How Temperature and Humidity Can Affect Painting Application

May 2, 2019 4:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When caring for your storage tank and paint, it’s important to understand how your climate can affect the paint and the drying process. This can make a difference in the time of day and season you decide to paint your storage tank, whether painting its first coat or re-painting an older tank.

For the best results, you’ll want to get in touch with a professional who specializes in oil tank painting in Colorado, as it is a unique job that a specialist would best understand. Here’s what you need to know about how your climate can affect your paint.


Before oil tank painting in Colorado, you’ll want to examine the humidity predictions. Humidity, when in extremes, can have an adverse impact on paint drying.

With high humidity comes a greater exposure of the paint to water vapor, which can affect acrylic and latex paints. In very humid environments, humidity can actually cause surfactant leaching, or brown or white discoloration on the paint’s surface. Additionally, humidity can compromise the paint’s protective qualities and make the paint take longer to dry by reintroducing water into partially dry paint film.

Humidity doesn’t just affect steel paint—it can also impact paint when painting on wood. Wood absorbs moisture, which can reduce the adhesion of the paint. This creates the peeling or bubbling affect you sometimes see.


Both extreme cold and extreme heat can have an effect on paint drying. Too-hot temperatures can fry the surface of the paint, creating a hard skin over lower layers, which haven’t had a chance to dry yet. Extremely hot temperatures can also cause the paint to dry too quickly, which results in an uneven-looking surface full of lifting, cracking and discoloration.

Believe it or not, extremely cold temperatures can also prevent drying, as well. Temperatures below freezing can cause issues for paint, since curing paint can contain moisture that will crystalize in below-freezing temperatures. Also, as temperatures lower, paint thickens. With a thicker coating, it takes longer to oxidize and extends the time it takes for the solvent to evaporate.

Paint on a day when you know it will not drop below freezing that night. If you’re painting with oil-based paint, the temperature should be above 45°F. For latex and acrylic paint, you’ll need to paint at higher temperatures, above 50°F. However, check with the manufacturer of the paint, because some paints are formulated to dry at lower temperatures, like 35°F. Temperatures will need to remain stable for at least two or three hours after paint is applied to make sure it has time to dry completely.

Oil tank painting in Colorado

If you want to find out more about painting your oil tank, reach out to the team at DJC Enterprises Inc. We have specialized in oil tank painting in Colorado since 1984 and deliver quality painting services to our customers. As a family-owned and -operated business, we are committed to the quality of our work and our customer service, so you can feel confident when you choose our team for your tank needs. Give us a call today to get started with a free consultation and service quote!

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