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Old 12-04-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default oil based painting in freezing temperatures

I know that latex paint can be damaged if frozen but what about painting with oil based paint in 31 degree weather? When we get to the job site it will be a low of 31 degrees, but temperatures are expected to get up in the 50s around mid day. Anyone know if this is in any way compromising the integrity of the paint job?
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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Default Oil in the cold.

We used to paint oil year round. It was a solid body stain.

What is very important is that the surface is DRY. In the cold it can take weeks for wood to get completely dry if there has been rain.

I once painted the outside of a house with solid body oil stain in the middle of winter and there was ice on the ground, I drove by 10 years later and it still looked good. (slightly faded)

However the actual humidity was very low, and it hadnt rained in weeks.

Raising up to 50 degrees might actually be detrimental because it may cause condensation on the surface going from cold to warm and back again.

In order to help you figure out if it will work, I would put it this way:

If you take a bone dry piece of unfinished trim, and paint oil base paint on it, then take it outside to dry where it is 30 degrees, it will be fine, even if it gets sprinkled on. (not a downpour)

If you take that same piece of trim that has any moisture in the wood, and paint oil of the top of it, you will have problems regardless of what temperature it is outside.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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Actually we are painting primed iron rails. By the time we get there in the morning the rails are dry from any overnight dew. So I suspect it should be ok to proceed to paint. We are going for it in the morning. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:37 PM   #4
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Iron railings .....surface temp will not rise like the air unless it is in the sunlight.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
I know that latex paint can be damaged if frozen but what about painting with oil based paint in 31 degree weather? When we get to the job site it will be a low of 31 degrees, but temperatures are expected to get up in the 50s around mid day. Anyone know if this is in any way compromising the integrity of the paint job?
Mark,

I like to adhere to the instructions on the label.

Most say "air and surface" above 50 degrees. There are a few (linseed oil based) that say "air and surface above 40 degrees".

Not being a chemist, I tend to bend these limits only by a degree or two.

Perhaps Formulator or Wolverine will have time to explain the chemisty and why the limits are important (or not).


BTW, my flesh crawled as I walked into a house a few years ago when it was snowing (at 32 degrees) and some slug was priming bare wood on the stoop with a Zinsser latex primer.
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:04 AM   #6
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Mark,
I'll be the manufacturer here and say "good luck". But honestly, if you were using my product, I'd want to know how it performed so I could share that w/ my R & D lab. We certainly put safe and realistic performance features on our labels, but we all know that "what happens in the field, stays in the field".

The lack of moisture I think is a good thing for you. I had painters wiping the dew off the exterior of a bldg to paint it just minutes later. Yikes. No problems though.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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Mark, watch for blushing.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #8
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Your not suppose to apply any coatings in freezing conditions.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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You should be okay but expect it to take a day or two to thoroughly dry. The day temperature probably won't stay long enough for it to harden and dry before it drops again. I doubt if you would get a second coat on the next day.

Also, if you are finishing with any kind of gloss/sheen finish then the cold will affect it and you will likely have a lot of flat areas on the finish product.

If I know there's a danger of the temp dropping below the recommended working environment then I usually put a drop of driers into it. Don't be too heavy handed with that stuff tho or you might cause more damage than the frost!
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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oil based resins need ample temperature in order for them to polymerize - I had a friend that did work for PM's - and if they wanted something painted in the middle of January, he obliged them. He would tell me that as he was putting on the oil paint - it was freezing before his very eyes. And it all came off the following spring.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by plainpainter View Post
oil based resins need ample temperature in order for them to polymerize - I had a friend that did work for PM's - and if they wanted something painted in the middle of January, he obliged them. He would tell me that as he was putting on the oil paint - it was freezing before his very eyes. And it all came off the following spring.
Like I said, if you use a drop (and I mean a drop) of driers (terabine) then it will reduce the drying time by about 75%. It may still take a couple of days for the paint to harden enough to take a subsequent coat though. If the daytime temp is ample then it should be enough to beat the frost. As a rule of the thumb I would not paint before 10 am and no later than 2.30 pm in the winter climate here in the UK - Even with terabine added.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:08 PM   #12
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Default Mark...metal...Yikes!

When I was working for the contractor that painted oil year round it was a flat product and it was painted on wood that absorbed it. Even though we painted "year round", we didn't make a habit of painting the wood when it was actually below freezing. I have a couple times painted oil on wood when there was ice on the ground and had no problems. The examples I gave were exceptions to the rule that worked with wood. I have even seen it sprinkle on the siding several times in the winter after the product was applied and it did no harm.

Painting metal in the winter, especially near freezing is a different situation.

Especially if there was dew on metal the previous evening, it is likely there would still be moisture on the surface during the day.

I apologize if my post was misleading. I was trying to give you some examples of exceptions to the rule based on the specific examples and variables I had experienced that might be helpful to you making a decision.

I wasn't trying to give you the impression that your situation would definately work because mine did. Upon re-reading my post I feel I should have been a lot more clear about that.

Also, you had mentioned the temperatures 30 degrees, and 50 degrees, I guess I figured it would be 40 - 50 degrees when you applied the product.
It was almost always in this range when we painted in the winter. Again my experience was with solid body stain on wood.

I hope you got a chance to read some of the posts that were made by other members last night after you posted that you would be painting metal railings.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:05 PM   #13
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Not actually looking at your product's TDS I can't say for sure, but I'd bet the boat you are so far out of your manufacturer's specs they would literally scream if you told them

"surface and substrate above 50*" doesn't mean "for a few moments" or even "for an hour or two", and there's no way your metal is up there when you start, or long enough to be considered "OK"

It will take days to dry, and the chances of comprise during that period are huge
It certainly will be compromised as you are applying it
How much? It depends
That's just it, there's no way to know
Might stick, might not...maybe 'till spring, maybe till tomorrow

But it's veering so far into the Bad Idea Lane I can't see how you won't hit the ditch and flip
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:13 PM   #14
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I am surprised that this discussion is happening. Actually, I take that back. A couple of threads lately have me thinking that desperate times truly call for desperate measures. Sad. ::shrugs::
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:22 PM   #15
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If the low temp is 31 and the highs are in the fifties and you have a failure you need to find a new product. I'll betcha a case of Guinness you will be fine
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
I am surprised that this discussion is happening. Actually, I take that back. A couple of threads lately have me thinking that desperate times truly call for desperate measures. Sad. ::shrugs::
If I read that right (IF), I would be willing to bet we have all taken bigger risks for being too busy as opposed to "desperate"
True?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:31 PM   #17
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If I read that right (IF), I would be willing to bet we have all taken bigger risks for being too busy as opposed to "desperate"
True?
Its not really possible to answer on behalf of "all", but speaking just for me, I guess I can't think of a better way to set oneself up for a failed coating than to paint with oil in freezing temperatures. Unless perhaps as someone mentioned above, the substrate could be wet or have melting ice or something on it. Sorry.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:37 PM   #18
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I like to test the metal first .....in the morning I shotgun a beer and then press my tounge against the railing ....if it sticks to it and I have to call 911, its too cold to paint.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #19
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:43 PM   #20
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