Spray painting whether as a hobby or a way of saving some money in cold weather can quickly turn into a disaster. It is important to understand how paint application is affected by coldness and the how drying patterns or its characteristics change in low temperatures. While most remodelers and established home builders try to finish their projects before the year ends, painting in cold weather can be challenging.
Cold weather affects the entire process of painting because the alkyd paints based on natural oils and resins easily get vicious when exposed to low temperatures. That is why some paints become very semi-solid at the subzero temperatures and may need a lot of thinning. However, you can use certain additives to thaw the resistance of latex paints. Latex paints can be affected by volatile additives, which slower the rate of water evaporation under very low temperatures. Therefore, latex paints can freeze and thaw, if not treated properly. Oil based paints freeze under low temperatures. The moment you find lumps in latex paint, you must discard it.
Tips for spray painting in the cold
- If you don’t have to spray paint in cold weather, ensure that the paint sprayer or gun you are going to use doesn’t have ice struck into the gun. Cleaning the gun thoroughly will help you prevent unnecessary problems such as clogging or jamming. You need to be aware of what to expect before you start spray painting your car, wall or any other object.
- You should make sure the surface where you want to paint is clean and free of any moisture. Scrap away any frost that may have formed on the surface, if you had cleaned it earlier. Take time to look for the moisture lest you end up with poor paintwork. Water spots can form on painted surfaces when spray painting in cold weather.
- Follow all the instructions on the manual when spray painting. This is very important because some manuals have clear details on how to spray paint during rough weather. You need to do a test patch somewhere because some paints react differently at very low temperatures. In addition, you need more time to mix paints when in cold weather.
- Protect the surface until it dries up completely. Keep your eye on the temperature changes so that you can quickly take necessary precautions whenever necessary. You should avoid using oil-based paints when the temperatures get so low because the film can become so thick and create bumps. Improper film formation can cause a powdery film on your paint. This is important because the presence of a heavy film slows down the drying process.
While spray painting is a unique way of adding some style to your surfaces such as car wheels, you need to verify that the paint you are using is recommended for cold weather by the paint manufacturer. Use a non-contact infrared thermometer in checking wall and air temperatures before you start painting. Avoid painting when the temperatures go below 35° F, and use the right coatings that are suitable for cold weather.