Sunday, July 3, 2011
Can You Paint in the Winter?
We don't like to let winter change the way we live our lives. Even if you surf all winter long, though, you should think twice about painting exteriors in winter.
Even if you're not discouraged by the possibility of slippery ice and shivering, you need to have specialized knowledge and skills to paint in colder weather. New paint formulations are designed to allow painting in cooler weather than used to be possible, but you can't ignore dew.
The moisture that comes out in the mornings on plants or causes little ribbons of mist over damp grass looks picturesque. The moisture that comes out of your walls can cause blistering in your paint. It can cause "bloom," a milky discolouration. It can even freeze and expand, causing paint failures on freshly painted surfaces.
Professional painters still paint in the winter. How do we do it? First, we wait till later in the day, when the surfaces we're going to paint are more likely to be dry. Second, we stop earlier in the day, before evening moisture sets in. Third, we give the paint a longer drying time between coats.
This means that painting can take longer in the winter. Since you're less likely to end up on a long waiting list, though, it may work out the same in the end.
Note that all these points are for exterior painting. You can paint indoors in the winter, on dry days, with proper ventilation. Cooler temperatures can actually make indoor painting more pleasant.