How Long Does Paint Take to Dry & Cure?
When you complete a paint project, you may be asking yourself: how long does paint take to dry? Often times, the hardest part of any makeover is waiting for the paint to dry. After you’ve spent time and elbow grease on a great project, it’s tough to remain patient and let the paint dry fully before putting the item to use.
Just how long does paint take to dry? There are four main factors that determine how long you should keep hands off your new beauty.
1. Type of Paint
Generally, if you’re using an oil-based paint, expect it to be dry to the touch in 6–8 hours and ready to recoat in 24 hours. A latex paint is usually dry to the touch in about an hour, and you can safely recoat in 4 hours. However, the labels on all paint cans specify the dry and recoat times for that particular paint, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions for exact times.
2. Application of Paint
If paint is applied too thickly or is recoated before the first coat is fully dry, the dry time will be considerably longer and the paint may dry gloppy and uneven. It’s usually better to apply two thin coats of paint than to cover your project with one thick coat.
3. Humidity & Temperature
If there is too much water vapor in the air (humidity) or the room is warmer than average, it will take considerably longer for your paint to dry. To speed up dry time, close the windows and turn on the air conditioning or run a fan.
4. Poor ventilation
Much like with humidity and temperature problems, wet paint in a stuffy room will have a slower dry time than a room with air flow.
Once your paint dries, your project may still not be ready for everyday use. For a paint to be considered dry, enough solvents must evaporate so it feels dry to the touch.
Paint doesn’t cure, or reach maximum hardness, until days after the paint is dry. Oil-based paints cure faster (in about 7 days) than latex paints (in about 30 days). So, don’t put your newly painted dining room table into heavy rotation until the paint has fully cured and will withstand everyday use.
I have been sponsored by the Glidden® brand paint for PPG to write this post but the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.