How to Apply Paint in Low Temperature

Updated February 21, 2017

When you need to apply paint in cold temperature, the task depends on the weather and the type of paint used. The weather patterns are critical for drying times, and must remain above the stated temperature of the paint used. Modern cold-temperature paints can be painted on surfaces as low as 1.67 degrees Celsius, and standard brushes and rollers can be used for this painting task. In colder temperatures the paint may thicken, but it must not be thinned before application.

Determine the weather pattern for the days you are going to paint. Cold-weather paints may take up to two days to dry, and the minimum temperature must be maintained during this time period. If the temperature is going to dip below the minimum mark during the drying phase, painting must be suspended until stable temperatures can be guaranteed.

Touch a surface thermometer to the surface to be painted. The surface as well as the air temperature must be above the minimum temperature of the paint specifications.

Begin painting in the late morning and end in the early afternoon. This will allow the sun to warm up both the air and surface that the paint is to be applied to. Never paint on days when a frost warning has been issued for the night.


Wear gloves to keep your fingers warm for dexterity when using either a brush or a roller.


If you need to be up on a ladder, always make sure the legs are on a completely level surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold-temperature paint
  • Brushes or rollers, whichever are applicable for the job
  • Surface thermometer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.