Does Cold Affect Glues and Finishes?

Article - January 12, 2009

This week’s question comes from Johnathan who asks:

It is getting really cold these days. I am worried about my glues and finishes that are stored in my shop. Do I have to throw away finishes and glues that have been in been in temperatures below manufacturer’s recommended temperatures or can I still use them later? Thanks and keep up the good work.

And this was my response:

donotfreezelabel1Hey Jonathan. I find that there is a little buffer built into those recommended storage temperatures, but I really wouldn’t want to take much of a chance. Even here in Phoenix where it never reaches freezing temps, I take my finishes and glues inside for the winter. I don’t know the exact temp where things start going south, but I don’t want to find out either. Finish is expensive. So I would recommend using the recommended temperatures on the label as your guideline.

Now if you do let these things go a full winter, you’ll probably have some visual indicator that the finish or glue has gone bad. Most times its chunks or an unusually thick consistency. And even if things look OK, you might want to test on scrap to make sure everything works as expected and cures properly. Hope that helps.

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