The house painter’s challenge: work fast and keep the paint cool.

1. Follow the Shade Direct sunlight heats up the substrate and causes paint to dry quickly—maybe too quickly. Work on the south side early in the morning, get the west side done before the sun reaches it, and work on the east side in late afternoon when it’s had a chance to cool off, or early in the morning.

2. Limit Added Water When it’s hot and windy, paint starts to lose water to evaporation as soon as you pour it into the applicator’s bucket. It’s OK to reconstitute the paint with as much as 10 percent water (and if you’re spraying, you may need to). But thin in batches—don’t thin the same bucket all day or you’ll end up with more water than paint. After each break or after lunch is a good time to thin another batch.

3. Use an Extender Floetrol, from Flood Corp., is a generic extender suitable for many paints that uses the same ingredients found in typical paint formulas, minus the pigment. But paint manufacturers also can supply extenders that are custom-formulated to match a particular brand of paint. In hot weather, extenders help the painter keep a wet edge longer, for a more uniform appearance after drying.

4. Ice it Down Place some ice cubes in the painter’s bucket before inserting the liner and filling with paint. The ice-water jacket around the liner will keep the paint can cool while it’s hanging off the ladder in the sun, extending the paint’s working life in the can and allowing crucial extra minutes for the coating to dry at its ideal rate.

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