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fivefishwish

Questions On Cold Weather Painting

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Ill be recieving my airbrush on Jan. 2nd and im dieing to try this thing out. But im concerned about how well it will perform in cold weather. This time of yr in Virginia the temps drop to low 20's at night and highs range from low 30's to mid 40's. Im using C-Tex paints and Devcon to finish. Im painting in a garage thats detached from the house and non-insulated. Should i use a heater? and if so, what is optimal shooting temp? Oh, one other thing. Is it ok to store my paint out there or should i bring it all in the house?

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Hope a lot of people chime in on this as a lot of us do our painting outside. I keep all my liquids in the house and only take them outside when the temp is averaging over 40 degrees. Under 40 I cut lure bodies out of wood. Pouring lead, painting, is reserved for over 40. Just me.

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(Wow, is this board slow now!)

I would strongly recommend a heater for a number of reasons.

Most paint needs a certain temp to set and cure properly. Devcon generally does not like cold temps. It will most likely be very tough to work with in those temps...too thick, won't lay on nicely and will be slow to flow out into a nice coat. Your work will probably suffer too if you're chilled the entire time.

I would definitely bring the water-based stuff into the house. Enamels should be less of a problem, but still, I would prefer that my enamels don't actually sit for very long in freezing temps. Enamels will usually not dry properly in those temps.

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I work in my garage in N.C. - insulated but mostly unheated. I dry each paint shot with a hair dryer so haven't noticed any problem in temps above 50 degrees. Below 50, it's too uncomfortable to work without at least a small heater running (you're holding a metal airbrush and cleaning it with shots of cold water - you do the math!). It helps if my wife runs errands and parks her nice warm sedan back in the garage! Devcon takes longer to cure in cold temps but the main problem as Fatfingers said is brushing. Below 65 degrees, it will be pretty stiff and will not want to brush or level out well. You can offset the problem for the most part by mixing in a FEW drops of denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner before you begin brushing. I avoid brushing epoxy in very cold temps, opting instead for a polyurethane topcoat. When I want to brush Devcon in winter, I often take it inside the house. Lay out lots of newspaper so you don't get epoxy on the dinner table. My wife STILL points out a drop of epoxy cured onto the kitchen table 5 years ago. Live and learn.

BTW - many water based acrylics have warnings against freezing. I store mine in the garage and haven't had any problem so far but if you have a convenient place inside the house.... I keep mine in a clear plastic carry case, stored in a closed wood cabinet and it hasn't frozen in outside temps into the 'teens.

Edited by BobP

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I found out the hard way, that when Createx freezes and thaws it becomes junk....yeah you can still paint with it, but you'll fight it every step of the way. I've even seen the stuff freeze enough during shipping to cause problems so be thoughtful of where your getting your paints from during bitter cold winter conditions.

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Thanks for the input! It sounds to me that a heater is definitely necessary. And i didnt think about the fact that my paints r water based (should have been a no-brainer to me). So i guess the next question is does anyone know of a good heater for a garage thats about a car and a half wide, standard depth n bout a 9ft ceiling?

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I concur with the previous advice. You'll need some warmer temps than 40 to properly lay out and cure finishes.

Nearly all finishes will benefit from being stored in a consistent, cool, but not cold, environment.

Because the temps are low, the viscosity of the finish will increase...just like auto oil runs slower in freezing temps. Just because the temperatures are lower, you'll need to adjust the viscosity of anything you are spraying using some sort of thinner. Acetone is a great (and compliant) thinner for colder weather. It's less hazardous and cheaper than lacquer thinner too. Consider it.

Heater? Consider those oil filled radiator style heaters in a shop. I love them because they are more fire friendly than an exposed, 1400 deg F heating element. Be extremely careful with ANY heater and finishing because you never want to have an ignition "event." I worry about any source of ignition, including your heater controller, the spark from your compressor switch, a gas water heater or furnace, oily rags, etc. Check out this:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/13477/how-to-safely-and-not-so-safely-dispose-of-oil-soaked-rags

Fire=bad.

Bloxygen Boy

Steven

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i agree with what everyone else said. paint inside if you can! my mom just let me paint in my bedroom (i have a sheet hanging that i paint against in the corner). its great!

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My shop is uninsulated and unheated also. I use one or two small forced air space heaters pointed right at my painting station. It keeps it warm at the painting area, but doesn't heat the whole shop. I like 60 degrees and above for painting. Below 60 degrees and I have to use the heaters.

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I think createx definitely shoots better when temps are in the 50+ range. I will also say that I shoot better when temps are warmer too. I typically take my lures inside to clear (or to pour resin) just because a stable environment is a must.

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I have an insulated shop w/a paint booth and exhaust system. I paint lead lures and wooden plugs w/ water based paints and epoxy. I heat the shop to 75 degrees during the winter months(for painting) and won't paint below 70 from previous bad experiences. You'll simply ruin good and laborious lure prep time w/ a lousy paint job.

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Thanks for all the advise. ive changed my mind and said forget the heater (partially because temps have plummeted to the teens at night and low 30's during the day). im in the process of changing the spare bedroom to a paint room, despite my wifes efforts to stop me. the things we do.......

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