With winter approaching fast, I keep getting questions from my users about whether they can paint their walls and entire house in the cold, snowy, and rainy winters.
Well, for most of us, the arrival of winter usually means that painting projects are off until spring.
While painting the exterior of your home is probably not practical in cold weather, the interior can still be painted and done – relatively quickly – as long as surfaces are dry.
But keep in mind that you will face the additional challenge of ventilating the interior when the weather outside is cold.
This means setting up fans to disperse the fumes and using low to no toxicity paint that does not pollute the air inside your home.
Can a House Be Painted in Winter?
Yes, it isn’t a bad idea and can be done with some preparation.
In fact, I have seen many families and DIYers who prefer painting their interior walls only in cold weather.
You know it’s time for Christmas – and the great idea is to get ready and make your house look welcoming for guests.
Make sure you ONLY paint the interiors in the cold season; if you want to paint the exteriors do that in summer and not when there is chilling air and snow outside.
If you choose to paint the exterior walls during this period, you may face issues such as:
- Cracking of paint
- Uneven paint colors
- Water spotting in latex paints
- The prolonged paint drying process
- Difficulty in paint preparation and application
While you will have to take some precautions, there are six reasons why I believe winter is still a great time to paint the interior of your home.
And I can bet you will simply love them…
1- Less Humidity
The colder, dryer air for painting interiors will cure the paint faster.
While the cold air may make painting outside untenable, interiors are heated.
But the heat is dryer in the winter because of the lack of humidity.
This means that interior painting is best suited for the winter months, where the paint will dry faster.
That means you can complete your painting project much more quickly.
2- Gift Idea
If you want to give something big to your family – having the interior painted makes a great gift.
Whether you do the job yourself or hire a professional painter, sprucing up a room with a new coat of paint is a gift for everyone inside the house.
Hiring a professional painter can make your gift even more special.
Especially if your partner has been looking to change the interior (like a kitchen or a study room) of your home.
From a free consultation to painting the walls or a room yourself, there are many ways that you can surprise a loved one by painting a room in your home.
A slower season means you can schedule a paint job to be performed more along your time.
If only because the winter months are far less busy for most professional painters, they are more likely to work with the time you want to allot.
Plus, adding more painters to complete a project even faster becomes a more viable option during the winter.
If you schedule the painting process to begin early in the day, which is possible since the return of standard time means the sun rises around 6:00 am, you can free up your evening hours.
Because most people paint in the spring and summer months, the price of paint rises considerably.
You can save money by purchasing your paint in the fall and early winter months.
This is a time when companies that sell paint often put them at a discount in order to move them off the shelves.
Plus, if you hire a professional painter or painting team, they will have more time to do an excellent job on your home and may even throw in an extra room if you have hired them before.
5- Sell Your Home
Painting during the winter months will give you a leg-up if you plan on selling your home.
This is because most homes are sold in the spring for a variety of reasons, so you can accelerate the process and present your home to more interested buyers by doing the painting in the winter months.
One of the keys to selling is transforming your home into something a buyer can see as their own.
This means you paint with neutral colors while removing all traces of your personal touch.
In other words, it should be like the home was never lived in, so the buyer can project themselves and their family inside the house.
A new coat of interior paint is a proven seller in the real estate market.
You should consult your local real estate agent about the best colors for the interior.
Whether you choose to sell right away or later in the year, painting during the winter offers a definite advantage.
6- Mood Changer
The shorter days affect your mood as it does most people.
The longer periods of darkness combined with the cold temperatures can create a cabin-fever effect when you have little to do.
Scheduling a painting project for the interior of your home may be just the cure.
This is particularly true when you do the painting yourself and invite friends over to join you.
Throw a painting party and celebrate the season.
You’ll find that a new coat of paint will not only boost your mood but have a positive effect on everyone involved.
How to Paint Your House in the Winter?
While painting exteriors, especially if the weather is cold and wet, is never advisable, interior projects can be performed and completed a little faster due to less humidity inside the home.
However, you will need to take a few precautions, such as opening windows and setting up fans to remove any toxic fumes and help the paint dry even faster.
Here are a few tips that will help you complete your painting projects even if there is snow outside your home.
Step 1 – Getting Ready
The more prep work you do before painting, the fewer accidents and the less stressful it will be.
The key is to do things one at a time and allow yourself enough time to do the prep work properly.
- Clear the space
- Cover the floors
- Clean the surfaces
- Protect areas you do not want to be painted
When painting the walls, be sure that all furnishings are in the center and covered with sheets to prevent any paint from coming into contact.
For the floors, you will need plastic or canvas drop cloths that do not allow the paint to seep through.
Now you should prep the surfaces with a light detergent mixed with water. This means washing all walls, trims, and the ceiling.
Fittings such as handles, knobs, and the like must be covered with painters or masking tape.
Step 2 – Choose the Paint
Choosing the right paint for cold weather conditions is very important to finish properly with less effort.
There are specially designed paint formulas on the market that can tolerate temperatures as low as 36°F (2°C).
Some of them include:
- Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra
- Sherwin Williams’ Duration
- Dulux’s Diamond Exterior line
You should check for them and pick the one that can naturally perform better based on location and temperatures.
Remember, you should not choose standard paints if you are painting in winter as they are not designed to cure at low temperatures.
Also, avoid using any previous water-based paints.
These may have gone through several freeze-thaw cycles and are not in their best usable form.
Step 3 – Choosing the Color
One of the more challenging aspects of painting is selecting the right color.
Many people will look in magazines or photo galleries to spot an appealing color.
However, it is not just the color itself but the setting, lighting, and other factors unique to your home that go into the selection process.
One quick way to choose a good color is to obtain color chips and hold them up against the surfaces such as the walls and floor.
This will help you better visualize how the color will look in your home.
If the chips are not large enough, paint a large piece of cardboard and place them against the walls or floor.
A color consultant may be needed if you are still stuck finding the right color. After all, you want to get it right before you start painting.
Remember to purchase enough paint to do the job, so you will need to check the amount of paint in the can, and the surface area it can cover, and buy just a little more to ensure you have enough.
Step 4 – Start Painting the Surfaces
You’ve prepped the surfaces, removed all items you do not want to be painted, and chosen the perfect color.
Now it is time to paint.
Here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
Paint from the Top Down:
Start with the ceiling, then move to the walls.
Then paint the trim, doors, and windows before moving to the skirting or baseboards.
Remember that paint drips downward, so when you start with the ceiling, and it drips to the walls, that is okay because you are painting them next.
Roller for Large Surfaces, Brush for Trim:
Rollers make painting the ceiling and walls go much faster.
They can apply an even coat of paint across a large area.
Brushes (made with nylon, polyester, or Chinex bristles) are best for trims, edges, and corners that need more precision.
You can start with the brush on these areas, then use the rollers to avoid having a “framed” appearance to your paint job.
When using the roller, do not go straight up and down.
Instead, create a “W” shape to get even coverage without creating any lines.
Any wet edges created should be overlapped to avoid having different thicknesses of paint on the walls.
Step 5 – Allow Sufficient Drying Time
Since paint may take a bit longer to dry during winter, you should allow enough time to let your project dry completely.
Also, allow enough time between the successive coats throughout the paint application process.
It may be cold outside, but you will need to move the air inside if you want the paint to dry quickly.
Box fans should be put into windows and pointed outside, while other fans can be used to dry the walls directly.
7 Best House Paint Colors to Add Warmth
Winter is just here. And with it also comes the chills of early morning and late nights.
During these times we love the hug of warm bedding, staring at the walls and fireplace in our room – as if it’s there to provide us an even warmer feel and comfort we are seeking.
For those of you who want to get relaxed and feel the warmth in cold winters at home, here are a few captivating paint colors and ideas to add to your walls.
I believe these will help add extra warmth to your Christmas decoration this winter season…
1. Vibrant Red
Red is exciting. It’s “warm”.
And it’s definitely a good choice if you want to make the walls in your room stand out.
Well, I don’t mean to say that you should go and paint all the walls in your room shades of red.
But adding a deep red color is great to beat your winter blues if you can get it on a single wall.
Mainly, if you have a large living room or a bedroom with some basic wood furniture it’s a perfect choice for enhancing the room vibes.
To get an added shimmer look, you can add a texture of gold or can place a portrait of a couple/family along with a focus light in the center of the red-painted wall.
2. Hues of Tangerine
Tangerine (like Sherwin Williams Tangerine) is a shade of orange that’s also one of the most striking when it comes to warm paint colors for winters.
You can put the warm hues of tangerine on the walls of your bedroom, living room, kitchen, home office, or even on exterior walls.
You can even blend the colors of Tangerine with other shades to cover all four walls in your room.
You will love to see how it fantastically adds a blink to the old wooden furniture you already have in your room.
3. Glimmering White
For the most part, there are advantages to painting during winter, but not without the shine of whites in your room.
White is neutral, a shade that cannot be categorized as a warm color for winter.
However, you should still consider it for sure due to the wide range of options it opens up for you.
Irrespective of the warm colors of the spectrum you choose, you can add little whites to blend them perfectly with the accessories you have in your room.
For example, if you plan to have dark red on one wall, you can add white to create other walls, and light pink that goes well with your rugs, curtains, or bed linen.
Since white color is also a good reflector of light, you can help glimmer up the sunlight throughout your room by adding some shades of white on your wall.
4. Flashing Yellows
Flashes of yellow on the walls and furniture can undoubtedly add to the “hotness” of your home interiors.
Mustard yellow, for example, is one of the warmest colors you can use to create an accent wall in your bedroom or living room.
You can bring this shade into your kitchen or try it to transform your old furniture.
Various light shades of yellow can make your old traditional home look more modern with its depth and brighter feel.
A sunny shade of yellow, peach, freesia, amber, lime yellow, and many others can also be tried to make you feel cozier and happier even when the weather outside is chilling.
5. Delicious Deep Chocolate
Deep chocolatey browns are not only bold but also “delicious” to look at.
At least for me, I fell in love with them and crave chocolates when I look at walls painted with these shades. Yes, I love eating chocolates, lots of them. 😊
If you want to add some delightful touch of dark chocolates to your walls, I am sure you will love trying these deep, bold brown shades in your space.
These can add elegance along with extra style, as you have options to either feature one wall with this paint or paint your entire room with deep chocolate.
Add a dash of white details or designs of flowers (alphabets, letters, names, etc.), and look how amazing it can work to add a glisten to your room.
6. Enchanting Golden Brown
If you don’t like dark and deep chocolate browns, you will most likely prefer golden brown with a light shade because it’s brown over a yellow undertone.
For people who want to give their walls an alluring golden look Golden Bark by Benjamin Moore can be a stunning option to choose.
Not only will it create a warming experience for your guests in a room, but it also helps make the room look much more spacious.
Complement it with rusty brown-colored tables, chairs, or couches with light cream (or white) upholstery.
I can bet the overall result in your living room will be beyond beautiful.
7- Natural Splash of Green and Blues
Paint colors inspired by nature are not only attractive but also delightful.
If you wish to bring the glow of nature inside, wall paint colors like sage, green, mint, subtle blue, aqua, etc., can be the right pick.
You can try these cool color tones on the walls of your living room to instantly add nature’s beauty to your space.
Do not forget to facelift the floors, trims, skirtings, and other furnishing accessories with matching accents.
Where to Store Your Paint Cans in The Winter?
Remember that water-based latex paint can freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, just like water.
Oil-based enamels can withstand bit lower temperatures but can still freeze if the cans are exposed to extremely low temperatures.
You should, therefore, never store them in a place where they could freeze easily during the winter.
IMO, the best place for you to store paint during cold weather conditions is inside your home. Even better if you could keep them on the first or second floor of your building.
Prepare your storage room well, and make sure to seal the paint can completely before storing it.
Also, ensure that the area is ventilated and free of flammable materials.
Paint cans can possibly leak and can corrode if kept on a plastic or wood surface. It’s, therefore, best to keep them on metal shelves.
After placing them securely, cover the cans with a plastic sheet. Use a hammer or a mallet to seal.
Do not forget to monitor the temperature in your storeroom on freezing days.
You should NEVER store the paint cans:
- In the basement or garage that has concrete floors
- Places that are not insulated or temperature-controlled
- Inside a shed, closet or room exposed to extreme heat and moisture
- Near the furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, AC, or other natural gas appliances
Just in case your paint has frozen, you can bring the can to a somewhere warm place near the kerosene heater.
Allow enough time to thaw. After the paint has thawed completely, stir it with a wood stick or a paint stirrer machine.
If the consistency and thickness of the paint haven’t changed much, you can use it.
The Bottom Line
So, can you paint in cold weather or when it’s cloudy or raining outside?
Well, most people have more free time on their hands during the winter months.
However, the cold temperatures will usually dissuade them from taking on painting projects.
Believe me, when you take the proper precautions, painting interiors during the winter months can be advantageous.
You can get more accomplished thanks to the earlier rising of the sun.
The paint cures faster due to a lack of humidity. And you can prep your home for sale faster and beat the competition.
So, instead of snuggling up in a cozy comforter to stare at your old bring walls, why not consider a makeover for your walls and add little warmth this winter season?
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.