Spray paints are pressurized sealed paints that are most used to attain a fine and even coat, unlike traditional brushes. These paints dry quickly and also reach the nooks and corners easily.
Most of us live in cold areas and hardly have the temperature suitable for any type of work that involves painting, washing, etc. In such conditions spray painting seems the most suitable thing to get the work done.
Now the question arises that all paints are best to be done at a temperature above 50 degrees which is not available in the cold weather. We can also not ignore our work or stuff that needs to be painted. In this scenario, the question arises, “Can You Spray Paint in Cold Weather?” So to find the answer to this question, I have prepared this guide!
Can You Spray Paint in Cold Weather?
In this guide, you will find out the necessary things you need to pay heed to when you decide to spray paint in cold weather.
Best Temperature for Spray Painting
If we look at the recommended and suitable temperature, the best time is to spray paint when the temperature lies between 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. At that time there is enough humidity in the weather to keep the spray paint from getting congealed in the can. It also dries properly and gives a nice texture.
If you do not have this weather, spray painting can be quite challenging in that situation. In that case, if the weather is cold, you must check the forecast before starting your work. You should start your work on a day which is warmer than usual days. In cold weather, you should also try your best to work in a ventilated area to let it dry quicker.
There are a few important measures or tips that you must pay heed to if you decide to spray paint anything. These are important measures for painting in cold weather. Let us have a look at the following tips;
If you were to spray paint at 50 degrees temperature or more, the paint would dry off quickly. But when we talk about cold weather, the surface of the object to be painted must be thoroughly cleaned. This will help you from the paint from cracking or making a weirdly uneven thick layer over it. I am not saying that the object should not be cleaned in warm weather, it is just that you should take precautions in cold weather if you want good results.
Also, if you are planning to spray paint glass or high-grade plastic surfaces, an alcoholic swab will help clear the dirt off the object. If your object is wooden, then a good rub with a cotton cloth will suffice for cleaning.
After you have cleaned the surface, you should make sure that the surface is dry. The surface of the object to be spray painted should be properly dry. It should not have even a bit of moisture on it. If the object is not properly dry, the moisture or wetness will get in the way of paint sticking to the surface properly.
Now that you have made sure that the surface of the object is clean and dry, let us move to the next step. You should use primer on the surface of the object before you spray paint. The primer lets you have a more fine coat of paint on the object and provides a good adhesion or you can also say a good fixing for spray paint.
Now that we are done with the cleaning, drying, and priming the surface of the object is to be spray painted. It is time to get started with the spray painting. The following is the step-by-step guide to spray painting in cold weather.
1. Object and paint to be stored in a warm place before use
Since you are painting in cold weather, the temperature is low which can lead to freezing the paint in the spray can. It is better to store the object and spray paint in a warm place. In this way, the spray paint will be easy to apply. The deeper reason to store the spray paint in a warm area is that atomization in the can should not get affected otherwise the paint will be no good to use.
2. Spray paint in a ventilated area
Yes, I have mentioned that you need to store the spray paints in a warm or you can say at room temperature. Now that you are going to start the work, you should work in a ventilated area. The garage would be the best place to work in.
An airy place is necessary so that you do not make a mess in the house and also do not get affected by the smell of spray paints. One other reason is that it is also flammable, as most of us have firewood burning in fireplaces or heaters. Working outside keeps you safe from the dangers of mishaps.
3. Bring the spray can and object between coats
This is necessary so that the paint can dry properly in cold weather. If you constantly keep working in the cold environment, the paint starts cracking and the atomization of the paint in the can gets affected.
So it is better to bring the object and paints inside in a warm room between coats. You should not only place the object in a warm place but a place with good ventilation also, like turning on the fan. This will let the paint dry without any cracking and the can from freezing.
Things to do after painting the object in cold weather
Now that you are done painting the object with the spray paint, it is time to move on to the next steps.
1. Let it dry inside
If the weather is slightly warmer, it would be good to let the spray paint on the object dry outside. But here we are talking about the temperature that is below 85 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. After completing your work, you should bring the object inside and let it dry in a warm place.
2. Longer drying time
You should not worry if your object spray painting takes a longer time to dry than usual. This is only because of the temperature difference. During this time you should try your best to keep the object in a warm and ventilated area. The paint will dry on its own. Just make sure it is not placed in a cold area because then the paint will have uneven and moist results on the object.
Above I explained all the procedures on if you can or cannot spray paint in cold weather. Now I will mention some slight problems you can face with your spray paint in the cold weather and a simple fix for them.
- More time is required to mix the paint properly.
- The primer coat has a darker drying tone.
- Oil spray paints never dry or get sprayed properly in cold weather.
- If you are using Latex paint, you will notice water spots.
- The color effect is duller than usual.
- If the paint is used in more cold weather, the spray nozzle can get clogged.
- Below the suitable temperature, the paint will produce bubbles on the surface of the object when applied.
- The paint will have a thicker consistency than usual when applied.
- The area coverage of spray paint reduces in cold weather.
- The paint takes more time to dry than usual.
You can avoid all these minor problems by storing the spray paint in a warm area before starting your work. And also take breaks between the coats to avoid the paint from freezing. If your paint is properly dried warm and used on the object in a properly ventilated area, then there are fewer chances of you facing the above -mentioned problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature is too cold to spray paint?
If the temperature falls below 85 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then using the spray paint can be quite hard. This is because the atomization of the spray paint inside the can gets affected leading to the thickness of the paint and clogging of the spray nozzle.
Does spray paint dry well in cold weather?
The answer can both be yes and no. This is because if you take proper breaks between the coats of paint and place the object in a warm and ventilated place then the paint dries well. Otherwise, the paint not only gets weird lumps but also does not dried properly.
How long does the spray paint take to dry usually in cold weather?
If you have placed the object in a warm and ventilated place then it hardly takes an hour to dry. But still, you should give it more time to dry properly.
Final Thoughts on Winter Spray Painting
Spray paints have always been the first choice over brush paints. These paints are easier to use and make less mess. But the problem starts in the cold weather, when you are stuck with the question “Can You Spray Paint in Cold Weather”?
The answer is yes, you can spray paint in winter but you need to be sure of the weather. That is why I jotted down a detailed guide to help you guys out, so if you plan to use spray paint in cold weather, go through the above-mentioned aspects thoroughly.
Hi, I am Pete Fagerlin, carpenter by profession and working on different DIY projects is my passion. For more than a decade, it’s been my weekend hobby to dig into different tools for my favorite DIY projects which helped me to become knowledgeable about different DIY tools. With a combination of my profession and passion, I am here to collaborate with Adam Wilson to share my DIY tools knowledge with the MechanicsGear readers.