How long does spray paint take to dry? Unfortunately, the answer is – it depends! In general, most spray paints will be dry to the touch in 30 minutes and fully dry in 24 hours.
However, there are many factors that play into how long it takes to dry. These include; the humidity and temperature conditions, what material you are spraying, what type of paint you are using, and the type of finish you want.
Also, how thick or thin you apply the spray paint will affect dry time. Thin layers will dry faster than thick layers.
Here we will break down each of these factors so that you will have a good idea of how long it takes to dry.
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Ideal weather conditions for spray paint to dry
One of the factors that determine how long it takes spray paint to dry is temperature and humidity. Most drying times are based on 70 degrees F and 50% relative humidity.
If you find yourself spray painting in cooler conditions, you will want to allow more time for the paint to dry. If you are in warmer conditions the paint will dry faster.
UNDERSTANDING DRY TIME STAGES
In order to understand spray paint dry time, you must first understand the different dry time stages. Here are the four different drying stages and what they mean.
This is where the solvent of the paint evaporates and the top surface is dry. The paint will stick to your fingers if you try to touch it.
Although the paint might not stick to your finger at this point, any light pressure will cause the paint to come off.
Hard Dry – SAFE TO HANDLE
The paint has gotten harder and will not come off unless there is a lot of pressure, but it is still possible.
Thourough Dry (Cure)
Cure time is when the paint has reached its maximum durability. At this point, the paint is completely dry and ready for use. The surface will be durable enough for you to put objects on it, wash it, or just use it in general.
Related: 15 Ways To Get Spray Paint Off Skin
how Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry By Material
Depending on what type of material you are painting, you can expect dry times to be different. Materials that are more porous typically take a longer time to dry.
Here is a good idea of how long you can expect it to take, granted you are painting in ideal conditions with thin coats.
Under ideal weather conditions, most spray paint will dry on wood in 1 to 2 hours.
Since wood is such a porous material, ofter it requires many coats of paint. You can recoat in 20-30 minutes and the wood will be cured within 24 hours.
Spray paint dries very quickly on metal. You can expect it to be dry in about 10 minutes especially in warmer weather.
Spray paint on plastic dries to touch in 20-30 minutes, is dry enough to handle in 2 hours, and fully dry in 24 hours.
Most spray paint cans say you can use them on plastic, but from personal experience, I would recommend one that is formulated especially for plastic-like Rust-Oleum Specialty Plastic or Krylon Fusion. Otherwise, you will run into issues like the paint running, bubbling, or cracking. Instead of just sticking, these spray paints actually fuse with the plastic surface to create a super-strong bond.
Cardboard is one of those materials that takes very little time to dry. You can expect cardboard to be dry within 15 minutes of spray painting it.
Fabric spray paint dries to the touch in 1 hour and is safe to handle in 2 hours. Fabric will be fully dry in 24 hours but wait at least 72 hours to wash.
It typically takes 24 hours for spray paint to fully dry on glass surfaces.
Spray painting glass can be tricky since it can run, drip, or streak the surface easily. Wait 15 minutes in between coats, and make sure to use light passes.
Appliance spray paint dries tack-free in about 2-4 hours and can be handled in 5-9 hours.
If you don’t recoat within 30 minutes then you should wait at least 1 week before adding another coat of paint.
Since rubber is extremely porous, it does take a bit longer to dry. You can expect spray paint to take 24 hours to dry on rubber surfaces.
Spray paint for vinyl is dry to the touch in 10 minutes but isn’t ready to handle for 1 hour. Also, it takes 24 hours to fully dry.
Wicker will be dry to the touch in 20 minutes, and fully dry in 1 hour after spray painting.
How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry By Finish
The type of finish you are going for plays a huge part in dry time when it comes to spray paint. Different finishes require different dry times. Here are some of the most popular finishes and how long they take to dry.
General-purpose spray paint is dry to the touch in 20 minutes. You can handle it in 1 hour, and it will be fully dry in 24 hours.
Dries to the touch in 20 minutes and is dry enough to handle in 1 hour.
If you don’t recoat within an hour, then you should wait 24 hours before recoating.
Mirror spray paint dries completely in 5-10 minutes. It may be recoated at any time.
Glitter spray paint dries to the touch in 20 minutes, to handle in 1 hour, and fully dry in 24 hours.
Dries tack-free in 20 minutes and can be handled in 1 hour. Recoat within 1 hour or wait until after 24 hours.
When using a primer spray paint, it will be dry to the touch in 30 minutes. However, full adhesion and hardness develop in 7 days.
Hammered spray paint is dry to the touch in 30 minutes. It is dry enough to handle in 1 hour and fully dry in 24 hours.
Dry to the touch in 15 minutes and is fully dry in 24 hours.
Rustoleum American Accents Terra Cotta dries to the touch in 3-4 hours and is ready to handle in 5-6 hours.
Dries to touch in 15 minutes, dry enough to handle in 1-2 hours, and fully dry within 48 hours.
Dries to the touch in 3-4 hours and to safe to handle in 5-6 hours.
Tub & Tile spray paint is dry to the touch in 15 minutes. You can handle it in 1 hour and it takes 3 days to fully cure.
Dries to the touch in 15 minutes, is ready to handle in 30 minutes, and is fully dry in 24 hours. Apply a second coat within 1 hour or wait 24 hours.
Completely dry in 5-10 minutes.
Frosted glass spray paint is used for shower doors, glass windows, skylights, greenhouses, etc. It creates an etched glass appearance that allows light to transmit through the surface.
Dry to the touch in 30 minutes. It will be dry enough to handle in 2 hours but takes 7 days to fully cure.
Allow 24 hours to dry.
Rust reformer instantly turns rust into a protected paintable surface. Great to use on old rusted chairs etc.
Dry to the touch in 30 minutes and dry enough to handle in 24 hours.
Dry to the touch in 1 hour and cure in 24 hours.
If you want to clear coat your project using a water-based polyurethane you can expect it to dry tack-free in 1 hour and be ready to handle in 1 1/2 hours.
How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry By Type
There are many different types of spray paint and some dry quicker than others.
General-purpose spray paint will dry in 20 minutes, be ready to handle in 1 hour, and completely cured in 24 hours.
High heat paint is great for grills, wood-burning stoves, engines, and other objects that are exposed to high temperatures.
High heat spray paint is dry to the touch in 30 minutes and can be handled in 1-2 hours. I recently used high-heat paint to paint the inside of my fireplace.
Striping spray paint can be used to create lines on grass, concrete, asphalt, soil, and more. It takes less than 30 minutes to dry.
Dries to the touch in 15 minutes and dry enough to handle in 1-2 hours.
Craft & Hobby Spray Paint
Dry to the touch in 20 minutes and safe to handle in 1 hour.
Dries to the touch in 2-4 hours and can be handled within 5-9 hours.
Dries to the touch in 15 minutes, ready to handle in 1-2 hours, and is fully dry in 24 hours.
HOW LONG DOES SPRAY PAINT TAKE TO DRY BY brand
Spray paint dry times vary slightly by brand. These estimates are based on ideal temperature and humidity conditions as well as their line of general-purpose spray paint.
rustoleum spray paint dry time
Dry to the touch in 20 minutes and safe to handle in 1 hour.
how long does Behr spray paint take to dry?
Dry to the touch in 15 minutes.
how long does Valspar spray paint take to dry?
Dries to touch in 30-40 minutes.
how long does Krylon spray paint take to dry?
Dry to the touch in 20 minutes safe to handle in 2 hours.
Dries tack-free in 30 minutes and can be handled after 1 hour.
How long to wait in between coats
Most spray paints can be recoated within 5-10 minutes of applying the first coat.
DECREASE DRYING TIME
If you want to learn how to decrease spray paint drying times, then check out this article on the best tips to help spray paint dry faster.
Not waiting for spray paint to dry is one of the biggest spray painting mistakes people make. I hoped this gave you a good idea of spray paint drying times. Since drying times can vary so much by the product, the best way to find the dry time is to read the back of the can.
If you are like me and have a hard time reading such small writing, you can usually find the technical datasheet for the product you want to use online.
Also, it’s also better to wait a little longer to make sure everything is fully dry as to not ruin your project.
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