Is It Okay To Paint Walls On Winter Season? - Painting - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-23-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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is it okay to paint walls on winter season?

hi there. i'm a first time homeowner. i have a question for you guys. is it okay to paint interior walls on winter season? we are moving this coming november (3rd week) or should i wait till the spring or summer season? any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 09-23-2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to check with the paint store Ö and on the back of the can. There are always directions and suggestions on when to apply, how to apply, how much to apply, how to clean up, etc.
You didnít state how cold it is there right now. We usually donít paint exteriors if the temp drops into the 40ís. We use a high end Porter paint product.
Interior temps are a bit different. Does the house have power? How cold does it get inside if you donít have power? Are the walls well insulated? Knowing the temp inside is going to help, and checking the temp on your walls that are not internal will help also.
Go to a professional paint store for your paint Ö not a big box store.


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Old 09-23-2006, 06:46 PM   #3
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If the temparture is above 55 or so but it depends on what the paint can states. If you are unable to open the windows then you may not like the fumes from the paint.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:09 AM   #4
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thanks for the advice and the fast reply.
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Old 09-24-2006, 03:45 PM   #5
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Yes...why wouldnt it be ok? You have heat, right?

Very strange question

I have painted for 10 years and never hear someone who wondered if they could paint in November....INSIDE
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Old 09-24-2006, 06:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jrgarma View Post it okay to paint interior walls on winter season?
Originally Posted by jrgarma View Post
should i wait till the spring or summer season?

Winter is when we do most interiors around here
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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novice do-it-yourselfer

Hey, I was wondering the same question and I was glad that it was already posted and already answered and now already made fun of!! Being a single chick, it's hard learning all the do's and don'ts especially since it's my first house...and a fixer upper. I love this site and thanks for all the good questions and answers...even the stupid ones!!!! haha
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:28 PM   #8
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You CAN paint during the winter if your house is at a comfortable temperature, but you should be aware of some potential pitfalls:

1. The exterior walls of your house can be cooler than interior walls, and the lower temperature will cause the exterior painted walls to dry slower. Also, wood is not a good insulator; it has an R value of 1.0 per inch. Compare that with 3.5 or so for fiberglass batting or 5 for extruded polystyrene foam. So, you may notice lines on exterior walls where the studs are where the wall is coldest, and where the paint takes longest to dry (if it dries).

2. The COLOUR of the paint you buy plays an important roll as well. If you choose an off-white or pastel colour, then there will have been little tinting colourant added to it at the store. If, however, you choose a heavily pigmented colour, like Red or Yellow or Green or Blue, or any colour that isn't mostly white, then they can only make such a colour by taking a tint base that would otherwise dry clear and adding lots and lots and lots and lots of colorant to it so that it dries to the colour you want. The problem is that the carrier fluid in the paint tinting machine is glycerine, and glycerine is very slow to dry. So, the more you tint a paint, the more glycerine you add, and the longer it takes for the paint to dry. (This is true of both latex and oil based paints, and is the practical reason why floor paints will generally come pretinted from the factory... to minimize drying time.)

The problem is that latex paints form a film through a process that requires that the water in the paint evaporates before a water soluble solvent in the paint does. The cool temperatures, the high relative humidity (due to painting), and the amount of glycerine in the paint all affect it's drying time. So, you are certainly running more of a risk of problems painting in cold weather, but that's not to say you will have problems. What I'd suggest is that you do what you can to avoid as many of them as you can. Have an electric heater and fan running while the paint is drying to warm the air which warms the paint on the walls. Rent a dehumidifier too, maybe.

If you plan to paint poorly insulated exterior walls with heavily tinted colours, you could potentially be waiting a full week (depending on the weather) for your paint to dry! And, of course, if you put on a thick coat of paint with a 1/2 inch nap roller, it could sag during that long drying time, making a mess of your walls.

And, of course, much depends on your house's walls and the outdoor temperature. If it's a newer house with well insulated walls, then the outdoor temperature plays less of a factor. However, if your house was built at a time when coal was cheap and insulation unheard of, then your walls will be colder and your paint will take a lot longer to dry (if it dries properly).

And, finally, the heating system you have in your house is important. If you have forced air heating, then you may have a dehumidifier that can remove the excess moisture from the air. If, however, it's a hot water heating system, then you really have no way of removing the moisture from the air except opening a window and letting the warm humid air out.

I live in Manitoba, Canada, and I have a dehumidifier that I use when I'm painting an apartment in the winter. And, I will typically empty that dehumidifier's water recovery tank about 5 or 6 times over the course of the following few days. I'm guessing that from 4 to 5 gallons of paint used, I'll collect 2 gallons of water or more. If you don't have a dehumidifier, then you could have some pretty awful sweating on your windows while your paint is drying.

And, keep in mind, that the more painting you do, the greater the humidity that's going to be in the air, and that too will slow the drying time of your paint.

Consider all the factors and make a decision. If it were me, I would apply the most heavily tinted paint you intend to use to a NORTH facing exterior wall on a relatively cool day and see what results you get. That would represent the worst situation you'll encounter.

Also, maybe see if you can rent a dehumidifier, a fan and an electric heater somewhere, too.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 10-27-2008 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:14 AM   #9
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If the inside of your house is too cold to paint, then odds are you will have frozen pipes. Winter brings low humidity which further speeds drying time with latex paint. I have painted inside when it was 10 below outside and we never had any concerns nor did we ever run into any problems. Some of the houses were very old and poorly insulated.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:42 PM   #10
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More than OK is that , its really beneficial if you paint your home during the winter:
People think that the cold weather makes painting a bad idea. Unfortunately that kind of thinking could actually cost you more time and worst of all, more money.

What most people don’t realize is that there are many advantages to painting your interior in the winter:

Paint actually dries quicker. There is less humidity in the winter and combined with closed windows and your heating system, drying times are faster.
Most people spend more time inside during the winter. This gives you a better opportunity to enjoy your newly painted house. Also, the other advantage of being inside a lot is you will find more imperfections and highlight details that need fixing so you can get the most out of your new paint.
Toxic paint fumes? Not to worry. With today’s low to zero VOC paints, this practically eliminates concerns over fumes.

But the biggest advantage that most people don’t realize is that winter gives you a great opportunity to save time and money.

With most people painting during the warmer seasons, the best and most reputable painter will book up fast leading to longer wait times. Booking during the slow season gives you shorter lead times and a better chance for a quick turnaround.
More summer fun! By planning ahead and getting your painting done in the winter, it will free up your valuable summer vacation time for the things you enjoy most.
Many professional painters offer lower rates during the slow winter season and that gives you the advantage of getting the same professional job at a more attractive price.

So take advantage of the cold weather and bring back that “New Home Feel” in less time and with less money.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:13 AM   #11
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Yes, you can paint your house during winter season but it also depends upon the weather condition. If you further have some confusion then you can take suggestions from professional painting contractors. They can give you proper guidelines.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:22 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TTpainting View Post
Yes, you can paint your house during winter season but it also depends upon the weather condition. If you further have some confusion then you can take suggestions from professional painting contractors. They can give you proper guidelines.

you know this thread is 7 years old
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #13
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is it okay to paint walls on winter season?

As long as you have heat and temp is over 55 inside house you should be good to go.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
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As most everyone else has said, as long as it's over 55ish F, then the paint should dry. We put a fan pointing in a room with a window open a crack, away from the painted room. Also, not sure if it's because it's recycled or something else they do in the process, but we bought recycled paint from Wally World (Wal-Mart). Loop brand. We bought it because it was cheaper. I was worried it'd be funky, but it actually worked like any other paint I've used, and it dried quicker than most. We had a partial can of another brand we used and the recycled stuff dried faster.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:17 PM   #15
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Having painting issues

I am painting a room and all seemed to be going well. But a couple hrs. later I noticed that the paint is running on one wall and droplets of paint are forming on the ceiling by this wall. Here are the things I wonder about.
1) It is winter in Wi.
2) It is 28 deg. outside and raining.
3) It is only doing this on the exterior wall which has a window in it and baseboard heat along the floor.
So have I just picked the totally wrong time to paint or is there something else going on here ? Anything I can do to avoid this ? The rest of the room is fine.



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