A Look At If Spray Paint Dries Faster In Heat Or Cold!

With more and more people starting to use spray paint for general arts and crafts as well as for use with Vehicles and other more traditional use cases, we have noticed a surge in the number of questions that we see relating to using spray paint. We have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask if spray paint will dry faster in heat or cold as well as a large amount of confusion around the subject.

Now, depending on where you live, you may have to spray paint in either hot or cold simply due to the local temperature when you need to spray paint. This can be unavoidable in come cases but the points made throughout this article are still worth taking note of.

Your own situation will also come into play too as client based work with art commissions or vehicle work are usually more of a priority for better, longer lasting results than personal work too. The rustic look is coming back into fashion too so some people will want to try and get a specific style with their spray paint on top of this too.

Does Spray Paint Dry Faster In Heat Or Cold?

The majority of spray paint formulas will offer optimal performance between 18 and 25 degrees C meaning that they perform better in warmer weather. The colder it gets the more issues the spray paint will have with some formulas not bonding correctly too the surface if they are too cold.

On top of this though, if it gets too hot, some spray paint formulas will end up having problems with consistency and not apply correctly when sprayed. The majority of spray paint products on the market are oil based and will offer slightly better performance in most cases when it comes to temperature than their water based counter parts.

Although there are some spray paint products marketed as “all weather” meaning that they should be usable in both hot and cold conditions, they tend to end up having the same issues as normal spray paint. Due to their higher price tag, we usually recommend that our readers avoid them if possible and stick to the regular, cheaper spray paints that will offer very similar performance in most cases.

Why The Heat Helps Your Spray Paint!

The heat can help your spray paint as it keeps the ingredients in the paint formula in their optimal state for the best possible bonding with the surface you spray them on. The head will play a minimal role in your spray paint actually drying due to so many spray paints being oil based rather than water based.

Applying your spray paints to the required surface with a temperature of 18 to 25 degrees C will usually offer a nice even coat on the surface without climbing or bonding issues too. This can quickly become a problem the closer you get to 10 degrees C and anything below that will almost definitely have problems with most surfaces.

If you are using your spray paint for arts and crafts and were hoping that the heat would be able to help your spray paint dry quicker then check out our article on drying spray paint with a hairdryer instead. When it comes to oil based spray paint (the more popular type) air flow is much better than heat for getting it to dry quicker.

Side Effects Of You Using Spray Paint In The Cold!

Think of what happens with water when it gets cold, the particles lose energy, are not able to move as easily, and eventually turn into a solid. Although modern spray paint formulas should not freeze completely unless they are extremely cold, a similar thing happens to them.

As the spray paint gets colder, the particles within it start to lose energy that is needed for the paint to bond with the surface correctly. This can result in peeling, flaking, color retention, and issues with clumping too. Although rare, low quality, cheap spray paints may not bond at all with the surface and essentially form a coloured mass on top of the surface that needs to be peeled off.

If you do live in a colder area then trying to plan your spray painting sessions around the warmer weather is definitely worth it. If you live in a location that tends to be particularly cold year round then you can also look for an indoor location supported with heat lamps for the best possible performance.

Should You Use The Specialist Spray Paints For Cold Temperatures?

In our opinion, the specialist spray paints that are meant to work in cold temperatures are a waste of time. Although they do technically work, they often have the exact same prices as normal spray paints around the 10 degree C mark while being considerably more expensive than normal spray paints.

This is why we try to recommend that our readers simply avoid them at the time of writing. Our hope is than in a few years, with the rapid pace that technology advances we will have a suitable option that can work well in cold temperatures but we are not holding our breath for it.

There have been countless promises from marketing teams about these special formula spray paints being able to work in cold weather time and time again and they always under perform. We doubt that anything will change any time soon as the market for these spray paints is so small that most brands don’t put much time or effort into them.


That brings our article on if spray paint dries faster in heat or cold to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and we would always recommend that you try to only use your spray paint in warm or hot weather if possible to get the best possible performance. Colder temperatures tend to have too many issues when it comes to spray paint resulting in sub optimal performance that can easily be avoided.

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