Fall & Winter Painting


Painting in the Fall or WinterIf you’re having interiors painted and you usually turn the heat down in certain rooms to save energy, turn it up. Paint should never be applied at under 50 degrees and ideally not under 60. Take into account the temperature of the walls, which can be colder in winter than the room air temperature. Keeping rooms temperate will allow paint to dry faster and deliver the best results. Humidity is usually less in the winter, allowing paint to apply better and dry faster.


Is it okay to paint interiors in the winter? In most cases, yes.

People choose to have the interiors of their homes painted in the winter for various reasons. During the summers, there are vacations and travel; parties with guests can happen throughout the warm months; and endless activities may be arranged. Also, paint crews may not be as available when the weather’s nice, and crews are engaged heavily in exterior painting projects.

Under the proper circumstances and when you have experienced painters on the job, winter interior painting can be a perfect arrangement. Here’s what we mean by proper circumstances.

Temperature of the rooms and their walls

Ideally paint should be applied in temperatures above 60 degrees. Painting at temperatures below that and significantly below 50 degrees can result in adherence problems and longer drying times, which means a longer wait to restart the room. Most homes during the winter don’t have internal temperatures below 50 or 60 degrees. But what about the walls?

If you’re in the middle of a cold snap, the outside chill may permeate the home’s exterior and cause significant cooling of the walls. The wall temperature is important, just like the air temperature, for the paint to adhere properly (and maintain its quality appearance for as long as the paint’s manufacturer says it should).

If the walls are excessively cold, turning up the thermostat while professional painting crews are applying interior paint and for approximately 36 hours after they’re finished might help. This will create an ideal atmosphere for the new paint. (Needless to say, don’t crank the heat up to 95—you might suffocate the painters!)

How humidity affects paint

Typically, winters are less humid than summers, but this isn’t always the case. If you suspect the air in your home is particularly humid, you’ll want to do something about it before the painting starts.

Particles of moisture in the air cause the effect known as humidity. The more particles, the higher the humidity. When the air is full of moisture, paint has trouble evaporating (drying) because the wet air keeps the paint moist. When the liquid component of the paint remains, the paint won’t properly bond to the walls. As with painting in temperatures that are too cold, paint in a humid environment stays wet and can sag, pick up dust and be smudged when moving furniture and other items back into the room.

Keep humidity down and temp up when interior paintingAs we’ve indicated, paint must dry out (release its moisture elements) promptly for the paint to do its job. It’s the drying that makes it adhere to surfaces. Temperature extremes on either end of the scale and excess humidity affect how paint dries and how good a finished paint job looks and holds up in the coming years.

So this brings us back to our original question: Is painting interiors in the winter okay? It is, as long as the indoor air and wall temperatures are consistent with the paint manufacturer’s recommendations and the humidity is moderate or low.

Adapting Interior Painting Projects to Winter Conditions

The feasibility of interior painting during the winter hinges on managing temperature and humidity within your home. While concerns about external weather conditions are less pressing when painting indoors, the temperature inside becomes paramount for a successful paint job. Here’s how to tackle it.

Optimizing Indoor Conditions for Winter Painting

Maintaining the Ideal Temperature: For interior painting, the sweet spot lies between 60°F and 70°F. This range ensures optimal drying times and proper paint adhesion. Modern home heating systems typically maintain temperatures well above the minimum temperature for interior painting, even during the coldest months. However, if you plan to paint in rooms that are not commonly heated or poorly insulated, supplemental heating might be necessary to maintain these optimal conditions. Always ensure that the heat distribution is even to avoid hot spots that can cause the paint to dry unevenly.

Controlling Humidity: Although winter air is generally drier, indoor activities like cooking, showering, and drying clothes can significantly increase humidity levels. Dehumidifiers and adequate ventilation can help maintain low to moderate humidity levels, which are crucial for paint to dry and adhere properly. It’s also beneficial to avoid painting on rainy days, as high outdoor humidity can infiltrate indoors, affecting drying times.

Prepping for Success: Proper wall preparation remains critical beyond temperature and humidity. Ensure walls are clean, dry, and free from defects. Applying a primer can also enhance paint adhesion, mainly if you’re painting over a darker color with a lighter one or vice versa. The order in which you paint a room can also impact the quality of the job; start from the ceiling, move to the walls, and finish with the trim. This sequence helps manage drips and ensures a smoother application process.

Conclusion: Winter Interior Painting Done Right

Winter offers a unique opportunity for interior painting projects. Painting indoors can be highly effective with lower humidity and the ability to control indoor climates. By adhering to manufacturers’ recommendations on temperature and humidity levels, you can achieve excellent results that transform your space without waiting for warmer weather. Remember, whether it’s adjusting the thermostat, using dehumidifiers, or simply choosing the right day, the key to successful winter painting is creating the ideal indoor environment for your paint to thrive.

Franklin Painting of Connecticut specializes in interior painting during the winter months. When you have us on the job, you can be assured that all paint will be applied only in the right conditions to produce a beautiful finished result. Call us at (877) 646-7774 to get a painting quote.

Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll-Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
160 Brickyard Road, Farmington, CT 06032

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