The sun is out and the air is dry with barely a breeze to be felt. Yep, it’s the perfect weather for spraying finish, both solvent-based and water-based.
Winter mounts all sorts of obstacles to spraying. It’s too cold and windy to do it outdoors, and to spray safely indoors, you’ll need lots of temperate moving air to evacuate the overspray and keep both you and your projects in a healthy flow of clean air. Do that and you’ll quickly deplete the very expensive heat your household furnace has generated. It’s a real dilemma since most spray finishes, and especially water-based ones, are pretty persnickety when it comes to temperature.
Summertime spraying is so convenient that it’s not unusual for those of us who like to spray finishes to hold off big finishing projects for just the right weather. Do the preparation indoors in the winter when all that sanding is just the exercise you need to stay warm. When the weather cooperates, move the whole operation outdoors and spray a batch of projects, or one really big one.
Outdoors in a light breeze, your “spray booth without walls” has the added advantage of having no size restrictions. One hardly has to worry whether that oversized armoire or three-leaf dining table will fit in the spray booth when nature makes the boundaries. You will, of course, have to worry about the neighbors, if you have any near enough to be bothered by your al fresco activities, and dive-bombing insects trying to commit suicide in your still-wet finish coat.
Me? I prefer an indoor/outdoor compromise. I have a large knockdown booth I can quickly set up in front of my open garage door. It’s basically just an air funnel with angled flat sides and top and a filtered fan at the small end. Even a cheap furnace filter is enough to keep the fan blades clean and trap most of the overspray before it heads outdoors to become a neighborhood nuisance. It blocks most of the garage opening and draws its clean air from a filtered open window or entry door. I get the best of both worlds: there’s plenty of clean, warm air but no dust or kamikaze bugs, and I can even spray when it threatens to rain.