Winter issues with exterior painting projects and how to fix them

tips and tricks


If you haven’t managed to get all your painting done before winter comes around, you might have to expect a few seasonal issues that come with a wintertime painting job. No problem – just follow our tips to work around some of the issues that may arise. 


Issue #1: The type of paint 

Before getting started, allow us to find you the right paint for the job, specifically one that works well in low temperatures. There are plenty of paints designed specifically for using in cold weather. Others are not suitable for winter jobs. For example, latex paint will become lumpy and even unusable after freezing and thawing multiple times. Latex paint’s freezing point is the same as water, but oil-based paint is more durable at colder temperatures.  

wintertime painting job

Issue #2: Temperature 

We have always been successful with exterior painting, because we make sure we always consider the right temperature for the job. If the surface and air temperature is stable over 30 degrees, you will have the best results. Timing is just as important to ensure that adequate daylight is being used. Start painting early on in the day, around late morning, just as the sun starts to warm the surface of your home. Continue painting for the rest of the day until mid-afternoon, before the cold air kicks in and the air becomes damp with moisture. Low temperatures can affect the characteristics of the paint. Alkyd and oil paints become stickier at lower temperatures, and other paint types may even become thick or semi-solid, which will require continuous thinning. 


Issue #3: Recoating

The drying time is extended when painting in lower temperatures. When recoating with latex paint, the drying period is approximately 4 hours. If the temperature drops beyond 30 degrees, the drying period can reach up to 6 hours. You will have to wait up to 48 hours when recoating with alkyd paints. Drying times may vary according to the sunlight, or lack of it, directed onto the painted surface. 

wintertime painting job

Other issues

Other issues that may arise while painting in lower temperatures include film cracking, water spotting and poor colour uniformity. If you are painting on a windy day, be sure to add more coats of paint. Although the paint may dry quicker, the wind may cause the paint to crack. 


Building a protective shield 

One solution to protecting yourself from lower temperatures is by building a protective shield around the area you are working on. Close off the area with a thick screen of plastic, and use a heater to warm up the area. If you choose to do this, be sure to keep the temperature consistent and the area properly ventilated. 

wintertime painting job


Painting your home in the winter takes careful planning, just like any other painting project. Let ProTek Painting Services put a good plan in place and allow you to get cracking on that new home painting project you’ve been itching to start.

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