What Temperature Is Too Cold for Exterior Paint?

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Currently there are several paints available to the public that allow painting exterior surfaces in a wide range of temperatures. According to Davis Paint, some oil-based paints allow for painting in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chipping paint.
Chipping paint.

Potential

With new technology increasing the resilience of exterior paints, it is becoming possible to paint in colder conditions than ever before. This may allow for people living in extreme cold conditions to paint when they previously could not.

Mail slot on building painted red.
Mail slot on building painted red.

Warning

While the quality of the finished paint isn't lost by painting in cold weather, even the best paints for cold weather do see an increased drying time. This leaves a longer span of time for dust and debris to ruin the finish of the paint.

Man putting on finishing coat of paint.
Man putting on finishing coat of paint.

Expert Insight

Painting in cold weather doesn't prevent a quality finish. However, according to the National Association of Sign Supply Distributors, the highest quality finish comes from painting at 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thermometer in cold outdoors weather.
Thermometer in cold outdoors weather.

Considerations

Regardless of temperature, painting any exterior surface can be done wrong. This causes terrible results, wasted money and lost time. It's best to paint at the optimal temperature for whatever surface is being painted.

Paint roller and bucket.
Paint roller and bucket.

Identification

Taking time to identify the right paint for the right surface will help determine the best temperature to do the painting. This is the most important step in achieving a high-quality finish regardless of the outside temperature.

Painted windowpanes.
Painted windowpanes.

References

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