In Ohio, we joke a lot about weather changing every five minutes.
Thankfully, it’s easier now than ever to check the weather. It started out a crystal clear day when my landlord planned for us to paint the house in which I lived. I’d spent considerable time on a hot Indian Summer day closing and carefully covering all the first and second-floor windows with newspaper and sturdy tape. Unexpectedly, he was called away on some “emergency”. Three days passed in the little country house, which I should mention, had no a/c and the newspapers didn’t let in much light. I called the landlord questioning when we might get the job finished. Within the hour he arrived with industrial buckets of paint, extension rollers, and a power sprayer.
He sprayed, and I rolled, starting on the front then east side of the house. Progress seemed slow but we finished the back and started painting the west side of the house in the afternoon. The wind picked up and I worried the paint—exterior latex— would dry before I had a chance to roll it. At the time, I didn’t have a TV and hadn’t paid attention to the weather forecast. I figured he’d checked it or we wouldn’t be painting.
We were within twenty minutes of finishing the job, when, even over the buzz of the power sprayer, we heard a distinctive rumble. That’s right, a storm on the western horizon. I hoped by some miracle the paint would dry before the first drop of rain fell.
Norberg Paints in their article It’s Raining: When to Paint and When to Wait seemed to think that, despite stating that it takes about 4 hours for paint to cure, that rain would do little harm to the paint itself. It should be pointed out that Norberg Paints does business in Sioux Falls, ND with an average rainfall of 27 inches a year as compared to Ohio with an annual of 37.57.
What happened instead is that the wind blew dirt and grit into the paint. When it started raining, it wasn’t a soft rain that you might imagine barely touching the paint. It became a persistent downpour. When the storm ended over an hour later, the ruined paint on three sides was with scarring rivulets etched into it.
Thankfully, it’s easier now than ever to check the weather, even in the Midwest where we joke a lot about it changing every five minutes. And my advice to would be DIY home painters would be, paint on a clear day or after the threat of rain has passed.