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How Long Does It Take For Spray Paint To Dry?

How Long Does It Take for Spray Paint to Dry

Painting is a creative and fascinating thing to do, and it becomes more fun when one chooses to spray paint an area. Some people who care about time often ask how long does it take for spray paint to dry.

It is obvious that people will ask about drying because you can’t touch the painted surface until it’s dry. Moreover, your painting will be complete only when you dry and seal it for better protection; it will be a matter of thinking about how much time it will take.

Let’s see the total time for spray paint to dry, what factors affect that fact, how to spray paint a surface to make it dry quickly, including some basic hacks of spray painting.

Is Spray Painting Worth It?

Spray painting has been a famous thing among all types of painting; it is an easy work because you have to keep the workpiece a few inches away from the spray bottle. You can use a sponge for the paint to correct the things after pointing.

Do you know where you can use the spray paint items? You can easily paint a wooden surface, metal items, plastic things, and even poster papers or even walls. Some people have doubts about the quality of spray paints because they think that water colors and dark wall paints are only good.

But their thinking will change if they see a professional work near themselves because they also look natural. The spray paint has to be of good quality and the person working there should give a perfect finishing.

Anyway, you can check Rustoleum spray paint because it has been the leading brand that manufactures different types of spray paints, but the oil-based tones are more popular.

What Are the Factors That Affects the Drying Process of Spray Paint?

As we mentioned before, the spray paint has to dry properly after applying; otherwise, it will be smudged or damaged. How fast the paint will dry depends on some things that you can’t overlook. Let’s see what they are and how do they impact the spray paint surface:

Where You Are Applying the Paint

Please remember that every surface has a molecule and it has its compatibility to be attached to the paint particles. That’s why which area you are painting will influence how fast the spray paint dries, such as:

  1. Plastic has a thin texture and it’s lightweight; as a result the paint should dry pretty quick if applied on a plastic item. It actually takes a moderate time to dry hard because the paint has got liquidity and plastic is too smooth to absorb it faster. It would be better if you keep the paint and let it dry overnight
  1. Metal is another popular item that you should paint with spray paint; there are many reasons that experts encourage it. For example, if you paint a metal, it will look attractive and it will also prevent the oxidation of metal and avoid rust. 

Metal molecules are quite friendly with the spray paint materials and it doesn’t take more than half an hour to touch dry painted things, and not more than an hour to harden dry.

  1. The next material that takes the longest time to dry spray paint is wood because wood is pretty thick and porous. It has a rough surface and is completely hydrophobic, making it tough for the spray paint to dry.

You can prepare the wood more to smoothen the surface and use some primer so that the paint attaches better.

  1. Poster papers or boards are other options for spray painting, but as you know that they are lightweight and quickly absorb paint, nearly 20 minutes. The boards or canvas may take longer to dry spray paints, but papers are faster in this case. You have to ensure that your paper doesn’t tear after being wet.

Type of Paint Used

All spray paints are not the same, and so not their quality and characteristics; therefore, their drying time on the painted surface will also vary. Let’s see which type of paint takes longer to dry.

Polyurethane Paint

Do you know why the manufacturing companies always prefer polyurethane paints the most? The reason is it dries the fastest no matter which surface you have applied on. It will dry within minutes after applying.

Enamel Paints

Enamel paints come to the second position if you rank the fast drying spray paints. You will see the uses of this paint for various fancy spray tops and different designs.

Lacquer Paint

This is also a fast drying paint, but not like the previous ones; it is actually the latest addition to the fast drying paint list.

Weather Around You

How fast your spray paint will dry depends on the weather around you; for instance, humidity in the environment prevents or delays the spray paint drying. On the other, if your environment is heated or you have windy weather around, your paint will have too rapid evaporation.

Number of Coats You Applied

Another factor that is vital here is the number of coats applied or the thickness; for instance, it will take a while if you apply a thin coat. On the other hand, thick or multiple coats of painting can increase the time of drying the surface. Sometimes it is necessary to recoat the area with another layer of paint after the previous one has dried.

You Must need to know: Best Paint Sprayer for Furniture

How to Make Your Spray Paint Dry Faster?

There must be some technical steps to follow to make your spray paint dry faster; the tips and steps would be helpful, and timesaving for you. Let’s see some of the techniques to dry spray paint faster.

Apply Thin Coats of Paint

The spray paint will dry immediately after applying if you spray a thin coat over the desired area; it won’t take more than 20 minutes.

Use Brush or Rags

Only spraying on the board or material may not be enough sometimes, and you may need a brush or a rag. You can choose a styrofoam style foam for yourself so that you can light the coat or remove the extra things.

You can use a damp cloth, soft rag, paint thinner, or nail polish remover to thin the extra paint and help it dry.

Fix Wrinkled Spray Paint

Sometimes a wrinkled spray painted area may cause delay in drying the surface, and when you paint the entire surface, it may leave some marks. That’s why you should fix the wrinkled areas and smoothen the uneven parts.

Turn on the Fan or Heater

If you create air circulation or heat around the painted area, it will help the spray paint dry faster than you think. It would be better if you can create heat around, but it’s not always possible to arrange a heater. That’s why it is wise to turn on the fan so that the surface dries faster.

Try to Seal the Paint

Once the paint attaches to the surface and gets dry, you should think of sealing it because its smoothness depends on the protective layer. That’s why experts suggest people to seal the paint after it has dried to reduce the chances of smudge.

Try to Control Humidity

If possible, you should try to control the humidity around the painted surface and reduce it as it is not good for the spray paint while drying.

Preventing the factors that delay the spray paint drying process is not hard at all if you know them properly. It doesn’t take long to make the spray paint dry quickly.

You can read: Best Handheld Paint Sprayer

How to Check if Spray Paint Is Dry or Not?

At first when you apply spray paint on a surface, it will have liquidity and the surface will look pretty glossy. As the paint starts drying, it will lose the glaze slowly, and the texture will let you know that it’s drying.

After some time, the area will look smooth as if it has completely dried, but that is not dried to touch even. It will be touched hard after a few minutes, and it may not be wrinkled or spoiled if you slightly touch it.

It will be drier after some moments if you keep ventilation around the workpiece and let the surface liquid evaporate. However, the texture of the top will be exact matt once it is completely dry, and it will be ready to touch.

Please correct the paint and use the solvents that will make your spray painting better and long-lasting.

Is Dry Time and Cure Time the Same?

Of course not, they may sound similar but they are not. Dry time is the time difference or phase when you can recoat the painted area after you have dried the first layer. On the other hand, the curing time is the longest time after you are done with applying everything on the item.

So, you can say that dry time and cure time are different; moreover, it is obvious that no matter what material you have painted with spray, the dry time will surely be less than cure time.

What Are The Few Things That You Should Know Before Working With Spray Paint? 

If you are an absolute beginner, who is working with spray paint for the first time, then there are some things that you should know about. 

Things such as, surface dry, thin layers, seal spray paint, how to remove spray paint odor, spray paint nozzle, diy spray painting booth, lacquer spray paint, optimal paint adhesion, wet rag, instant spray booth, paint remover, enamel paint, pebble style foam, humidity levels. 

But also it is better to have knowledge about paint jobs, wax based furniture polish, wet paint, newly painted furniture, semi gloss, paint build up, brush loaded, and even slight pressure. 

Be careful about the color coats, such as if you need light coats, clear coat, lighter coats, or if you need more thin coats or need to re coat. 


It is essential to know how long does it take for spray paint to dry before you start working with it because the tips given will help you choose the materials wisely. However, it is okay if you wait longer and don’t take the risk because you should have time in hand before starting work.

Anyway, in the end you can say that mostly spray paint dries within minutes, but the process lingers because of other things like curing. 


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