Does auto paint freeze? 

Cold Scene

Does auto paint freeze?  Good question.  We've had so many questions lately regarding the stability of auto paint in the cold weather we thought it was time for a quick blog post about it.  Much of the country has experienced colder than normal conditions this year.  Since many shops store their materials in areas with little or no heat, the question keeps arising..."do I need to keep my paint products from freezing?".  The answer is "yes" but not to the level that many might think.  While water-based paints will readily freeze and spoil often even with even one freezing event, solvent based paints do not freeze in the same sense.  In fact, occasional exposure of typical solvent based car paints to freezing conditions rarely creates a problem.  Well formulated solvent paints generally handle cold and hot weather well.  As with all paints, a shelf life exists which can vary widely depending on the type of paint formulation and the exposure and use of the product.  Exposure of solvent paints to cold environments will  shorten the shelf life but generally takes a long period of time to be unsuitable for use.  Moving paint products to heated areas not normally used for paint storage, or using space heaters in storage areas is not necessary and can even lead to unsafe work conditions.

What should I do?

Keep your paint products properly stored in your paint mixing rooms and storage cabinets.  Make sure to seal cans well and place them back into cabinets immediately after use.  Often cold paint products apply and use completely different than the same can of paint at normal painting temperatures.  Before painting use booth heat or a carefully use a warm water bath to warm up paint cans before use.  Don't panic and make unsafe conditions just to keep your paint warm.