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How to paint in cold weather

Painting in cold weather can challenge adherence and drying –especially when you’re working on an exterior project. Follow these simple steps to make sure you get the job done right this winter.

If you’re in a summer rainfall area, winter is the best time to paint your home. On the one hand, you don’t have to worry about moisture; on the other hand (and this applies to winter rainfall areas too), South Africa’s blazing summer days can also cause complications with the actual paint. Most paint manufacturers recommend that you don’t apply their products in temperatures above 35°C.

But winter comes with its own warnings. Exterior paints, like the Fired Earth range, come with manufacturer warnings saying that they shouldn’t be applied at temperatures below 10°C. For winter rainfall areas like the Western and Eastern Cape (May to August), there’s the added warning that you shouldn’t paint if the surface is damp.

WINTER PAINTING CHECKLIST

Follow these tips to make sure you get the job done correctly!

1. Check the surface

While 10°C is usually the recommended minimum, ideally you should not paint a surface that’s colder than 15°C. Remember, though, that the temperature of the surface (walls, patio, etc) may well be colder than the room air temperature. Check the temperature of the actual surface you’re painting.

2. Check the painting

Paint goes on best between 20° and 25°C, for optimal adherence and drying. Check the technical specifications of the paint you’re planning on using, and make sure that it’s rated for use between at least 10° and 35°C.

3. Follow the sun

In summer, you’d do the opposite… but in the cold of winter, you’ll want the paint to set, so you’ll need some help from the sun. Do your prep work in the early morning and late afternoon, and apply the paint between 10am and 2pm, to allow the surface to warm up and to avoid the evening dew.

PAINT A PATTERN ON YOUR PATIO

Transform your bland, concrete patio into a fun, stylish stoep. All you’ll need for this easy winter painting DIY project is two contrasting colours of paint and an idea for a pattern. By using complementary but contrasting paint colours, you’ll bring a pop of character to your outdoor area. Here’s what you’ll need, and how to complete this easy DIY project.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Paintbrush
  • Roller (rough surfaces) + extension
  • Painter’s tape
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Two contrasting colours
  • Stencil (a cardboard triangle will do the trick!)

STEP 1: PREPARE

If the surface of your floor has large cracks, fill them using a concrete patch compound mixed according to the package directions. Use a trowel to push the compound into the depressions. Let dry thoroughly. Then clean your stoep, degreasing it with a good degreasing agent before rinsing thoroughly. Allow to dry for two days, then sweep it clean. Tape the edges to protect them from splashes and to keep your work clean.

STEP 2: APPLY BOTH COATS

Apply the base coat of paint, using a brush for the finer work and edges, and a roller for the bigger areas. Once the base coat has dried completely, apply the second coat.

STEP 3: STENCIL THE PATTERN

Measure out the pattern, and plan it out using a pencil and a stencil. Use tape, again, to mark out the edges and to keep the job clean.

STEP 4: PAINT THE DETAILS

With your pattern clearly and cleanly marked out, fill it in using the contrasting colour. Allow the coat to dry, then fill up your patio and admire your handiwork!

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