Janelle D. By Janelle D. • February 12, 2019

Paint During The Winter, Sell Your House in the Spring

If you've got clients waiting until spring to sell their homes because of cold temperatures, have them start painting the interior this winter. Yes, this winter.  Once the temperatures start to warm up, they'll be ready to list while others are just beginning to paint.

Even when it's freezing outside, you can paint your home's interior in preparation to list it in the spring.  There are a few things to consider when painting interior walls during cold winter months. Humidity for example. High humidity limits evaporation which slows drying time. In the winter, humidity is typically lower allowing the paint on your walls to dry faster.

The temperature of your house is important too. A cold house leads to thick paint, making it harder to apply. Low temperatures also make it more difficult for the paint to dry and cure properly. It's best if the room temperature is above 60 degrees. Keep the heat turned up for 36 hours after you've finished painting to ensure the paint bonds with the walls. Talk to your retailer or look at the manufacturer's recommendations to get the ideal temperature for your painting project.

When you're painting inside, you want to make sure you aren't inhaling toxic paint fumes.  Look for low or no VOC paint (any time of year) to lower the chances of being exposed to toxic, volatile organic compounds.  Ask your retailer if your paint has VOCs or other harmful solvents or additives. You might even consider looking for eco-friendly or natural paints.

When painting indoors, open a window for ventilation. I know that sounds crazy considering that it's winter, but you only need to open it a crack (if it's below zero, wait until the temperature climbs into the 20's or 30's before painting). Without proper ventilation, you're subjecting yourself, your family and your pets to unnecessary fumes.

Another factor to consider is the amount of coverage you're going to get from your paint. Lean toward paint that covers in one coat. One coat dries faster, you'll save time painting, and you'll be exposed to the paint odor for less time. Exceptions include rooms in your home that require frequent wipe-downs (kitchens & bathrooms) or if you're painting over a color that's significantly different than the new paint color. In those cases, 2 coats are best.

When to avoid indoor winter painting:

  • Signs of condensation
  • Very cold interior walls

Avoid painting indoors during the winter if you have condensation in your home. Paint simply won't adhere when there's condensation on the walls. You might get bubbles between the wall and the paint which leads to a much bigger problem and more work.

If you paint on extremely cold walls, you could also run into a problem with paint adhering. Oftentimes cold walls are a result of inadequate insulation. If you have any concerns about your walls being too cold, wait until spring to paint (and consider adding more insulation).

As you can see, painting during the winter months is a great option for those who plan on listing their home in the spring. Have clients talk to a local paint store to find the best paint for their needs, turn up the heat, and get to painting!

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