Spray Painting In Cold Weather: Potential Problems You May Face

A lot of people spray paint nowadays. Some do it to save money, and others do it because they enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they’ll get it looking just how they want it.

Spray painting is not a difficult task, but spray painting in cold weather can be a bit of a nightmare, especially when it comes to something such as a car or the interior of a kitchen cabinet.

Temperature and moisture play a big part in paint application. Spray cans will be easier to paint with than a spray gun although either can still work in difficult conditions.

Read the following guideline to ensure your spray painting looks its best while painting during the cold season.

Cold Weather

The first thing to remember about spray painting in cold weather is that any snow, ice, or excess moisture in the air will mean the paint will take longer to dry.

Also, a lot of painting chemicals aren’t effective in cold temperatures. Some of the most common problems you may come across when painting in cold weather are:

  • The paint film can become too thick, causing issues when applying such as creating tiny bumps/bubbles.
  • On the other hand, the paint film can become too thin. This causes difficulty when spraying as the paint film is less durable when thin.
  • Cold weather can cause what’s known as orange peeling where the surface of the painted object becomes very bumpy.
  • The spray gun doesn’t work as well as it should and easily becomes clogged.
  • A longer drying time is needed.
  • Drips and runs in paint are common when painting in cold weather.
Spray Painting in cold weather

In order to avoid such issues, use these very helpful hints for spray painting in cold weather:

1. Spray Gun Should Be Clear

Make sure the spray gun is clear before you start as it’s possible ice may have got into the gun during freezing weather. By ensuring it’s clear before you begin will help avoid problems later on such as clogging or jamming.

2. Clean The Surface

Clean the surface of the object you’re about to paint. If any moisture is left on the surface it will cause issues. Simply wipe down the surface before you begin to ensure there’s no damp.

3. Scrape Away Any Frost

Scrape away any frost that may have formed on the surface and thoroughly wipe clean.

4. Look For Moisture

Actively look for moisture. It may not be obvious, so make sure you look carefully otherwise you may end up with poor paint work.

5. Follow The Manual

Always follow the instructions as per the manual. Most manuals will include some form of guide for painting in rough weather. It’s always best to check this out before you begin as not all spray paints will react the same in cold temperatures. Some may have different curing agents for low temperatures.

6. Protect The Surface

Protect the surface while coating. While the paint is drying you need to ensure that painted surface remains protected until finished. Because of the cold temperatures, the paint will remain softer for longer and can be easily became marked or torn during this stage. So always make sure you allow extra time for this.

7. Check The Temperature

Keep an eye on the temperature. You need to know exactly what you’re dealing with before you begin spray painting, so it’s always best to measure the temperature of the surface first.

You also need to bear in mind that extremely bad weather can cause paint to freeze, making using a spray gun impossible. So, always keep the paint and spray gun stored somewhere at room temperature.

8. Inspect The Paint

Lastly, make sure you inspect the paint before you begin and do a test patch somewhere first. The last thing you want to do is go to spray your surface only to find the paint is bad and it runs or causes other issues.

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