It gets cold in Northern Nevada and sometimes we just can’t wait until spring. We want these walls painted now! You’re asking “Do I really need to wait for warmer weather?” So here are the pitfalls and how to plan for the cold when painting a house or building’s exterior.
The nighttime temps are most critical because, you know, it cools down at night. Latex paint generally likes to have 28 days to cure–and realize–dry to the touch is not the same thing as the paint curing. It might dry in a couple hours but the nighttime is of interest here. The paint might look fine on the surface but underneath, it’s drying slower than you think.You should know that after 72 hours the most intense curing period is over.
The label of the paint will tell you the temperature it’s rated for. Quite simply 35° is too cold. If it’s going to get that cold over night, ESPECIALLY within the first 3 nights, it’s too cold and you should delay your paint job. Many of today’s common house paints and stains are rated for 50° and warmer.
If you go against our advice here, the paint just won’t hold up over time and unfortunately the evidence won’t necessarily become apparent for a year or more. Perhaps 5 years and you’ll see that it was a bad idea. You might see uneven stain/water spots or mildew. It might crack.
If the temperature stays at 40° or more for 4 hours consistently that’s the very minimum requirement. That’s the coldest you should ever work in painting. We don’t want to give bad advice but that’s simply the worst case scenario, bottom line and even that might be risky.
Sub-zero temps are coming? Don’t go there. IF that’s the case, DO NOT PAINT. Those temperatures within a few days of painting can really kill your paint job. Don’t do it.
And by the way NEVER let water based paint stay outside below 32° temperatures in the can. Bring it inside for warmth over the winter. Can it thaw in the spring and be ok? No one can guarantee that, in fact, nope. Let’s just say no. Just so you know, there are specially formulated paints out there for the lower temps. Study up. The internet is your friend.
Allow for at least 4 hours of drying time before moisture can settle on the surface and the cooler it is the worse it is regarding temps. ‘Nuff said.