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Painting Walls in the Winter

14 November 2016

West Michigan winters can get to be pretty long. In between holidays and hockey tournaments, you can still squeeze in an interior home improvement project or two before it gets to be spring.  we’re here to give you some tips to improve and maintain your home throughout the winter. And come spring, we’ll help you get your exterior needs addressed–including getting those gutters on point. Until then, what indoor improvements can you make? If you previously thought that interior painting during the winter was a no-go, think again. Painting is, without a doubt, one of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to change the look, mood, and general aesthetics of your home, and winter is actually an excellent time to get that paint job done.

Before You Paint, Consider The Following:

  1. Good Lighting

To have a beautiful and lasting end product, your paint job requires a well-lit space. When you paint during the summer time, that’s easy–the days are long. When you’re painting during the winter, you will need to plan for lighting. Natural light is best, so get painting as early as possible to catch those rays. If you need to paint after the sun goes down, you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate lighting so you can see any coverage or drip issues you may have.

  1. Ventilation/Fumes

When you paint during the summer, you open windows to let out those fumes. That’s a little bit more difficult during the winter. When you paint during the winter, you might want to crack windows a little bit. Yes, we realize that having a window open, even slightly, isn’t ideal when you have the heat on. To help your efforts, you may want to have a couple fans in the room and aim them towards the cracked window. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, research your paint. Purchasing a paint that is low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds–it’s what’s released when paint dries) will keep your fume level much lower.

  1. Indoor Temperature

As mentioned a bit earlier, you’ll want to make sure that your heat is on. You never want to paint in a room that is colder than 60 degrees. If you’re painting in a room that isn’t used often, and you’ve closed up the heating vents, you need to make sure that heat is rolling into that room. Also, if you’re someone who likes it really cold, below 60 degrees, while you sleep, you will need to embrace a warmer temperature at night. You’ll need to keep your heat above 60 (maybe 70 if it’s really cold) for at least 36 hours after you paint. This will ensure that the paint cures properly.

  1. Outdoor Temperature

If you’re in a cold snap, and it’s just freezing outside, maybe wait until it’s a more seasonal temperature. Obviously the walls will be much colder if it’s really, really cold out, and that can interfere with your paint. Of course, you can always just crank up the heat, but a more economical option is to just wait to paint.

Reasons Why You SHOULD Paint During The Winter

You might be thinking, I have to think about all these extra things–why shouldn’t I just wait until the spring or summer to paint? Here’s why you should seize the season and get out your paintbrush:

  1. Winter is less humid

Paint has a very hard time drying when it’s too humid. Winter, generally, has much drier air and will help your paint to cure.

  1. Cooler (not cold) is better

Cooler air is actually better for paint to dry. If air temperature is too hot, the paint will dry too quickly and will peel. Yes, you need to have your air temp at least 60 degrees. Anywhere from 60-70 is just about perfect for paint to dry.

  1. Fight winter boredom

We know that you like to get out there and work on your house. Get something off of your honey-do list so you’ll have less to do this summer.

  1. Don’t want to paint yourself? Save some money!

If you don’t feel like actually doing the painting project yourself, hire someone! Painting contractors are often less expensive during the winter as it’s their off-season.