Category Archives: Painting

How Cold is Too Cold to Spray Rustoleum Oil-Based Paint?

I wasn’t sure if there’s a lower temperature limit to spraying Rustoleum, but I took a chance. I needed to paint a steel cabinet.

As night was falling, at a temperature of around 34°F, I sprayed Rustoleum Oil-Based (alkyd) enamel, thinned with acetone, using my trusty Harbor Freight HVLP gun. After sitting for a couple of hours, I brought the cabinet into the attached — but poorly insulated — garage. The overnight low was supposedly 14°F, but the garage probably averaged around 30°F for most of the night.

At around 16 hours after spraying, I returned to the garage and found the paint completely dry to the touch. I could make a fingernail mark with enough pressure, but I was able to reassemble everything without marring the finish.

This isn’t to say you’ll get optimal results, but the paint sprayed, covered, and dried as expected. I’ll update this post if I see any signs that adhesion or strength was compromised.