Commercial Painting in Cold Weather


Commercial property maintenance and other projects can’t always wait when it comes to your commercial or industrial facilities. When something needs to be done, it needs to be done, no matter the season. Because painting is one of those things that can completely transform the look of your business—and affect how well it attracts customers—you’ll often see painting crews out and about in all kinds of weather.

However, painting the exteriors of commercial businesses has its limits. Now that cold weather is approaching, your painting contractors have a lot to consider about when and how to complete your exterior painting project.

How Cold Is Too Cold to Paint?

In summertime temperatures, exterior paint tends to dry quickly, provided the humidity levels aren’t too high. However, wintertime temperatures pose a whole new set of factors to take into consideration. We’ll get into those down below.

How Does Cold Weather Affect Paint?

First and foremost, colder temperatures affect how long paint takes to dry. Even though paint can dry in temperatures as low as 30 degrees, it will take significantly longer than it would in warmer temperatures. That’s important to keep in mind because most exterior painting jobs for commercial businesses require at least two coats for an even color. That means the more coats that need to be applied, the longer the expected drying time.

While we’re talking about temperature, air temperature isn’t the only factor to consider. How cold is the surface that needs to be painted? If the surface is designed to retain heat, this won’t be a big deal. However, if the surface does not retain heat well, it might further slow the drying process and affect how well the paint adheres.

Finally, colder weather typically means shorter days. Shorter days mean less daylight, and that means your painting crew has less time to work on your project before the sun sets and temperatures fall further.

What to Consider When Starting a Cold-Weather Exterior Painting Project

Before initiating your cold-weather exterior painting project, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your target completion date?
  • What is the weather forecast for your area?
  • Are temperatures expected to drop below 30 degrees?
  • Are you prepared to deal with potential weather delays?

Working with a competent commercial painting contractor who has experience navigating these seasonal issues can help you make the most of your upcoming project.

Steps to Take Before Your Project Begins

As mentioned above, selecting a commercial painting contractor with experience completing wintertime exterior painting projects can make a huge difference in how smoothly your project goes. They’ll know which paints will be most effective in colder weather and how to get you the results you want.  Once you’ve chosen a highly qualified contractor, set realistic expectations about the project’s timeline. 

Finally, be prepared to encounter cold weather delays. If the temperature dips lower than expected or if a rainstorm or snowstorm moves through the area, your team might have a difficult time making it out to your job site. Even then, the temperature might be too low to apply paint and expect it to turn out looking as good as you want.

The Best Time to Start Your Project Is Now

Weather permitting, the best time to start your exterior painting project for your commercial business is always now—you just need to keep the possibility of weather-related delays in mind. While summer temperatures typically allow paint to dry faster, they also bring the possibility of workday-ending storms and high humidity, so both summer and winter have their own set of challenges.

Your best bet is to work with an experienced commercial painting contractor who has experience working in all types of weather and can help you complete your project on time.