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Painting Tips » Exterior Paint in Winter

Winter Temperatures, in many cases, necessitate the use of alkyd based systems over latex systems. Typical latex systems do not perform well in temperatures below 50°F. While no standard air dry system should be applied in freezing temperatures, most alkyds will perform better in the 35-50°F, range than typical latexes. When alkyds are applied over coatings of lesser strength (i.e., cheap, inexpensive, low binder systems), loss of intercoat adhesion can occur. Film stress occurs when a paint film shrinks while drying. This stress can change with time depending on formula, service conditions and environment.

When another coating is applied to an existing coating, its own stress changes. Solvents from the new coating may increase the stress of the old coating as they evaporate. Resins from the new coating can penetrate the old film forming a stress "plane of weakness". This weakness can be accentuated by film imperfections ("holidays"), and create a point of concentrated stress. These areas usually will demonstrate the initial signs of failure.

Caution should be taken not to recommend systems that could create a "plane of weakness". Good intercoat adhesion and adhesion to the substrate are essential for satisfactory recoating. Methods of "accepted practice" during the warmer months may not be ideally suited for colder temperatures.

Bennette's Enamel Undercoater (280233) is an ideal primer for interior winter recoat or new work on wood or sheetrock, when cold is a problem. It is formulated with premium alkyds to generate a balance of flexibility and hardness.

Quick drying alkyds like Super Kill (280226) should be used with caution because of the tremendous stress they can cause to a previous coating of low quality. A cheap, low grade flat paint has difficulty retaining adhesion, even in warm weather, when coated with such a hard, brittle film.

Exterior work will require primer and topcoat systems of alkyd/oils, such as Bennette's Exterior House Paint Primer (270225) and Exterior Oil House and Trim (27 series) during temperatures below 50°F application. Try to paint in the morning on side of house which is dry first from overnight dew and follow sunlight around house, painting the dried, warmer areas first. Care should be taken to avoid painting late in the afternoon when the fresh paint could be in contact with dew or condensation. This can avoid "striking in" of the film resulting in loss of gloss and appearance.

Our product line contains the proper coatings for most typical applications. Service requirements may dictate the use of higher quality procedure coupled with quality product for those demanding circumstances in the colder temperatures.

Bennette Paint of Hampton Inc., 602 Aberdeen Rd, Hampton VA 23661 Phone:(757) 864-0392 Fax:(757) 690-8274
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