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"Priming in Cold Weather" Topic

23 Posts

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9,699 hits since 20 Nov 2006
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Correus Inactive Member20 Nov 2006 7:27 a.m. PST


Well, cold weather is finally setting in and I did not get many miniatures primed before it got cold. I spray paint my primer and touch-up with a brush.

Any thoughts on spray priming in cold weather without having a spray booth?


Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2006 7:39 a.m. PST

I just prime them on the deck. It's fine as long as it's not precipitating. It takes longer to dry so you have to think ahead and be wary of any changes in the rain situation.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Nov 2006 8:16 a.m. PST

I prime inside in a shower room with an extractor fan so outside temperature and humidity isn't an issue. My 'spray booth' is a cake icing turntable in an old cardboard box.

Tony H

Vicshere Inactive Member20 Nov 2006 8:37 a.m. PST

I paint in the garage on a sunny day. My biggest enemy is humidity…

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2006 10:03 a.m. PST

Larry, I have learned to keep my paint and items to be primed warm until you are ready to prime. Prime right away, and let it set for 15 minutes outside. I then find I can relocate it into the warm inside to fully dry. Limited fumes with this method, and I usually do not have many problems.

Red Comet Inactive Member20 Nov 2006 10:30 a.m. PST

I concur with BTCTerrianman. If you keep your can's of Primer inside and keep the priming job short you should be okay. I just prime some Austrians this weekend and it was quite chilly. I was finished in 10 minutes for 16 figures and didn't have any trouble.


Bardolph Inactive Member20 Nov 2006 10:30 a.m. PST

I recently switched to gesso, partly due to bad luck with spray priming in general and spraying in cold weather in particular. Takes a little longer but is mindless and I can do it inside without complaints from the S.O.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian20 Nov 2006 10:52 a.m. PST

I've never had a problem priming in cold weather, including five Canadian winters. Keep the cans indoors, go out on the deck, spray and then bring the items indoors to dry. The only downside is that you have smelly paint fumes indoors, but much less so than if you'd done the actual spraying indoors.

Actually, I had a problem on two occasions. The box top I was using to hold the sprayed figures slipped, and I dropped a freshly primed wet figure into a snowbank. That was a pleasure to retrieve, I can tell you.

CeruLucifus20 Nov 2006 11:54 a.m. PST

In an earlier topic on this subject, someone suggested putting the can of spray primer in a bucket of warm water to warm it up for spraying outside.

Regards Inactive Member20 Nov 2006 11:59 a.m. PST

Agree with Mexican Jack Squint. Keep the cans at room temp, pop out for a quick spray, and then bring the whole lot in to dry. Did it yesterday and it was fine. Drying was pretty fast and the only downside is the smell.


DestoFante20 Nov 2006 1:31 p.m. PST

One recommandation: if you live in Chicago, or any particularly windy city, make sure to check the direction of the wind before to spray. I forgot this basic rule last Friday… and I ended up priming myself as much as my miniatures. Not funny.

Grelber20 Nov 2006 9:02 p.m. PST

I also pop out with warm figures and primer and prime quickly. Spraying in sunlight does help.
I spray my figures on a cookie sheet covered with newspaper; once the figures dry a bit, I put them on the second tray and bring them inside to finish drying. Since most of the primer ended up on the newspaper anyway, this cuts the paint fumes significantly.
I've also moved the figures into my garage after priming. We keep a light bulb going in the garage all winter, so it's warmer than outside. After a bit of drying, I open the door to share the lovely smell with the rest of the city.

Correus Inactive Member21 Nov 2006 7:55 a.m. PST

Thanks to all of you for the advice! I appreciate it!


unknown member22 Nov 2006 4:34 a.m. PST

I did some this past weekend in Indy. No major problems with the results even though the temp was dropping as I started painting, drat the "honey do list".

Likewise I now know how to keep painting in the winter with some great hints.


Luke Mulder Inactive Member22 Nov 2006 11:18 a.m. PST

Also, one should never apply acrylics below 50 Degrees F.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Nov 2006 12:34 p.m. PST

I've never had any problems spray priming figures in cold weather. Like the others mention, I keep the cans of paint inside the house, rather than in the garage so that they are at room temperature. I've been using Armoury brand of wargame primer and find that the figures seem to dry even faster if left in the cold garage after spraying. so I don't bring them in until they are dry – thus no problems with fumes. Armoury primer seems to dry faster than Floquil brand or Testor's brand primers.

The only times that I've ever had primer problems is during the summer when the humidity was high. Then I end up with a grainy, gravely surface and have to scrap it all off with a tooth brush and start anew.

Fall and Winter are the absolute best times to prime figures as far as I'm concerned. That's when I build up an inventory of primed figures for the rest of the year. If you already have a stock of primed figures, it becomes easier to get up the gumption to actually paint them.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2006 4:10 a.m. PST

A good pair of gloves, a sweater, maybe a scarf…..

Startroop Inactive Member29 Nov 2006 9:53 a.m. PST

I just primed a bunch of Boer War Highland Infantry in Idaho when the temp was 8 above. I did it outside in a sheltered portion of my yard. I did warm the paint up first in the house and let the figures dry over night in my slightly (humor intended) heated shop. The results were good. Wind was my biggest concern and the other was the fact that in the winter, its harder to get motivated to dress and go outside. Better to prime in the Fall ;-)

Luke Mulder Inactive Member30 Nov 2006 7:01 p.m. PST

I used to brush my primers on in the winter, and now do it all of the time. There are actually some good water-based metal primers out there now. AMF (American Maufacturing and Formulating) Makes a slightly "Sticky" water-based primer that adheres very well to non-ferrous metals. Also, common paint companies like Scherwin-Williams, Kelly-Moore, ect. are also making smilar primers. Because they leave a semi-gloss surface, I brush a second time with a very flat "Gesso" tinted grey.

Personal logo The GM Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member14 Dec 2006 9:22 p.m. PST

I prime them in the garage then carry them inside after just a couple of minutes. Still some smell, but not much.


trooper153 Inactive Member03 Jan 2007 4:30 p.m. PST

I have never had difficulty with priming in cold weather, but we don't get much of it here in Texas. But, humidity can be an issue. After I prime the figures outside I bring them inside and place them under a lamp with an incandescent bulb (about 12" under). I have had no priming issues since I began doing this.


Stewbags Inactive Member04 Jan 2007 5:59 a.m. PST

I have more of a problem with the piddling rain in the UK over crimbo, no priming for me at all!!!

elijahdprophet Inactive Member04 Jan 2007 1:36 p.m. PST

We have had uncommon volumes of snow lately here in NM, but right after xmas I got my first unit of Vendel Hoplites in and really wanted to paint them. What I have been doing in cold weather for years is priming on the porch (or in the garage when I had one) and then bringing the minis into the bathroom with the vent fan running and the door closed. By the time the primer is dry the smell from the paint is almost non-existent.

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