Is It Too Cold to Paint Outside?

When the temps drop, questions crop up in the stores about painting in colder, fall weather. People are unsure how long they can effectively paint outside as the year crawls toward winter. After all, who wants to paint outside, only to find out in the spring that it has to be redone because the paint blistered and peeled?

Don’t worry! There’s still time to get one more project in, but there are some things you need to know before you paint outside as the temperature drops.

The Right Paint

The cooler the temp, the more important it is to use a low temp exterior paint. Traditional exterior paints could only be applied as low as 50°, but many paint companies have formulated paints that can be applied in the 40’s and sometimes even the 30’s. RepcoLite’s ENDURA is rated for temps down to 36 degrees and Benjamin Moore’s AURA and REGAL are rated for temps down to 40 degrees.

Important Reminders

  • Temperature ratings include night time temps. You’re looking for temps that reach 36 (or 40) or higher and remain that way for 6-8 hours after application. This allows the paint to dry and form the protective film on the surface. Also,  the temperature rating is for the surface temperature, not just air temperature.
  • The best time to paint is between 10 AM and 2 PM. By starting at 10, you give the dew time to dry before application and the surface you are painting has time to warm up to at least the minimum temperature. By quitting at 2, you are giving the paint enough time to dry before dew sets in again.
  • The short paint window is critical as the temperature drops because paint takes so much longer to dry as it gets cooler.
    • Latex takes 4 hours to dry at 70°
      • It takes at least 6 hours if it is 60° or below
    • Oil takes 8 hours to dry at 70°
      • It takes about 48 hours in cold weather
  • Paint in the sun! We normally tell people to paint in the shade, but as the weather gets cooler, it is actually a benefit to paint in the sun. The sun will help the paint dry and cure better. And it doesn’t hurt that your hands will stay warm too!

You can have great success painting outside well into the fall. It’s just important to be aware of the limitations and conditions that have to be worked around. If you follow the above tips, you will be able to squeak in that one last project before snow flies.

EP22 – September 2, 2017: Lawn Seeding 101, Must-Have Painting Tools, Electrical Questions Answered, and Basement Floor Painting


We live in Michigan where our basements can be a little scary; especially if you have an older house! There are lots of things that can be done to remedy that. But perhaps the simplest thing to do is to simply paint the floor. It’s amazing how much a coat of paint can brighten a dreary basement. We’ll help give you the confidence to tackle your floor this weekend!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 022:

Summer is almost over. And that means our lawns have made it through the toughest part of the year. Some may have made it through the heat like champs. Others, however, may have lost the battle with heat and minimal rain, and now have featured brown and dead patches.

Don't fret! According to Matt Bakker from Landscape Design Services, you can still bring your lawn back to its glory days before snow flies. He's got everything we need to know about seeding the bare patches in our yards.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to do a simple task, only to find you don't have to right tool on hand. Try opening a bottle without a bottle opener (Dan!), or tighten a screw using a penny (Betsy!). It takes way more time to complete the task and there is so much frustration involved!

This same theory applies to painting as well. If you follow our list and always have these painting tools on hand, your next project is guaranteed to be a lot less stressful because you won't have to stop midway through the project (or maybe before you even begin!) to buy the right tool.

Must-Have Painting Tools Check List!

There are a lot of home improvement projects we are comfortable tackling--anything involving wood is generally acceptable, minor plumbing projects are ok, and anything involving paint is a breeze. But electrical....oh, electrical....that is a whole different story! Sure, we can change light bulbs and maybe even wire up a fan or a new lighting fixture. But when it comes to questions like "why do my lights dim when I run the microwave?" we figure it's best to ask a professional.

Lucky for us, Bill Haveman, co-owner of Haveman Electric, agreed to stop by and talk about some common household electrical questions. Hopefully, by the end of the conversation, our power concerns will be put to rest.

Miss Etta James, in the 60s, sang about all the fun you can have in the basement. But what happens if you have a Michigan basement? What if you have dark, cold concrete floors and tony spiders hanging in the corners? It's sounds more like a dungeon that a place to hang out and have fun.

But there is  solution! It's amazing what a difference just painting the floor can make. It will brighten up the space and make it feel a little less cold. And if you are concerned about tackling the project, don't be! We've got you covered with tips and tricks from start to finish.

Floor Painting Tips

  • Use a 14" or 18" cover if possible
  • Use a 3/8" nap cover
  • Use an extension pole. It will save your back!
  • Brush 2" strip around all the edges (cut in)
  • Roll paint from paint tray
  • OR try pouring paint straight out of the bucket in a line on the floor!
    • Pour a few feet from wall
    • Pour a 4" wide strip
    • Only pour as much as you can evenly spread before the paint dries
    • Could use a 3/16" nap cover with this application method
    • Work with a helper
  • Let paint dry completely before introducing light foot traffic
    • Waterborne - at least 6 hours
    • Oil - at least 12 hours
    • All dry times will be slowed even more without air circulation and/or humidity