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Canton House Painters Painting Outside of the House | J Stevens Painting

How to Paint in Cold Weather

Temperature is one of the most important factors to think about when considering painting the exterior of your home.  Doing so in the cold weather is not ideal, but sometimes it is unavoidable.  

A lot of homebuilders and remodelers try to get everything done by the end of the year, but this season isn’t the best to complete a painting project. Before you call Canton house painters to come out, read these tips for painting in cold weather.  

Weather and Painting  

Low temperatures can affect paint application. They can change the drying pattern, characteristics, and performance of the paint. Because alkyd and oil paints have natural oils and resins, they become stickier at lower temperatures.  

Some paints become very thick or semi-solid, which require extra thinning when temperatures are below subzero. Latex paints will freeze at lower temperatures, so they require special additives to improve freeze/thaw resistance in paints. You can re-use these additives during the summer to make the brushing and rolling process easier.  

The Layering Process  

Cold weather will slow drying time and delay the recoating process. The usual recoat time for latex paint at 75 degrees Fahrenheit requires four hours. However, if the temperature drops to 50 degrees, then the recoat time extends to six hours. If you use alkyd paints, you may have to wait 48 hours before you can apply the next coat.  

Surface temperature can vary across different areas on the same structure. This variance plays a significant role in drying and repainting. Painting in cold weather can lead to uniformity issues, inadequate stain resistance, film cracking, and poor touch up jobs. If you can, delay starting a painting project until temperatures get above 50 degrees.  

Challenges with a Winter Projects  

Drying and second coats aren’t the only issue when it comes to painting in the winter. When it’s cooler, the paint requires more mixing time. You may also notice water-spotting problems. If you decide to touch up a previous paint job, it may look lighter than the original.  


If you must paint in cold weather, here are a few tips for a successful project: 

  • Use a good bonding primer before applying paint.  
  • Turn up the heat on your thermostat to help your paint dry faster 
  • In addition to your home’s indoor temperature, check the wall’s temperature with a non-contact infrared thermometer 
  • Wrap everything and heat the area. 

If you need helping wrap up a project before year’s end, let a professional help you. J. Stevens Painting makes sure that your home gets the best interior and exterior painting application possible. Give us a call at 770-365-6889, and we’ll get the ball rolling on your next painting project.  

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