Can I Paint Inside When It’s Raining Outside?

The pitter-patter of rain outside can make spending time indoors seem more appealing. What better way to spend a rainy day than by tackling an indoor painting project? Before breaking out the paintbrushes, it’s important to consider how the weather outside can affect interior painting results. With the right preparations and techniques, you can absolutely paint inside when it’s raining outside.

Can I Paint Inside When It's Raining Outside

Key takeaways

  • Allow indoor surfaces ample drying time if any rain-related moisture is present before painting
  • Control indoor humidity levels with dehumidifiers, air conditioning, and strategically closed windows
  • Stick to high quality latex or acrylic water-based paints for the best performance
  • Ensure rooms are properly ventilated for moisture and paint fume escape
  • Build in extra drying/curing time for paint between coats
  • Use fans to facilitate air circulation without blowing directly on paint
  • Maintain indoor temperatures between 50-90°F for ideal paint application and drying
  • Avoid painting in direct sunlight or drafty conditions
  • Prime surfaces before painting for optimal paint adhesion
  • Take precautions when painting near exterior facing walls and windows

Considerations Before Painting Indoors During Rain

Painting the inside of your home while it’s raining may seem like an obvious way to pass the time, but there are a few things to take into account first.

Ensure Interior Walls and Surfaces Are Dry

If there has been any moisture on interior walls from leaks or condensation, be sure to fully dry any wet areas before painting. Paint adheres best to dry surfaces. Any existing moisture could negatively affect paint adhesion and lead to bubbling or peeling down the road.

Give interior walls ample time to dry after any rain-related moisture before starting your painting project. Test questionable areas with a moisture meter if you’re unsure. Don’t paint over any damp surfaces.

Beware of Open Windows and Doors

If the windows or doors will be open during the painting process, be cautious about potential rain exposure. Wind gusts could blow misty rain inside, potentially interfering with paint application and drying. An unexpected downpour through an open window could also damage freshly painted walls.

Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible when painting indoors during rainy weather. Control moisture and humidity levels through proper ventilation, air circulation, and dehumidification instead.

Can You Paint While It’s Raining Outside?

Yes, you can absolutely paint indoors while it’s raining outside! Just take some simple precautions to account for the weather. The key is controlling humidity levels, using the right types of paint, and maintaining adequate ventilation without letting the rain in.

Dealing with Humidity and Drying Times

Painting when it’s raining means dealing with higher indoor humidity. This can lengthen the drying times for some paints. Take steps to manage humidity and give paints adequate time to dry and cure.

Use a Dehumidifier

Run a dehumidifier in the room you’ll be painting – this will actively remove moisture from the air and allow paints to dry faster. Keep the dehumidifier running during and after painting until all paints have fully cured. The drier the air, the faster water-based paints will dry.

Keep Windows Closed

Avoid opening windows just for the sake of ventilation when it’s raining. This lets humid outdoor air inside. For proper moisture control, keep windows closed and use dehumidification, fans, or air conditioning for ventilation instead.

Factor in Longer Drying Times

Even with proper humidity control, some paints may still take longer to fully cure when it’s rainy out. Build in some extra dry time just to be safe. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the paint you’re using.

Oil-based enamels and paints take longer to dry than water-based acrylics and latex paints. Alkyd paints fall in the middle. Leaving each coat to fully cure before adding another is key, so be patient. Rushing the process can ruin the paint job.

Here are general drying times to expect with common interior paints when painting indoors during rainy weather:

  • Latex paint: 8+ hours per coat
  • Acrylic paint: Up to 12 hours per coat
  • Alkyd paint: Overnight drying time
  • Oil-based enamel: 24-48 hours between coats

Will Interior Paint Run in the Rain?

You don’t have to worry about interior paint literally running or dripping due to rain alone. As long as you’re painting on fully dry interior walls and surfaces, the paint should not run once applied.

Interior house paints are formulated to properly adhere to drywall, plaster, wood, and other common indoor surfaces when applied correctly. A good primer also helps paint grab on evenly.

Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application thickness – applying the paint too thickly can sometimes cause dripping. Maintaining adequate ventilation for proper curing will also help prevent any running or sagging of the paint.

So while rain on its own won’t make interior paint run, too thick of an application, insufficient surface prep, or lack of ventilation could potentially cause some running or dripping issues in rare cases.

Choosing the Right Paint

Picking the optimal paint for an indoor painting project when it’s raining starts with choosing water-based paints. Avoid oil-based options if humidity levels will be high.

Water-Based vs Oil-Based Paint

Water-based latex and acrylic paints are ideal for indoor use when it’s rainy out. The water that makes up the base of these paints resists damage or deterioration from ambient moisture in the air better than oil-based paints.

Oil-based enamels and alkyd paints have an oil base, so excess humidity can extend their drying times drastically, sometimes up to several days for each coat. They’re more prone to yellowing and poor adhesion if applied in humid conditions.

For the best results when painting indoors amid rainy weather, stick with high-quality latex or acrylic paints. These water-based paints will dry faster and be more durable.

Latex Paint

Latex paint is a popular water-based option made from acrylic resins suspended in water. It dries faster than oil-based paints and resists moisture well. Latex goes on smoothly, cleans up easily with water, and comes in a wide range of sheens and finishes.

When painting indoors in humid conditions, choose latex paints featuring mold and mildew resistance. Behr Premium Plus and Benjamin Moore Regal Select are top brands to consider. Allow proper drying times between coats.

Acrylic Craft Paint

For indoor craft painting projects and accent walls, acrylic craft paint delivers vivid colors and dries very quickly. It’s durable and flexible when fully cured. Acrylic paints resist moisture well with proper ventilation.

High-quality acrylic brands like Liquitex and Golden Artist Colors work great indoors when it’s rainy. Thin layers of acrylic paint will dry fastest – avoid applying it too thickly.

Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based options like alkyds and enamel paints are not ideal if painting indoors when it’s rainy. Their extended drying times allow moisture to interfere with proper curing and adhesion. Stick with water-based latex or acrylic paints instead.

If you must use an oil-based paint indoors when it’s rainy, be extremely diligent about ventilation, dehumidification, and drying times between coats. Even then, results may not be optimal.

Can I Paint My House During the Rainy Season?

Exterior house painting is generally not advised during the rainy season when humidity is very high. Rain or dampness can damage exterior paint before it fully cures. However, you can tackle interior painting projects while it’s raining with proper preparation and moisture control.

For the best interior painting results during rainy weather:

  • Use high quality latex or acrylic water-based paints
  • Run a dehumidifier continuously during and after painting
  • Allow for longer drying times between coats
  • Keep windows and doors closed to control humidity

With the right setup and techniques, interior painting can still be a great rainy day activity even when it’s pouring outside! Just take steps to manage humidity indoors.

Ventilation and Air Circulation

Proper ventilation is crucial when painting indoors during rainy weather. Excess moisture needs to be able to escape, so take measures to get the air moving without letting the rain in.

Use Fans for Ventilation

Position fans to circulate air in the rooms you’ll be painting. This encourages moisture evaporation and keeps air flowing across the paint for faster drying. Place a fan blowing directly across each painted wall if possible. Box fans work well for this.

Consider Air Conditioning

If it’s raining heavily outside, run the A/C instead of opening windows. Air conditioning lowers indoor humidity while circulating the air. Just make sure your A/C vent isn’t pointed directly at any freshly painted surfaces.

Carefully Open Windows When Possible

During a light drizzle or misty rain, you can crack windows open a few inches for some ventilation, monitoring closely for any wind-driven moisture. Quickly close windows at the first sign of rain blowing inside.

Find the Right Balance

Try to maintain some ventilation without letting the rain in. This may require adjusting windows as needed in response to changing rain conditions. The more ventilation, the faster paints will dry.

Avoiding Painting Mistakes

Painting indoors comes with its own potential pitfalls, and rainy weather can amplify these issues. Be mindful of temperature, ventilation, and application techniques to sidestep common snafus.

Paint in a Consistent Temperature

Avoid painting on extremely cold or hot days. Drastic temperature fluctuations can interfere with proper paint curing and cause bubbling, cracking, or peeling later on. Maintain an ambient air temp of 50-90°F while painting and as paints dry.

Ensure Adequate Ventilation

Lack of airflow allows humidity to get trapped, preventing paint from drying correctly. This can cause drips, cloudiness, and adhesion problems. Keep air circulating with fans, AC, or periodically opened windows.

Don’t Paint in Direct Sunlight

The intensity of direct sunlight shining on drying paint can cause uneven curing, visible lap marks, color variations, and blistering. For smooth, consistent results, paint in natural but indirect light.

Beware of Drafty Conditions

Strong drafts from open windows or fans can push paint around while drying, creating uneven coats and brush marks. Minimize direct air currents on freshly painted surfaces.

Use Proper Painting Technique

Rushing the painting process leads to sloppy results. Apply paint in thin, even coats using a high-quality brush, roller, or sprayer. Allow each coat to fully dry between applications.

Apply a Primer Coat

Priming ensures topcoat paint adheres evenly for a pro-looking finish. Use an appropriate primer for each surface material before painting. Allow primer to dry fully before adding paint.

Exterior Painting Considerations

While interior painting can be done with care when it’s raining outside, exterior paint jobs are generally best avoided in wet weather. The conditions that come with rain can ruin exterior paint application and curing.

Avoid Exterior Painting in the Rain

Wet surfaces prevent exterior paints from adhering and drying properly. Rain also washes away fresh paint, resulting in an uneven, patchy appearance. Only paint outside when surfaces are dry.

Don’t Paint in High Humidity

The moisture in humid air gets trapped under exterior paint, leading to bubbling and adhesion failure. Only paint outdoors when the humidity is below 85%. Use primers designed for humid conditions.

Beware of Moisture Under Eaves

Contrary to popular belief, exterior overhangs and eaves often stay damp long after rain ends. Don’t paint these areas until fully dry, checking moisture with a meter if unsure.

Protect Fresh Exterior Paint from Rain

If forecasted rain threatens recently painted exteriors, use plastic sheeting or tarps to keep the surfaces dry. Remove coverings once the paint has fully cured.

Practical Tips and Tricks

Here are some additional practical tips for smoothly navigating an interior painting project when the weather outside is rainy:

Use Paint Additives

Additives like floetrol can help paints apply more evenly in humid conditions by adjusting their viscosity. Anti-microbial additives inhibit mold and mildew growth.

Only Paint Finished Surfaces

Don’t paint over bare drywall or unfinished wood and trim. Fully prepare surfaces with primers and sealers first for moisture protection.

Use Tarps on Floors

Protect floors from paint drips and spills by covering them with canvas drop cloths or plastic tarps, secured with painter’s tape.

Wear Old Clothes

Paint drips and splatters are bound to happen! Avoid ruining nice clothes by wearing old t-shirts, pants, and shoes you don’t mind getting paint on.

Work in Sections

Don’t paint more surface area than you can keep an eye on. Paint in organized sections so no area is left drying for too long unattended.

Allow Proper Curing Times

Most paint types take longer to fully cure in humid conditions. Don’t rush between coats. Verify drying times for the specific paint products used.

Use Quality Application Tools

Invest in good paintbrushes, rollers, trays, and drop cloths. Quality tools make the painting process much easier.

Plan Breaks and Stops

Take breaks between coats to stretch, eat a snack, or shift to a different task. Make a plan for stopping points if painting over multiple days.

FAQ – Painting Indoors When It’s Raining

Still have some questions about tackling an interior painting project when the weather is rainy or humid outside? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long should I wait to paint after rain leaks or flooding?

Wait at least 24-48 hours after any interior water damage before painting to allow all surfaces to fully dry. Use moisture meters to double check if unsure.

Should I keep windows open for ventilation when painting in the rain?

Keep windows closed during heavy rain, using fans or AC for ventilation instead. During light misting rain, windows can be opened briefly, then closed if any moisture blows inside.

Can I use oil-based paints when painting indoors in damp weather?

Oil-based paints are not recommended when painting indoors during humid, rainy conditions. They will take much longer to dry and cure compared to water-based paints.

How can I speed up paint drying times when humidity is high?

Run dehumidifiers, use fans for maximum air circulation, only apply thin coats of paint, and stick to water-based interior paints like latex and acrylic.

What temperature should I keep rooms at when painting indoors?

Ideally maintain ambient room temperatures between 50-90°F while painting and as paints dry for proper curing. Avoid extreme cold or heat.

Is it OK to paint near heat or AC vents when it’s rainy outside?

Don’t position fans or AC vents blowing directly onto freshly painted surfaces. This can interfere with proper paint drying.

Can I paint over existing mold or mildew inside when it’s very humid out?

No, any existing indoor mold or mildew must be treated, cleaned, and fully eliminated before painting over affected areas.

How soon can I hang things on walls or use painted rooms after painting indoors?

Check the manufacturer’s cure times, but generally wait at least 2-3 days before using newly painted rooms or hanging items on painted walls.


Painting indoors when it’s raining or the weather is dreary outside can be an enjoyable way to pass the time without having your plans derailed by rain. However, weather conditions outside can impact interior painting results if not addressed properly. Controlling humidity, allowing adequate drying times, ventilating without rain interference, and using the right water-based paints are all keys to success. With some adjustments to your technique, you can absolutely achieve beautiful, professional-looking interior paint results even during rainy weather. Don’t let the rain dampen your painting plans!

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