How long does it take paint to dry? And how much longer until it’s fully cured? These are some of the most common questions we get, and truth is, there is no hard and fast answer.
In this article, we’ll look at the top factors that influence your paint’s drying time. Have a read, so you can better prepare for your upcoming interior painting project.
Let’s get started.
How long does it take paint to dry?
The answer depends on four important factors: the type of paint, how the paint was applied, the humidity and temperature, and the amount of ventilation.
Type of paint
Here’s a general guide to drying times:
- Oil-based paints: these will be dry to the touch in around six to eight hours. A second coat can be applied after 24 hours.
- Latex paints: these will be dry to the touch in around one hour. A second coat can be applied after four hours.
Do keep in mind that every paint formulation will have its own recommended drying time. We suggest reading the paint tin and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
How the paint was applied
Creating a smooth, even finish is easier said than done, and professional painters spend years perfecting their painting technique.
DIYers tend to apply wall paint in thick layers. They want the colour they’ve chosen to show up true, so they slather on the paint in one gloopy coat. This can, however, cause the paint to drip, creating a bumpy surface. What’s more, the dry time will be significantly longer.
When it comes to interior painting, it’s best to be patient and apply each coat of paint in a thin layer. Second and third coats will ensure the colour shows up bright and true. These thinner layers will dry much faster, too.
Humidity and temperature
Here in Brisbane, we are no strangers to hot, humid temperatures. Unfortunately, these tropical conditions can cause paint to take considerably longer to dry.
You can speed up the drying process by cranking the air conditioner. This will reduce the amount of water vapour in the air.
Amount of ventilation
Anytime you paint indoors, it is critical to maximise the amount of ventilation. The more ventilation, the faster your paint will dry. Encourage airflow by opening the doors, opening the windows, and switching on ceiling fans. This will also help eliminate paint fumes.
How long does it take paint to cure?
Even if your paint feels dry to the touch, it still may not be ready for day-to-day use. It takes days for paint to cure, that is, reach its maximum hardness.
Here’s a basic guide to paint curing times:
- Oil-based paints: around seven days.
- Latex paints: around 30 days.
Don’t wait any longer
Painting your interior is a bit of a process. It requires the cleaning, repairing, and sanding of all surfaces, moving furniture, laying protective drop cloths, using painters’ tape, and applying multiple coats of paint. The good news is, you don’t have to do all this yourself.