How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry

how long does spray paint take to dry

After painting something with spray paint, your next step is typically to wait around until it dries. In the middle of a project, you’re probably wondering how long you’re going to have to wait. Often, you’re ready to get back to work.

Most of the time, the back of a spray paint can will tell you roughly how long it takes to dry. This text is usually tiny, so you may have to go hunting for it. However, this isn’t always an accurate estimation, as many factors can affect how long it takes to dry.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of those factors and help you consider how long you may have to wait for your new paint to dry.

It depends what you’re spray painting.

When you’re asking, “How long does it take spray paint to dry?” the answer can vary greatly depending on the type of surface you’re painting. For example, if you’re spray painting furniture made from metal, the drying time will be different than if you’re spray painting a wooden sign. Generally speaking, smoother and nonporous surfaces dry more quickly than their rough and porous counterparts. Here are some estimated dry times for different surface types:

  • Metal: Paint dry time for metal is typically lower than for other materials. Thin coats of spray paint on metal can be dry to the touch after only 10 minutes. However, it can take up to 24 hours for the paint to fully cure.
  • Plastic: Spray paint takes about 30 minutes to feel dry to the touch on plastic surfaces. If you can touch the surface without getting any paint on your hands or leaving any impression on it, then the paint has cured. Allowing 24 hours for the paint to cure on plastic items before using them is a good idea.
  • Wood: The length of time needed for spray paint to dry on wood varies more than for other surface types and depends on the type of paint, the thickness of each layer, and the temperature in the room. In most cases, however, spray paint on wood should be dry to the touch after about an hour; but again the paint may need up to 24 hours to fully cure.

How Can You Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?

If you want to ensure that you do not have to wait too long for the paint to dry, there are some things that you can do to make it dry a little quicker.

Here are some tips on how to speed up the dryer process:

Apply A Thin Coat

The surest way to get the paint to dry quickly is to apply a thinner coat rather than a thicker one. There is less paint to dry in a thinner coat, so the drying time is reduced quite drastically.

You can always add over another layer of paint in order to make it brighter or give it better coverage, but you can enjoy less drying time between coats.

Control The Humidity

If you can control the humidity in the area where you are painting the object, you can try to decrease the drying time. Lower humidity is best to dry spray paint quicker.

You could run a dehumidifier in the room to reduce the humidity in the air and to ensure there isn’t too much moisture.

If it is a rainy day outside, try to keep windows and doors closed, so that your object remains dry and does not absorb too much moisture.

Turn On A Fan

Fans can help to increase the rate of evaporation, and for certain spray paints, this can help it to dry must faster.

Try and keep in mind to clean up your workstation first before turning on the fan, as it could blow dust and debris onto the wet paint and ruin the effect of the paint.

It is also advised to only switch the fan on during the touch dry stage so that the fan cannot blow the paint too much and cause ripples or drips. The touch dry stage will mean that the surface of the paint is strong enough to not cause these effects.

Paint Outside

If it is a sunny, warm day outside, you could take your spray painting outdoors. You could even plan to paint on the next sunny day when the humidity is low.

The sun, slight breeze, and low humidity will all help the paint to dry quicker, and the benefit of painting outside is that there will be less mess on the floors and furniture if the spray paint misses the object a bit.

Does Paint Have To Be Completely Dry Before Adding Another Coat?

No, if you’re adding another coat, the paint does not have to be completely dry. Instead, you can spray on the next coat when it is only semi-dry, which will typically take about 5 minutes. The paint’s surface will be dry at this point, so the new layer will have something to stick to. However, it won’t necessarily be dry enough to touch, as the bottom layers of paint may still be wet.

If you only wait for the paint to be semi-dry between layers, you can substantially cut down the overall waiting time.

Spray painting tips

To maximize the best out of your spray paint wherever you may spray them, here are some tips that you should never overlook.

  • Ventilation: Make sure that you are only spraying outside and in a well ventilated, open space. You also must use protective masks when you use the spray paint.
  • Shake it off: You must shake off the spray paint can before use. In between, you need to shake it again every minute. This is done for the chemical mix to be in balance and for you to get the right color and volume out of the spray paint.
  • Adhesion and drying: The best temperature for adhesion and drying is at 68-85F. But the most ideal temp would be 75F and no humidity.
  • Coating: As a rule of thumb, the spray paint must be coated on the surface all within an hour. If this is not met, you need to wait for another 48hrs before re-coating or else, the surface would just wrinkle out.

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