Posts Tagged ‘paint outside’

Can I paint outside in cold weather?

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Can I paint outside in the winter? Painting in temperatures below 35° F is not recommended.

Question. I’ve heard that painting outside in the fall and spring is not a good idea because of the dampness in the air. I plan on using latex paint. How late or early in the season can I paint and still have long-lasting results? I live in the Midwest.

Answer. If you need to paint outside with latex paint when temperatures are moving up and down like a yo-yo, I suggest you use one of the latex like Duration, Resilience, or SuperPaint. These products can be applied and will cure at lower temperatures, as low as 35° F. Traditional latex-based paints need temperatures above 60° F to cure properly. Warmer temperatures are needed to allow the latex particles to coalesce, or melt together. That is why the spring and fall can be tricky times to paint outside. A common mistake is to paint when the daytime high temperature gets above 60° F and the nighttime temperatures get much cooler because dew forms on almost everything as soon as the sun goes down. Even though the temperature was OK at the time of application, the paint can stop coalescing. This permits moisture to get into the uncured paint film allowing certain ingredients to come to the surface when the moisture evaporates, causing surface staining and possible adhesion problems.

Q: What is the optimal temperature to paint outside?

A:Until a few years ago you needed to paint above 50° F. Sherwin-Williams now has products like Duration, Resilience, SuperPaint and A-100 Exterior that will allow you to paint down to 35° F.

Q: What is the best time of year to stain exterior surfaces?

A:Whenever it’s dry and warm. Although 70° F is the ideal temperature for exterior staining, the “safe range” spans from 50° F to 90° F. Avoid staining when humidity is high or the day after a rainstorm, and never stain in direct sunlight. As always, check the label for product-specific directions.