Can You Paint in Wet Weather?

When you’re painting, it’s important to have the right conditions and circumstances, so that the job can be successful, and not be ruined.

One of the most important things when painting is to time it right, as you need the right weather conditions. Or in other words, you need it to not be wet.

So to answer the question: no, you cannot paint in wet weather. At least not outdoors.

If you are indoors, it should usually be completely fine to paint regardless of the weather, as the weather won’t really affect you that much.

Nevertheless, if it’s raining very heavily, it’s good to check the walls and surfaces for moisture or dampness, as that can stop the paint from adhering properly.

If you are outdoors, then as we’ve said, you can’t paint during wet weather. It is a big requirement for the weather conditions to be dry and as warm as possible, or else painting will be a complete waste of time. But why is that?

Well, if the surface is wet, damp, or has moisture in it, the paint will not be able to adhere properly.

Instead, the paint will be prone to peeling off after it has dried, and it might also become cracked, ruining the smoothness of the finish.

Wet weather, of course, is a direct cause for this. And on top of that, if it is raining then the paint will be washed off as you paint, as it won’t get the chance to dry!

So painting indoors during wet weather, usually okay. Painting outdoors during wet weather, a complete disaster, do not do it.

What happens if it rains after you paint?

Let’s say that you managed to paint while it was nice and dry outside, but after you’ve finished painting the weather changes and it begins to rain. What’s going to happen to the paint?

Unfortunately, if the paint hasn’t had enough time to fully dry, it will be washed away by the rain, rendering the entire paint job a disaster, as you will have to start all over again.

This is why it is so important to find a day and time in which you are as certain as possible that it is going to be dry and warm for enough hours so that the paint gets the chance to fully dry.

If the paint is dry, then it should be able to withstand the rain, no problem. But wet paint is vulnerable, and will almost certainly wash away.

But what if the paint is almost dry by the time it starts to rain? Does it stand a better chance if that’s the case?

Kind of. It will stand a better chance than if it was super fresh and completely wet. But as it still won’t be 100% dry, parts of it might still be washed away. And not only that!

The moisture and dampness from the rain might seep in under the paint, as it hasn’t fully dried into a hard layer, and that might then cause the paint to peel and crack, ruining the end result!

So if you’re unlucky and it does begin raining after you’ve painted, before the paint has had the chance to fully dry, you will probably have to re-do the job.

What to do if it rains on wet paint?

When painting, it is important to plan ahead and to book a day for the job that you know for sure is going to be dry and warm. That way the paint will have enough time to dry.

However, the weather is almost never 100% guaranteed, and you might just be unlucky enough to have the weather change completely, and have it rain right after you’ve painted.

So what do you do if it rains on wet paint? Can you even do anything about it?

Here are some tips and recommended courses of action:

  • Prevention:

Once it starts raining on wet paint, it’s a little too late to do anything. So what you can do is take preventative measures.

If the weather in your area is unstable, and you can never quite trust the sunny dry days, then you might as well take some extra safes to try and preemptively protect your paint job.

This could entail placing a cover over the surface you are painting, such as a gazebo, or some form of shelter.

  • Try to protect the paint:

Once it starts raining, you could try and protect as much of the paint as possible, by quickly adding a shelter or cover, to avoid the rain from washing over it.

However, this is quite a long shot, and chances are that the moisture and dampness in the air will have a negative enough effect on the paint, regardless of if it is washed away by the rain or not.

  • Mourn your lack of luck:

If it rains on wet paint you can just mourn your lack of luck. It will feel incredibly frustrating, as your painting efforts will have been rendered a waste of time and resources. But unfortunately, there is not much you can do against the weather!

  • Prepare to re-do the job:

The best course of action is to regroup yourself and to plan for a re-try. Check the weather reports, when will it be safer to try painting again?

Maybe next time you can add some prevention measures, maybe you can try and get the job done faster, so the paint has more of a chance of drying before the rain strikes again.

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