Can You Paint a Home in Winter?

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As the days grow shorter and a chill fills the air, the idea of tackling home improvement projects might seem counterintuitive. But what if we told you that winter could be an ideal time to paint your home, depending on where you live?

In many parts of the country, home exteriors and interiors can be painted year round. In fact, in warm weather states like Florida, Arizona and California, winter is actually the preferred time of year to complete home exterior paint projects. The scorching summer heat in these areas goes beyond what most paints can handle, making the cooler months of fall and winter the preferred times for outdoor painting.

However, in colder regions, the winter season typically restricts outdoor painting due to freezing temperatures, rain, frost, and snow. In these areas, interior painting becomes the primary focus during the winter months.

How Cold is Too Cold to Paint?

Generally speaking, most paint brands suggest that anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold to paint. Keep in mind that the temperature needs to be at least 50 degrees throughout the entire drying cycle, including at night. Dew development must also be considered when drying overnight as moisture can lead to issues like poor adhesion, surface defects, and extended drying times.

In recent years, several paint manufacturers have developed additives and paints that are temperature-adaptive. For example, Sherwin-Williams has developed FlexTemp Paint which can be applied from 35°F-120°F. These temperature-adaptive paints have considerably prolonged the exterior painting season in colder climates, they remain vulnerable to imperfections caused by frost and dew.

What Happens to Paint When It’s Too Cold?

Painting in temperatures lower than the recommended minimum can lead to several issues:

  • Reduced Adhesion: When temperatures are too cold, the paint may not adhere to the surface properly, leading to poor coverage and peeling.
  • Longer Drying Time: Cold temperatures can significantly slow down the drying and curing process, making the paint vulnerable to damage and contaminants.
  • Uneven Finish: The cold can cause the paint to thicken, making it challenging to apply smoothly and evenly.

What is the Best Time of Year to Paint a House?

In northern and eastern states, late spring through early fall is the ideal time to tackle home exterior projects. This range of seasons helps painters avoid snow and freezing temperatures. In southern states, late fall through early spring tends to be the ideal time for exterior painting. Soaring summer temperatures make it next to impossible to for certain paints to adhere and dry properly.

Should I Paint My House in Winter?

In extremely cold weather, it’s generally best to postpone painting until temperatures are within the recommended range. If you must paint in cooler conditions, consider using paint additives designed to help the paint cure at lower temperatures.

At PAINT CORPS™, we understand the common misconceptions surrounding winter interior painting. With our expertise in delivering high-quality results, even in the colder months, we’re here to make your home shine, no matter the season.

Want to get started on your residential painting project? Find a PAINT CORPS™ office near you to request a free, no-obligation quote! We will help you get your home in tip-top shape in time for the holiday season.

Burgess Perry is the Founder and CEO of PAINT CORPS™ Franchise Group. After serving in the U.S. Army for nearly 10 years, Burgess began a new chapter by opening a painting company in the Tampa, Florida area. He hit the ground running and after five years of unprecedented success, he decided it was time to give back to his fellow military veterans. That's when he founded PAINT CORPS™, a veteran-only franchise founded on military values like service, respect, integrity, and duty.

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