4 Myths About Painting

Jordan Paul , null

June 2nd, 2022

4 Myths About Painting

Have heard you can’t paint in winter, paint is better than primer, or that oil based paint is more durable than latex?. If you have, join the club. Grandad had a lot of good ideas, but he might have also passed along a few common beliefs that are no longer endorsed. Many of these beliefs are based in truth, so today we will debunk four common painting myths and why you shouldn’t believe them.

You Shouldn’t Paint In Winter Because It Is Cold

In truth, paint often dries just as fast in winter as it does in the summer. Ambient air temperature and moisture content greatly affect the drying time of most paints. In summer, the air tends to be both warm and humid, where in winter, the opposite is true. As condensation and evaporation come and go with the weather, modern paints are designed to work in less than optimal conditions.

In winter, the outdoor air is generally drier, so as long as air temperature remains above 35 degrees or so, many paints will dry just fine. Many manufacturers offer low temperature paint, which contains polymers and other additives to allow the paint to cure at lower temperatures. Most paint will work if the temperature is above 50 degrees, which in many parts of the world is the average temperature in winter.

Old Paint Is As Good As New Paint

Generally speaking, using old paint is not recommended except to create a sample for new paint matching. Paint a few years old can actually cause more problems than it solves unless it has been very carefully stored, which is uncommon. Just grabbing a can of paint, giving it a quick shake, and using it is precarious at best and a disaster at worst.

Old paint gets dirty (from rust) while in the can, so we often think the paint is fine to use. Even if it is perfectly stored, the air inside the can causes the paint to harden. When we stir or shake the paint, we are actually mixing good paint with bad, ruining it all. A better way is to just turn the can upside down over a pan and leave it for a while. Any usable paint will drip out and then you can stir it.

More Paint Is Better Than Primer

Have you ever found gallons of paint in the garage and decided to just paint multiple coats instead of using primer? Some believe that using more paint (because of its higher quality) is better than using primer. The reality is that the bond between the surface and the paint is more important than the thickness. Primers establish a chemical bond with paint that essentially glues them together, while doing the same thing with the surface. Primer also roughens the surface, as if you had used very fine sandpaper. In turn, this gives the paint slightly more surface area to bond to, resulting in a better job.

One exception to this however, would be the use of a primer/paint. These formulas are designed for one coat application, so the primer dries with the paint simultaneously. Designed as a time saver, these special paints often also include useful features, like color changing additives that change color as the primer/paint dries.

Doing Your Own Painting Is Cheaper

This might not always be a myth if you are a hard core do-it-yourselfer with a toolbox any professional would kill for. But if you are like most of us, you will need to make a significant investment in tools, and more importantly, time. If we consider the time, tools, and effort required to complete some painting projects, we can quickly realize that our time may be better spent elsewhere.

Hiring a painting company can not only mean faster completion, but even lower cost. Professionals already have the tools and know how to complete the project the right way, do it safely, and hit the ground running. Hiring a pro eliminates all the little hassles DIYers often encounter, so they can do more in less time. They will have pro tricks to get jobs done well, safely, and on time.




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