I just read the instructions on my oil-based primer that say dries in 5-9 hrs at 70F. I would like to use it to prime some exterior metal. The temps will soon be below freezing and snow is possible within 12 hrs. Under this kind of weather forecast, is it considered preferable not to use oil-based primer/paint and wait for warmer weather? I would like it not to snow on my fresh oil paint job.

  • 1
    Sitting beside a wood fire seems like a better idea than painting in the cold.
    – crip659
    Jan 18 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


It's usually not recommended to apply any sort of paint (or adhesive) if it's below roughly 40°F.

Check your paint can for a minimum temperature.

Sure you can apply it if the temp is below that, but it may take forever to dry and probably won't last very long. If it's cold enough, it might just freeze in the can or on the brush while you're actually painting.


Most exterior paints should not be applied below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but you should check the manufacturer's recommendations. Note that this means that both the air temperature and the thing you are painting should be warm enough, and that they should remain warm enough during the drying/curing process. Even if the temperature is currently above freezing, it doesn't sound like it will stay that way long enough for the paint to dry properly.

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