How Cold is TOO Cold to Paint Outside???

How Cold is TOO Cold to Paint Outside???


One of the questions that I can bank on getting overwhelmed with like clockwork at certain periods of the year is,

“How cold is TOO cold to paint outside?”



If you were to ask this question of almost any painter, contractor, paint supplier and the like, you would most likely get very similar (although possibly slightly different) responses.

I think our company is a bit unique when answering this question because of the type of warranty we carry.

We are the only company I know of in our area that has been in business at least as long as we have been (just under 25 years) and guarantees our work for 5 years after it is completed – this includes exterior painting on non-horizontal surfaces.

In other words, unless it is a deck, porch floor, or anything else that rain or snow can sit on for extended periods of time, we warranty it for a 5-year period after we are done.

It is not unusual for people to look at me a bit odd when they find this out given the fact that we live in New England and our weather is so temperamental (this Fall’s record rains and below average temps being the latest example).

Rapid, drastic fluctuations in weather conditions are not uncommon in New England and in order to honor our work as we promise, we have had to develop systems over time that align appropriately with this volatility.

Most painters, contractors, and suppliers would probably say that they would prefer temps to be in the fifties (Fahrenheit) when painting.

I appreciate their thoughts….

Most painters, contractors, and paint suppliers on the other hand do not own companies that have been in business for 25 years and carry 5-year warranties on their exterior painting projects (in New England!).

It is actually really that simple….

We have had the awesome opportunity to paint the exteriors, literally, of hundreds and hundreds of homes over the past 25 years and a good portion of them have been at time periods of the year when temperatures have not been in-line with what many would visualize as being “ok” to do so in.

Utopically, with the products we utilize, we like to see daytime temps in the 40s (Fahrenheit) when painting exteriors – though if the daytime high is projected to be 35-40 and long term (3+ days) overnight lows are projected to be above 15 degrees we are beyond ok conducting our exterior painting work that we may be working on any given project.

What?!?! Why this must be SACRILEGE!!!!!

How dare I suggest that you can paint outside when it is below 40 degrees?!?!?!

Sorry Not Sorry

(as the modern hip saying goes…)

but this is what we have found to be the threshold.


With the volume of work that we do on the exterior painting side of things when the temps are below 40, I don’t think we could comfortably continue to warranty these projects the way that we do if it were really otherwise.

I have to admit though, internally, I do find it comical when someone who has never painted a day in their life (or on a regular basis with the systems that we have longtime utilized) attempts to dictate to one of our job site managers that it is too cold to paint.

As you might be able to tell,

I have had this whole discussion once or twice in the past 😉


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