Your decorating projects may not always occur when the temperatures are best for painting. Unfortunately, paints bond best when temperatures are in a narrow range, both for application and for drying. Projects such as painting furniture in a cold garage should be undertaken cautiously, with thought going into the type of product used and the differences in drying time that will occur in a cold environment.
Optimum Paint Temperatures
Paints are formulated to work best at certain temperatures. Generally, interior paint should be applied in temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Dutch Boy website. Paint dries best between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil-based paints, also called alkyd-based, require temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature can also affect other factors that prevent successful paint application. The moisture level in the paint area can also drop when temperatures fall, causing condensation on the surface of the piece that increases the drying time
Painting In Cold Temperatures
Though paint may require these temperatures for optimum coverage and binding, your project may not be able to wait for warmer weather to arrive. You will have to consider what you can do to make the painting project successful under these circumstances. Today, paints are available that can be used in lower temperature ranges. Ensure that the paint product you use is at the correct temperature for application by bringing it indoors to warm to normal room temperature, if necessary.
Warming The Paint Area
Consider a heating method for warming your garage a bit to make the job easier. A number of different types of space heaters are available for homeowners. Many of these are good for heating small areas. Always remember that paints products contain ingredients that may require ventilation to avoid respiratory hazards. Heating sources themselves may need proper ventilation to avoid fumes that can cause serious injury or death. Also, some paints should not be used too close to flames or heat sources. Closely follow manufacturers' warnings. Place the furniture in a heated area so that it will warm up to the ambient temperature so that the paint binds properly to the surface.
Special Paints And Paint Additives
Some lines of paint are particularly formulated for use in the cold. These products include not only paints but primers and caulks as well, according to the PaintPRO website. When in doubt as to achieving the correct temperature for both the ambient air and the substrate that will hold the paint, use these products following label directions carefully. As these already contain ingredients for use in the cold, avoid adding solvents that will change the exact formulation. Paint additives are also available to enable painting in less-than-optimal conditions.
J. Lang Wood
J. Lang Wood's stories, essays and articles have been seen in journals across the country and online. She is a published short story and essay writer who specializes in travel topics, pets, medical subjects, Florida history, environmental issues, political and business topics. She is the author of the novel "Strays" and holds an Associate of Arts in chemistry from College of DuPage.