures in the fall to do any painting outside should be no less than 10 degrees Celsius as anything below that will cause the exterior paints to not bind to the surface and also creates a barrier that prevents it from drying and curing properly.  

Since fall is typically a transitional month of winding down from a hot summer and getting ready for the hibernation of winter, the fall season is the perfect time of year to do your own home inspection. 

Take this opportunity to prepare your home’s exterior with a fall and winter maintenance check up.  It’s the right time to assess whether any repairs to windows or doors are necessary and ensure that any gaps or cracks are sealed to prevent water leaks.  

Exterior Painting in The Winter 

One of the main reasons for not painting outside in Ottawa in the winter months is because of the extreme cold.

When was the last time you saw any painters in Ottawa on a ladder with snow beneath them and frigid cold temperatures topped off with a wind-chill.  More than likely never, and that’s an easy one to figure as there is just no way exterior painting in the winter is at all possible here in Ottawa. 

Even though paint manufactures are continuously improving the formulas to their exterior paints it is typically not recommended to apply any exterior paints in temperatures below 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.  

The colder temperatures will not allow the paints to adhere and bind to any exterior surface and most importantly the paint will never dry and cure properly.  

If our Canadian winters were more like the warmer winters experienced in places like Florida, California and some parts of Europe then there might be a hope that it could be done but we are 100% certain that there are no painting companies in Ottawa that would want to work outside in –20 degrees Celsius or more with a windchill to boot. 

Problems With Exterior Painting 

It’s a well-known fact and a rule of thumb that exterior paints should only be applied to dry surfaces. 

Don’t run the risk of starting your exterior painting project the day after the snow melts in late February or March, nor after a heavy rainfall as the exterior surfaces will be damp and wet.

Typically in Ottawa after our winters are done painting companies will commence doing exterior painting in the month of April and only if we are lucky enough that our summer comes earlier sometime in March then we all gain an additional few weeks to get started on all exterior work. 

It’s also not recommended to work in the extreme heat and humidex days of our short Ottawa summers as this runs you the risk of dehydration, sun and heat stroke, along with the challenge of the high hot temperatures and moisture in the aire not allowing the exterior paints to be applied properly, nor dry and cure properly. 

If you are not sure when the right time to get started on that exterior painting is, then simply check with the experts of painting companies in the Ottawa area.  

Typically, painters in Ottawa start providing estimates for painting the exterior sometime in the middle to end of March or early April as this is the usual time that the snow has melted and there is no ice around the property when they do a walk about. 

Safety should always be at the top of everyone’s list and it’s just not a good idea to walk around the outside of your home when there is snow and ice that could cause someone to get injured. 

When it comes to choosing the right paint finish or paint colours for painting the front door or any other outside areas of your house you want to make sure you have the best quality paints for the job. 

While there are plenty of things that can be done to maintain the exterior of your home tackling a large scale project such as the exterior painting of the entire house is something you might want to leave to the professionals. 

Ready to get started with painting the exterior of your Ottawa house?

Maintain or update the look of the outside of your home with a refresh on the exterior paint. Calling on expert painters in Ottawa will alleviate the stress and hassle of doing it yourself.

Get started today with updating and maintaining the outside of your home by scheduling a free no-obligation estimate for exterior painting in Ottawa and give your home the TLC it deserves.