Have you ever wondered how to make spray paint dry faster? It seems like I am always spray painting things (like this cool vase, or this personalized planter) and I can’t stand when it takes forever to dry.
There are a few factors that go into how long it takes to dry in the first place. If you want a breakdown of spray paint drying times based on material, finish & type you can find it all here.
Regardless of recommended drying time, there are actually a lot of things you can do to help speed up the drying process.
The longer it takes for your spray paint to dry, the more chances there are for particles like dust, grass, etc to stick to the surface.
Once you have mastered the art of how to spray paint, you’ll want to learn how to make it dry faster so that you can keep your projects moving along. Here are all the tips and tricks you need to know on how to make spray paint dry faster.
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USE A FAST DRYING SPRAY PAINT
The most obvious way to speed up the drying process is to use fast-drying spray paint.
One of the best is Krylon Rust Protector. This spray paint dries in 8 minutes.
Another one of my favorites is Rustoleum 2x Coverage. This paint and primer in one not only has great coverage but is dry to the touch in 20 minutes.
APPLY A THIN COAT OF PAINT
If you already know how to spray paint, then it’s no secret that the thinner your paint coat is the quicker it dries.
Since it usually takes a few coats to cover with spray paint, it’s tempting to spray it on thick. Doing this will increase the dry time tremendously.
Remember, the thinner the coat the quicker it dries. So make sure to spray a few thin coats to help your spray paint dry faster.
One of the best-kept secrets to help dry spray paint faster is to use wax-based furniture polish. The furniture polish works like a sealant and can make spray paint dry almost instantly.
Since it acts as a sealant, make sure this is the last step you do once all the layers of spray paint are on.
Spray the entire surface with furniture polish in thin layers. Allow the polish to dry for about 5 minutes. Then, you want to gently wipe off any excess polish with a soft rag.
Gently touch the item with your finger, if it comes away clean & dry you are safe to handle the object.
KEEP THE AIR FLOWING
I know it seems obvious, but having good airflow is extremely important to helping speed up spray paint drying time.
If you must spray paint indoors, make sure to keep the windows open to help get the air flowing.
KEEP A FAN ON TO FURTHER HELP CIRCULATION
While it’s great to have the windows open, you can further circulate the air with a fan. If you are spray painting in the garage, you can use a fan as well.
Use a box fan, ceiling fan, or floor fan near the window at medium speed to make spray paint dry faster.
Then, keep the fan running while the object dries to help increase the rate of evaporation in the paint.
Just be careful. If the room you are in has a lot of dust, the fan could kick it up and end up sticking to your paint. Also if you place the item too close to the fan you could end up ruining the paint job.
RUN A HEATER NEAR THE OBJECT
Another great way to add extra airflow is to use a heater. In fact, you can use a fan and a heater together.
The heater can help reduce humidity levels which will lead to faster drying time.
It’s best to paint when the weather is warmer, but sometimes needing to spray paint when it’s cold outside is unavoidable. In this case, warm up the room with the heater before you start painting. The higher the temperature in the room, the more quickly your paint will dry.
Once the space has warmed up, keep the heater running near the object you have painted and you will easily shave a few hours off the drying time.
Keeping humidity down when spray painting is crucial. In fact, painting in high humidity is one of the biggest spray painting mistakes you can make. Humidity slows down the drying process and can ruin your project by creating drip marks.
The best way to combat this problem is to spray paint when the humidity levels are between 50-70%.
If you can’t wait for a low humidity day, there are a few things you can do to help decrease the humidity.
First, consider using a dehumidifier. Bring your item inside and run the dehumidifier to help keep the moisture out of the air.
If you don’t have a dehumidifier, see if your A/C unit can do the trick. Many modern air conditioners have a dry mode on them. This is a function that allows you to keep the air dry on rainy high moisture days.
It essentially acts like a dehumidifier by removing the extra moisture in the air.
PAINT OUTSIDE at the beginning of a warm, dry day.
In a perfect world, the weather would cooperate with us when we are spray painting!
Let Mother Nature help when she can. Plan on spray painting on a warm sunny day. Hotter temperatures help speed up drying time.
It’s best to begin in the morning to ensure the object has plenty of time to dry.
CURING SPRAY PAINT IN OVEN
Many people ask if you can dry spray paint in the oven. While you can use a toaster oven, you NEVER want to use your regular oven.
When spray paint dries it can release harmful chemicals that can adhere to the inside of your oven. This would cause it to release onto the food you cook in the future.
If you want to use this process, use a toaster oven that’s sole purpose is to dry paint.
In that case, you want to wait until the item is dry to the touch, and then bake it at 250 degrees F for about two hours. Just make sure you are using paint that is safe to cure in an oven.
You can use a heat gun to make spray paint dry faster but you need to be careful. On a high setting, these are used to remove paint so make sure to put your heat gun on a low setting.
Make sure to hold the heat gun 2 inches from the surface and keep it moving to ensure the temperature spreads evenly.
Always follow safety precautions when using a heat gun.
If you don’t have a heat gun, a hairdryer will work as well. This works well with smaller projects.
Just make sure to keep the hairdryer moving back and forth. Also, don’t get too close to the item. You want to keep it about 2-4 inches away so as not to damage the surface. If you get too close you can end up causing the paint to blister, crack, or drip.
Infrared heat lamp
If you find yourself painting a lot and wanting to speed up the drying process, an infrared heat lamp can be a great thing to have!
These heat lamps actually warm up the object instead of just the air. This greatly helps the cure time. Here is a great article that breaks down the benefits of infrared heat lamps for paint drying.
Although spray paint drying times can vary, there are many ways to speed up the process. Now that you know how to make spray paint dry faster, it’s time to start working on your next project!
Hopefully, you have picked up some good tips on how to make spray paint dry faster. If you use fast-drying spray paint, along with good air circulation and low humidity your projects will be dry in no time.