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The Best Time of Year to Paint Your Home in Hamilton: A Local Painter's Guide

Planning an exterior paint project in Hamilton can feel like a weather gamble. When spring rolls around we can be hit with scorching heat one day, surprise frost the next, and let's not forget that unpredictable lake effect off Lake Ontario! As Hamilton painters, we get the frustration. Generic painting advice won't cut it here – that's why we created this guide specifically for our corner of Ontario. Living in Southern Ontario beside the lake comes with its perks, but predictable weather isn't one of them. Here's the breakdown of how it messes with your painting plans:

  • Temperature Swings: Even within a single season (and within a single 24-hour period), Hamilton sees big shifts in temperature. This stresses paint as it dries, leading to cracking or peeling later on.

  • Lingering Humidity: High humidity levels slow drying times and can even trap moisture underneath the paint. Don't underestimate the lake effect!

  • Unpredictable Showers: Rain's the most obvious culprit, but even wind-driven mist off the lake can ruin a fresh coat.

Suburban home exterior in Hamilton that has been painted

When's the Sweet Spot for Painting in Hamilton?

There's no ONE perfect time for exterior painting, but here's the best window for each micro-season:

  • Early Spring: If the last frost has truly past (be sure to check resources like, calmer days with temperatures consistently above 10°C (50°F) are workable.

  • Late Spring: Milder weather opens up more painting days, but watch out for sudden downpours. Aim for a stretch with several dry days in a row to ensure optimal drying time between and after coats.

  • Summer: Choose fast-drying paints formulated for humid climates, and try to work in the mornings and evenings when the sun is less intense. Be sure to drink lots and wear your sunscreen!

  • Early Fall: Often ideal, with warmer days and drier air. Just be mindful of evening temperature drops and avoid painting if frost is predicted (again, be sure to check the weather before painting).

  • Late Fall: Risky! Even a seemingly nice day can have unexpected frost at night, ruining your hard work.

  • Winter: We admire your tenacity, but it's best to stay away from the exterior painting in winter. Stay busy in the winter with interior painting projects instead.

To better plan your painting with the Hamilton weather, here is a chart of the precipitation Hamilton experienced in 2023:

Chart of the average monthly precipitation in 2023 for Hamilton, Ontario
Average monthly precipitation 2023. Hamilton, Ontario


Prep Your Exterior Like a Pro – Hamilton Edition

Prepping your home's exterior properly is KEY for a long-lasting paint job, and Hamilton's weather throws a few curveballs:

  • Seasonal Considerations:

  • Power-washing off winter grime is especially important in early spring.

  • Scraping before humidity kicks in will be easier, as damp wood is tougher to work with.

  • Homes closer to the lake or near one of our many waterfalls may need extra mildew/algae treatment before painting.

  • The Problem Below:

  • Chalky, washed-out old paint? Thorough prep is essential, or your fresh coat won't adhere well.

  • Peeling or cracked paint? Don't just paint over it! Proper scraping and even sanding may be needed first.

  • Patience is Key: Let things dry FULLY after prepping, even if weather forecasts tempt you to rush. A little extra wait time now prevents big problems later.

Choosing the Right Paint & Approach

  • Humidity Fighters: Look for paints labeled specifically for humid climates or those marketed as "quick drying."

  • Paint Tech: Modern acrylic latex blends often handle Hamilton's temperature changes better than older oil-based types. Consult a reputable paint store for specific recommendations.

  • Demystifying Painting Jargon:

  • "Acrylic latex": This water-based type is common for exteriors, offering good durability and easier cleanup.

  • "Sheen": Refers to the paint's finish, from flat (no shine) to high gloss (more shine). Mid-range sheens work best for most exterior applications.

  • Pro Tip: If painting on a breezy day, work in smaller sections to avoid the paint drying out too quickly, creating an uneven look.

Can I DIY Exterior Painting in Hamilton?

For the experienced DIYer, painting your home's exterior can prove to be an exciting and rewarding challenge! If you feel competent and prepared, by all means, prep and paint away! However, if you have a tall multi-story home and are not comfortable or have not had proper ladder training, it would be advisable to leave it to the pros. Ladder accidents account for 164,000 injuries and over 300 deaths each year. Therefore, if you are not comfortable painting at these heights for days on end, please do yourself and your loved ones a favour and do not risk it. A ladder injury can be a debilitating one, so trust the pros when it comes time to paint at these heights and hire a professional painter in your area. 


Don't let Hamilton's weather dictate your home's curb appeal! With the right timing, prep, and products, you can have a gorgeous exterior that lasts. Ready to transform your home? Schedule your free estimate with Shades & Stain Painting Co., and let's make it happen!

Contact us today by giving us a call or text at (905) 517-9241.

Hope to see you soon!

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