Tips to Combat Humidity When Painting Indoors

If you are planning to paint the interior of your home, you may not realize that the weather can affect the final outcome. Humidity and temperature in particular can result in uneven coverage, improper drying, or future bubbling. The following tips can help you avoid major issues.

Tip #1: Monitor humidity levels

High humidity, most common during extended rainy periods, can make it very difficult to paint well. In general, you want the humidity level to be between 40 percent and 60 percent. Higher humidity results in paint that won't dry properly, and this can make the paint gummy or more prone to peeling and bubbling. If you aren't sure of the humidity levels in your home, you can use a hygrometer to determine the humidity level. Some digital thermostats also provide a humidity reading.

Tip #2: Use a dehumidifier

If you are lucky, you may have a whole-house dehumidifier that you can run to suck out the excess moisture. Even if you don't, single-room units can be used. The portable dehumidifiers help remove the excess moisture from the air. There is typically a collection pan that you will need to empty a couple of times a day so that it doesn't overflow. Monitor the humidity levels in the room and begin painting once the dehumidifier has lowered the levels to the appropriate percentage.

Tip #3: Take advantage of your built-in systems

Some of the built-in systems in your home can also help you combat the problem of humidity so that you can paint. If you have fans that vent to the outside, such as over the oven or in the bathroom, run these to help move some moisture outside. Turning on your HVAC system can also help. Both the AC in summer and the furnace in winter help dry out the air in your home. Just make sure to keep the house at the appropriate temperatures— usually above 60 degrees F—for painting.

Tip #4: Don't add to the problem

Carefully monitoring humidity levels means that you also need to avoid any accidental increases. You can do this by paying attention to the moisture usage in your home. Don't boil big pots of pasta or simmer a soup over several hours the day you plan to paint. If you'll be painting the bathroom, skip the steamy shower for a couple of days or use a different bathroom until after you have painted.

For more help, talk to a house painter in your area.