The summer might be the peak of the busy season, but the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day can sometimes rival it. Family gatherings and holiday parties are great times to showcase a freshly painted house, newly remodeled kitchen, or other home painting projects and improvements. People also love to take family photos during this time and want their homes to look as good as possible. Here are some tips and things to think about during the holiday season, but also apply year-round in some cases.

Exterior Home Painting Projects Take Longer During The Holidays

Most people assume home painting projects take longer this time of year because of the craziness of the holidays, but the weather is really the prime culprit. In the middle of the summer, you can start painting the exterior of a house within hours of power-washing it. The direct sun and heat will dry a house in no time at all.

On cooler days, a house might not be ready to paint until the day after power-washing. Wet, cooler weather also means fewer days where exterior work can be performed. And freezing weather makes it all but impossible to paint outdoors, though many companies now offer paints that can be applied when temps are in the low 30’s. (Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior Latex is a great example of a low-temp paint).

And paint simply takes longer to dry when it is cool and damp outside. This all means that the average job ends up taking just a bit longer, and it’s that much more difficult to predict a finish date.

home painting projects - kitchen cabinets

Let The Paint Cure Before Entertaining

We all want our homes to look their best before hosting holiday gatherings. But it’s also important that a finished project has had some cure time before entertaining. Oil-based paints (typically used for kitchen cabinets and trim) are usually dry to the touch in 6-8 hours, and almost always overnight. However, they don’t actually cure for several days to a week. Until they fully cure, they are softer and can be more easily scratched. In other words, it’s not a good idea to have a party the day after your cabinets were painted!

The same is true for most latex paints. Though they may dry very quickly, latex paint typically takes even longer to cure than oil-based paint. Those holiday decorations that you put on the windowsill two days after painting might stick and pull up some paint when you go to put them away.

If you can easily push your fingernail into dried, new paint, it usually means that it hasn’t fully cured yet.

Don’t Put Off Your Home Painting Project

The easiest way to avoid any issues is to leave plenty of time for your home painting project. This includes not only time to complete the project, but also time to make sure it’s ready for showing off. It is the best way to ensure that your fresh paint job stays that way, and that your guests smell fresh cookies instead of fresh paint fumes.

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