What Used to be "Too Cold" has Changed a Little.

Search the internet and you will get a lot of different answers to “When is it too cold to paint?” Although the answers are all across the board, you have to realize that the answers are coming from people in totally different parts of the US, in different climates, different humidity, and they all use different materials. Those things matter and you should consider that when doing your research on what is “too cold to paint”.

Things have changed dramatically in the last decade. It wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t paint below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, most paint manufactures have integrated their low temperature technology into the current paint lines so we don’t need to switch products in the fall. For instance, most of the Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore lines are now prepared for the cold.

What temperature is too cold paint? We’ve been successful painting through at least Christmas on the outside for the last 30+ years. January and February are pretty cold but we can work when its warmer by beginning a little later in the morning and working on the sunny side of the home.

So Where are We?

We are located in the Midlands of South Carolina. South Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers throughout most of the state. Mild winters predominate in the eastern and southern part of the state but cool to occasionally cold winters are the standard in the northwestern areas of the state, especially areas at or above 600 feet in elevation. On average, between 40 and 80 inches of precipitation falls annually across the state. 

When is Winter in South Carolina?

Winter: December – February (or March)

South Carolina Winter Weather by the Month

December is the beginning of the winter season in South Carolina with moderate rainfall between 3″ to 4″. The average highs are in the mild 46°F to 60°F range, while the average lows are between 29°F to 39°F.

January is the coldest month of the year in South Carolina, with the average low temperatures ranging from 26°F in the mountains to 40°F in the plains.

February is mildly cold and relatively dry in South Carolina. However, the days see warm sunshine, with average temperatures in the 47°F to 63°F range. The midlands region has average temperatures of 41°F to 63°F.

March is the beginning of the beautiful spring season in South Carolina, with blooming flowers and green landscapes. The average high temperatures are in the 56°F to 69°F range, while the average low temperatures are in the 35°F to 49°F zone.

What is the coldest month in South Carolina?

January is the coldest month of the year.

What Paints Do We Use?

Our go to paint brands for exterior is Sherwin Williams Paints and Benjamin Moore Paints. They are at the forefront of innovation and research in the paint coating industry and offer several products for areas with different climates. We have been using paint from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore since our company began in 1987. These paints are used all year round but are a great choice when you think it’s too cold to paint with other materials.

Sherwin Williams Emerald® Rain Refresh™ Exterior Acrylic Latex is the absolute top of the line product offered for exterior paint. It comes in flat, satin, and gloss, and can be made in any color. It has specific non-stick qualities that make this our favorite exterior and also benefits the homeowner as well. It can be applied down to 35º and dries to the touch in 4 hours at 35º. This is our luxury product when the customer only wants to use the best for their home.

The newest exterior paint is Sherwin Williams Latitude™ with ClimateFlex Technology™ Exterior Acrylic Latex. It comes in flat, satin, and gloss and it’s temperature range is from 35º to 120º. It also develops moisture resistance in 30 minutes and dries to the touch in 2 hours @ 35º. It can also be tinted to any color and it is our standard exterior product from Sherwin Williams.

We also have customers who insists on Benjamin Moore. For the customer who wants the absolute best that Benjamin Moore offers, we use Benjamin Moore Aura® Exterior Paint. It comes in flat, low-lustre, satin, and soft-gloss. This is a great paint.

Our standard exterior paint from Benjamin Moore is Benjamin Moore Regal Select High Build Paint. This comes in flat, low-lustre, and soft-gloss. It is one our favorite paints across the board.

Emerald Rain Refresh Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint

Low temperature application down to 35 °F
Flat, Satin, Gloss
Dry Time to Touch - 4 Hours

Latitude Exterior Acrylic Latex

Low temperature application down to 35 °F
Flat, Satin, Gloss
Dry Time to Touch - 4 Hours


Low temperature application down to 35 °F
Flat, Low-Lustre, Satin, Soft-Gloss
Dry Time to Touch - 1 Hour


Low temperature application down to 35 °F
Flat, Low-Lustre, Soft-Gloss
Dry Time to Touch - 1 Hour

Final Thoughts on How we Decide if is Too Cold to Paint?

Common Sense! As you can see, all of our paints are made to be used down to 35º. What stops us is our team. They do not want to be painting your exterior at 35º, much less, soft washing the exterior in preparation for the painting. It’s just too cold to paint while going up and down ladders and caulking and trying to do a great job when you are freezing cold and need a big bulky coat to wear to stay warm. Basically we leave the decision of if it’s too cold to paint to the team working in the elements. They are usually ok around the 45º and up temps but less than that and they would rather do just like you, stay inside where its warm.

We Paint ALL Year Round

If you would are interested in getting an estimate for exterior, interior, or cabinet painting, schedule a free consultation today. We would be glad to come take a look with you.

Carolina Painting and Pressure Cleaning is a full service residential and commercial painting company. We offer exterior and interior painting, cabinet refinishing and painting, exterior pressure washing, and garage floor epoxy coatings. Located in Lexington SC since 1987, they have served 1000’s of happy customers over the years.

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