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Don’t get caught in the cold

Maximise midwinter work with Resene Wintergrade paints!

Painting in winter can be a challenge with the cold weather playing havoc with application and performance.

Waterborne paints are typically based on tiny, thermoplastic particles that deform and stick to one another during the stresses of drying and film formation. Particles deliberately engineered to be soft, form films easily even at quite low temperatures. The softness, however, extends to the finished film, making it prone to damage from dirt retention. Hard particles can be made, but they require heat, or large amounts of plasticising solvents, in order to form films.

A paint film dried in the cold can crack and even just dry to a powder. This is because the acrylic base needs some warmth to make the particles soft enough to stick together. There’s an intermediate set of temperatures between 5°C to 10°C where the film appears normal but looks can be deceptive as the coating is likely to have much poorer than normal durability. The surface temperature of the substrate may be considerably colder than the ambient air temperature, which creates even more of a challenge for normal paints.

The Resene Technical team first developed a small range of winterised products that will dry in temperatures down to 3°C, which have been used in winter conditions for over 10 years.

Resene Wintergrade AdditiveTo make it even easier to choose a wintergrade finish, Resene now offers Resene Wintergrade Additive, which you can add to a range of selected waterborne Resene paints to winterise them. This will enable you to achieve a wintergrade finish in a wider range of products and colours.

Winterised products can be applied in temperatures as low as 3°C. Do not apply in temperatures over 10°C – use standard Resene decorative finishes instead. Wintergrade products and paints treated with Resene Wintergrade Additive will cure at low temperatures, around 2-3°C (taking approx. 15-20 minutes to form a surface skin). Note on the labels we refer to 3°C – this is simply to provide a little extra safety buffer as the temperature may drop slightly during application from 3°C to 2°C.

Resene also offers a made to order service, so if you need 200L or more of your chosen wintergrade finish, Resene can add the wintergrade additive and do the mixing for you.

How fast should wintergrade paint be used?

Always use Resene Wintergrade stock promptly – ideally within a few days, at worst within 1 month.

If left for longer periods, the paint will be thicker to apply and will start to cause flow issues. It is best to ONLY dose what will be applied over the next few days, and then to dose each pail as it is needed.

What paints can Resene Wintergrade Additive be used in?

Do not…

Will the Resene Wintergrade Additive alter the original colour?

No, however the product is different to the standard product so we recommend that you use the same product consistently on the same wall – e.g. you would use the Resene Wintergrade Additive in all one coat for one wall face.

Can you add Resene Wintergrade Additive and Resene Umbrella Additive together into the same product?

No, use one or the other, not both. They use similar technology and they won’t work together.

Can you use Resene Umbrella Additive in the premixed Resene Wintergrade product – Resene Wintergrade Lumbersider?

Yes, only because this wintergrade product is made in a different manner to the separate wintergrade additive. Do not add Resene Wintergrade Additive to the premixed Resene Wintergrade Lumbersider unless you would like to end up with glue!

Update for X-200

Resene X-200 can now be used in temperatures down to 5°C. If the temperature is below that or likely to fall below that during the painting process, add Resene Wintergrade Additive to Resene X-200 to winterise it. We will be updating this on the X-200 labels and data sheets as they come up for reprint.

Solventborne paints

Do not use with Resene Wintergrade Additive. Solventborne paints are generally safer at low temperatures as they don’t freeze and tend to set up regardless. However, products like Resene Super Gloss will bloom (a milky dull appearance) on the film if cold and in high humidity.


Resene Wintergrade products in use

Copthorne Hotel

Copthorne Hotel

Repainting the expansive exterior and interior of the Copthorne Hotel in Durham Street, Christchurch entailed the application of litre upon litre of coating. Exterior concrete ribbed panels were coated in an impressive 600 litres of Resene Wintergrade Hi-Glo gloss acrylic... more

Durie HIll Elevator tunnel

Durie Hill Elevator tunnel

With just a single day each year allocated to maintenance there is no allowance for downtime when faced with the challenge of repainting the Durie Hill Elevator tunnel. A team of eight painters armed with Resene Wintergrade Lumbersider were charged with washing down the tunnel and applying two full coats ready for reopening just a day later... more

Hawkes Bay Opera House and Precinct

Hawkes Bay Opera House and Precinct

Formerly known as The Hastings Municipal Theatre Complex, the Hawkes Bay Opera House & Precinct in Hastings Street, Hastings, best known for its reputation for being one of the best lyric theatres of its type in New Zealand... more

Lakeside apartments Wanaka

Lakeside apartments, Wanaka

A difficult site close to downtown Wanaka combined with a full level redesign, made the finishing of the ambitious new Lakeside Apartments, at 9 Lakeside Road Wanaka, even more of an occasion to celebrate... more

Palmerston North Commercial Union building

Palmerston North Commercial Union building

Anyone who says that you can't paint in temperatures as low as 2° C and re-coat on the same day is WRONG. Doug Miller Ltd was presented with a challenge - to repaint the exterior of Palmerston North's Commercial Union Building and its basement carpark in conditions well below the recommended 10° C drying temperature... more

The Clocktower

The Clocktower at the Cardrona Alpine Resort

With the ability to cure at temperatures as low as 2°C, Resene Wintergrade Lumbersider enabled this high altitude clocktower to be painted without jeopardising the full cure of the paint system... more

Clarence St Theatre (formerly Westpac Community Theatre)

Clarence St Theatre (formerly Westpac Community Theatre)

Near freezing temperatures were no barrier to the repaint of the Clarence St Theatre in Clarence Street, Hamilton with Resene Wintergrade Lumbersider used on the coldest of days in light colours to keep the work humming along... more


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