Painting in cold weather

Old 12-21-12, 05:31 AM
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Painting in cold weather

I am about to finish some kitchen cabinets that I built. Last step is priming and painting. The primer and paint both say to use at temps above 50.

My garage is insulated but definitely gets colder than 50 at night (temps here in NC will be in the high 20's and mid 40's the next few days).

I see on the bottle of floetrol that I've been using that it extends drying time (or allows you to paint) in colder (or hotter) temps. So my question is has anyone used this product for the purpose of painting in cold temps and do you see any problems in doing so?

Old 12-21-12, 05:47 AM
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I have never used that product but have done some cold weather paint work (in the garage).
If your garage is insulated, try using a heater to keep the tempurature up a bit.

I've used one of these guys for a few years now to warm my work space in the garage during the winter months. You can set it up out of the way and point it at your work area. Worked well when staining a table or working on the car.
They are reasonably inexpensive and at 1500W, throw a lot of heat. In a single car garage that is insulated, it probably would keep the temp in the 50's or better provided it's not below zero when you start.

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Old 12-21-12, 12:16 PM
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The main purpose of floetrol is to slow down the drying time which in turns helps to eliminate brush marks and/or lap marks. It is not designed to let you apply the paint in colder temps!

I second the recommendation for adding some heat to the garage where you intend to do the painting. The temperature of the wood is just as important as the air temp. Cool temps slow down the drying and curing time of paints. Temps near freezing will all but stop oil base coatings from drying. If latex coatings get down to freezing, the paint is apt to loose it's bond with the wood. Paint that freezes on the wood will crack and can fairly easily be scraped off. Oil base coatings fair better with the cold than latex but it can cause an uneven sheen.

An old painter's adage is you can paint at 50 degrees and rising but must quit at 55 degrees and falling. Since you have a space that should be fairly easy to heat there is no sense in taking any chances. I'd try to heat the space to 60 degrees and hour before painting and try to maintain that temperature for at least a few hours after you are done.
Old 12-21-12, 12:40 PM
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I would easily second Marksr's advice and also add this thought.

Paint cures to the touch within hours, but to fully cure can take days, weeks or more. Considering that these are cabinets and doors, I would suspect you'd want to paint them in the most optimal conditions available and have those conditions present for a significant amount of time for proper curing.

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