Sealing,painting lumber in cold weather
I need some advice. I have a separate post where I've been getting some advice about building a Pergola on a raised stamped concrete patio we had poured this summer.
Problem is, now that I have most of that figured out, I'm concerned about painting in this weather.
I plan to use regular lumber (not treated) so I don't have to worry about twisting and warping as it dries, since it will not be in contact with the ground anyway and it will be protected by waterproofing, priming and painting.
Problem is that I live in Michigan where temps are dropping to around 30-35 degrees at night and between 50-60 degrees during the day.
Do I need to wait until spring for this project, or is there a good option for this weather? I've been so anxious to get going on this but now am afraid my window of opportunity has closed.
I could do all of the painting in the garage and let dry there for a couple of days if that helps.....just not sure how much warmer that it is in there compared to outside at night but it would help with the dew/frost in the evening and morning.
Unfortunately leaving untreated lumber without a coating outside for a harsh season like winter will most likely cause damage to it. But you do have a few options so that you can get it built and coated before snow hits the ground. First like you had suggested applying the coating inside of the garage will offer enough protection from the elements. If the temperature still isnít within the manufactures suggested application temp it may fail prematurely, so if there is any way you can heat the garage or bring the pieces into an area where it is warm to dry that would make the job much easier and just about any coating could be applied. Otherwise there are a number of cold weather exterior paints and stains on the market, a majority allow for near freezing temps. When using any paint or stain in colder temperatures even if they are within the temp limitations should be protected from rain fall 24-48 hours after a coating is applied and kept from frost and heavy dew, make sure to check the manufactures applications specs prior to applying your finish. If you have any questions about application or products let us know and well do our best to help you out, Good luck!
Here's a couple of notes from my experience. I use specialized coatings for my work and they are temp sensitive so I don't do outdoor work below 50 degree temps. I also have no experience with cold temp coatings as the previous poster suggested, but his recommendations may be a good choice. I can definitely say that painting in a warmer environment is the best choice if you can do it.
You mentioned that this would sit on a concrete platform. The ends of wood beams are like straws and suck up moisture which soon leads to rot. The areas where your wood may come into contact with concrete or be exposed to excessive moisture need to be protected or they will not last, especially since you're using untreated.
We've had good success with two products...Cedar-Shield, an emulsion of silicone and cedar tree oil...100% Non Toxic Wood Treatment Products Treated Wood Alternatives Deck Garden
and Elastolock, which is a rubberized coating that also makes a great primer. ElastoLock is from Daich Coatings Corporation. This can sometimes be found locally in paint stores but it's from a Canadian company and they don't have real wide distribution in the US yet.
If you can't find it locally, contact me here or go to my website below and I'll arrange to get you some. We use both products when we build wood decks because we use untreated wood so our low maintenance coatings will adhere.
BTW, it's necessary that the Cedar-Shield drys for 5-7 days B4 you apply anything else. Drags things out a bit but it's definitely worth it. The easiest way to apply it B$ construction, is to put a tarp down big enough to hold all your wood and build a little dam around it with scrap wood so excess product doesn't run off. Then just use a cheap pump sprayer to liberally coat the wood, paying particular attention to the ends. We like to do it twice for good measure and we also reuse whatever doesn't get absorbed.
Hope this helps. Protecting your wood from moisture intrusion is the single most important thing you'll do to achieve a long lasting & low maintenance result.
Thanks for the advice everyone. As much as I really wanted to get started....I decided to hold off on this project until next spring rather than risk problems with painting in cold weather.
Thanks to all of you, I'll be ready to go as soon as the weather breaks!
(I am aware of the problem with wood coming in contact with the masonry and will be using post mounts that keep them separate).
Since I will be using untreated lumber, I do plan on coating it for moisture and insect protection prior to painting so thank you NJCoatings.....I will try to find the products you mention or contact you in the spring!)
Happy Holidays! (I can't believe I'm saying that already? Is it really almost December?)
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