How to Paint a Room in the Winter

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When the winter is making you feel dreary, sometimes a bright, clean space is just what you need to chase away the blahs at home. The least expensive and fastest way to change a room is with a gallon of paint and a gaggle of paintbrush-wielding pals---and you don't have to wait for summer to make it happen. Consider winter your "nesting" season and get rolling.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based latex paint (low odor if possible)
  • Fans for ventilation (or respirator mask)
  • Dehumidifier
  • Trim brushes
  • Painter's tape
  • Rollers
  • Paint tray
  • Paint tray inserts
  • Drop cloths

Brighten Your Space with a Winter Paint Job

  • Choose a paint color and finish that expresses the tone you want to set in the space you're set to paint. When you're painting in winter, it's most important to choose a low odor, low VOC paint that does not give off toxic fumes. Ventilation is important to maintaining air quality, but if the weather outside is wet (raining or snowing), it will cause the paint to dry slower. If fumes become an issue, crack a window and put a fan in the doorway to circulate fresh air from other parts of the house.

  • Turn up the heat in the house to warm the air in the room you plan to paint. Run a fan from the vent into the center of the room to push the warmer air in and the cooler air out. If the air is warm and dry, paint will dry quicker and more consistently.

  • Keep humidity in the room low---this plays a crucial part in paint drying well. Continue to run fans and bring in a dehumidifier if the paint is taking longer than three or four hours to dry.

  • Exterior walls will be colder to the touch than interior walls, so expect those to take the most time to dry fully. As long as the temperature of the room is maintained throughout the drying process, the paint should dry to the same standard quality on inside and outside walls.

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