My wife and I just bought a house with some deteriorated paint on the
exterior woodwork. I'd like to repaint with latex paint, but it's too
cold for that (highs in the low fifties, lows in the thirties). Is
there anything else I could do to protect the woodwork over the
winter, so that I could repaint in the spring?
Pick a sunny dry day, and use a thinner or alcohol based primer, after wire
brushing and sanding. zinsser or bullseye make them, but avoid the acrylic
based ones, if they have typical acrylic temperature range tolerances.
I've seen reference to paint that can be applied at colder temps, I
believe. Been a while, and I don't want to do a search. What is the
point of doing a temporary paint job, and redoing it in the spring?
Seems like a waste to me. Primer only might deteriorate - paint should
be applied within certain number of days. At this point, I'd put my
effort into caulking and weatherproofing exterior.
I want to protect the woodwork. We have three windows whose bottom
rails have rotted out from exposure caused by deteriorated paint, and
I want to keep the rest (and the porch steps, etc.) from doing the
But, I'm not determined to paint or prime now, if there's a better
Pardon my ignorance (first house)---what do you mean by
"weatherproofing"? I bought some aluminum flashing yesterday that I
intend to nail to the window frames that get the most water damage; is
that the sort of thing you mean?
One winter of exposure, where the paint is already deteriorated, should
not make a considerable difference. I'm just an old DIY, not expert in
I worked on my daughter's house, which had some pretty badly
deteriorated window frames and storms. Depending on your structure, you
might best repair/replace the rotted wood now. Double hung windows? You
need to replace part of the frame? Replacement wood, depending on the
structure and installation, can be primed, caulked and painted and put
in before winter. That would be a good project, perhaps, for the time
being. You don't want to waste a lot of money to temporarily cover the
wood for one winter. Weathered wood probably needs sanding, at least,
prior to priming/painting. Many times, switchplates have cold air leaks
and need foam insulation. Get a couple of books about home repair and
painting, and it will amaze you at what you will find "to do". Also
read up on pest control - good project for snow days :o) Lots can be
done to prevent or to find them in early stages, along with having
yearly inspections. Just go shop at a good hardware/home store, find
some products and then go online to look at installation or repair
instructions - can learn a lot about the product and any individual
needs that relate to your particular home. Take a look at the caulk
shelf at a store and check a couple of labels - that's an education in
itself. All the stuff on a paint label means something - clean, free of
grease and dust, temperature, moisture, etc.
My daughter had old wood storms that had apparently been sitting in the
garage for years - all rotted and eaten away along bottom end. I dug
out the unsound wood and built them up with wood filler. Parts of the
frames should have been replaced, but if handled very delicately, the
wood filler would stay in place and they would do the job that needed to
I once lived in a really low quality rental house. One fall, I caulked
outside around all the windows and doors - my first experience in
exterior maintenance. Even though we had aluminum framed windows, the
caulking saved us about 20% on the gas bill that winter. Can't
attribute the reduced usage to anything else. When the landlord
replaced the windows a couple of years later and resided front of house,
we discovered the house had no insulation in the front and had scattered
pieces of sheathing under the masonite shingle siding! What crap! The
other three sides of the house were aluminum sheet siding.
Oh, I forgot. Before you worry about painting, make sure the "bones"
are good. Roof in good shape, furnace inspection before winter, look
for pipes that might be likely to freeze, put away the water hose and
drain line to hose bib (maybe?), flush water from irrig. lines if they
freeze (and you're lucky enough to have irrig. system)etc.
Utility companies are another good resource for winterizing homes.
If wood it rotted forget it it must be replaced next year. Otherwise
True slow drying oil primer and Oil paint for touching up small areas
may be good. For stairs oil is best anyway. It is not to cold to use
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