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SamBred

Rattle can painting outside

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winter is coming, cold nights starting in the mountains where I live. I paint my car bodies outside. What are yalls opinion on how cold can it be till you shouldn't paint outside?

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50-60 F is about as low as I ever try to go, but sometimes lower in a pinch. 

Just remember that a can of paint that's warmer than the air will sometimes cause the paint to "blush" when it hits the cooler surface of a model. This is just a little condensation of atmospheric moisture on the surface, and will usually polish off after the paint is thoroughly dry.

Also take into consideration that initial "flash" time of solvents will be slower the cooler it gets, so you're more apt to get runs and sags if your technique isn't perfect.

 

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I think most of us "cold weather" modelers will admit to having used rattle cans during the winter in garages, or similar places.  Is it ideal?  Absolutely not, but if you don't have a dedicated booth w/exhaust, then you'd be dealing with laquer or enamel fumes inside, which for many just isn't an option.  Personally, not having a booth, I switch to craft acrylics during cold weather to be able to shoot inside, but still occasionally will run to the garage with a rattle can.  I just be sure to have the body (or whatever) warm and clean, shoot, then bring indoors shortly after.  Granted, it'll still have to gas off, but the worst will remain in the garage.  It works....

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Before getting a spray booth I used to use a cardboard box as a spray booth. This wouldn't help with the temp so much but would keep the over spray contained on and around the model. I agree that if you keep it above sixty degrees you should be alright. Unless you're single or want to become single you should keep spray painting in the garage or some other structure away from the main living quarters.  

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50-60 F is about as low as I ever try to go, but sometimes lower in a pinch. 

Just remember that a can of paint that's warmer than the air will sometimes cause the paint to "blush" when it hits the cooler surface of a model. This is just a little condensation of atmospheric moisture on the surface, and will usually polish off after the paint is thoroughly dry.

Also take into consideration that initial "flash" time of solvents will be slower the cooler it gets, so you're more apt to get runs and sags if your technique isn't perfect.

 

Absolutely true about the blushing. It may take awhile to show up, so be careful. I tried painting a 1:1 a long time ago with lacquer when it was around 60-65 degrees. I had to put so much retarder in the paint to avoid the blush that it took nearly a half hour to tack off. It still blushed, but man, was it smooth and shiny! I was not able to polish it out. It was a dark navy blue, so perhaps a lighter color wouldn't be as bad. 

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You must be near me!!! I am on the VA/WV line. 

I'll paint in my garage at anything above freezing but not bodies. Chassis and parts look OK but bodies I'll just wait until low 50's day. My garage is unheated and drafty so it's close to outside!! 

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I would rather not do any spray painting at any temps  where I need a coat on to do so. Its why I do all my spray painting bodies in the fall when its upper sixties - low seventies with low humidity. 

On average I'll paint maybe a half dozen or more cars for the winter bench time ( I get very little modeling time during spring / summer months ) I've got 3 painted now and have ideas on 2 more 

 

If I have to do any spray painting the winter, such as maybe an interior or chassis ,I'll step out in the garage then head to the laundry room downstairs to let it dry.

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Where I live here in Canada we usually get the odd warmer day.  You can hold off until such a day occurs. Another idea that may help is to shoot paint one layer at a time which I believe is a good idea anyway. After a good primer coat do a thin layer barely covering the body.  Bring it inside and let it dry.  If it needs a sanding do so, wash and repeat. If you do it in 3-4 goes you can catch mistakes before the final coat.  If you have enough paint on after your final coat and still have a blemish, you'll have a good enough coat to do a light sanding without cutting down to the plastic.

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Where I live here in Canada we usually get the odd warmer day.  You can hold off until such a day occurs. Another idea that may help is to shoot paint one layer at a time which I believe is a good idea anyway. After a good primer coat do a thin layer barely covering the body.  Bring it inside and let it dry.  If it needs a sanding do so, wash and repeat. If you do it in 3-4 goes you can catch mistakes before the final coat.  If you have enough paint on after your final coat and still have a blemish, you'll have a good enough coat to do a light sanding without cutting down to the plastic.

That's good advice in general, but just remember...if you're shooting enamel, you have to pay attention to the "recoat window", which will vary with temperature.

Recoat an enamel job outside the window, and you run a serious risk of wrinkling and lifting.

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From my experience in modelling in Canada, I paint outside as well. My suggestion would be as follows

1. If its snowing or there is snow outside that's an automatic no-no

2. Typically I dont care about how cold it gets, as long as its not snowing

3. Once you spray a coat, take it indoors to let it dry inside

4. Of course check the weather forcast and choose a day that is relatively warmer and do all your painting on that day

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Oh ya, I should have mentioned. I only use lacquer rattle cans.  Tamiya and Duplicolor  work well. I don't have a lot of luck with enamel.  I find lacquer paint dries quickly so is better suited to the outdoor scenario we are talking about.

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Same here, I only use lacquer model paint from hobby stores or dupli color from Canadian Tire. I heard the full cure time for enamels are like a month

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