House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Spray Painting in Cold Weather: 5 Steps to Overcome the Challenges

spray painting in cold weather
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain, Pxhere

Painting in cold weather is no one’s favorite thing. An unfavorable climate just makes painting harder. There is no way around it. Air and moisture factors have a huge impact on spray painting, and the bottom line is that these factors are not working in your favor when it comes to painting in the cold.

Does that mean that a winter time paint job will just have to wait until March?

Nope. You can spray paint well in the winter if you know what you are doing. Fortunately, we would be more than happy to help you with that.

Read on for a guide to spray painting in cold weather.

1. Clean Well

One of the reasons that spray painting is not recommended in the cold is because the temperature affects how the paint sticks to the surface.

You know what else affects paints ability to stick to a surface? Dirt and grime. Don’t make things harder on yourself. Scrub your workpiece thoroughly to ensure you have every advantage you can get going int.

clean wall
Image credit: MIH83, Pixabay

2. Don’t Skimp on the Primer

Primer is always a good idea to use, but when the odds are stacked against you it is a true must. Primer creates a solid base on your workpiece that paint will have an easier time sticking to.

It also makes the colors pop, which is a nice added bonus.

wall with primer
Image credit: nickytheblade, Flickr

3. Control the Temperature as Well as You Can

If you are painting a piece of furniture, or something of that nature, you can control the temperature somewhat by keeping it indoors for as long as possible.

If your final destination for the paint job itself is outside in the cold, the object will at least have had the benefit of being warm for a long period of time, which may help with adhesion.

4. Dry Indoors

Ordinarily, when you paint something, it is best not to move the object during the drying period so as not to disrupt the paint from setting in.

While this is definitely a good practice, it won’t really work in the winter. Your best bet is to move the piece back inside as carefully as you can so that it can dry in a temperature-controlled environment.

5. Be Strategic

Painting something outside, like a wall, is not recommended during winter but sometimes it is necessary. If you find yourself in this position, do what you can to apply strategy to the situation.

Start by taking the temperature of the wall. If it is under thirty-five degrees, you are going to want to pick a different day to paint.

In fact, the temperature will, ideally, be above thirty-five degrees for at least two days after the paint job.

And that is really it! Painting outdoors in the cold is a challenge, but with a little bit of forethought, you can make things easier on yourself.


As you can hopefully see, spray painting in the cold is not the insurmountable task that some people try and make it out to be. Challenging? Absolutely, but with the right technique, it can be done, and done well.

Hopefully, you will use the tips that we have provided today to get great results from your winter painting project.

Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools