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How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

Whether you’re using it to paint a bike, touch up furniture, or are getting into home decor, spray paints can be super versatile and easy to use.

However, if you’ve never used spray paint before, you might be curious to know: How long does it take spray paint to dry?

How long does spray paint take to dry

In this article, I will cover some key information about spray paint, including how long it takes spray paint to dry.

Keep reading to find out more.

When it comes to painting anything, you will need to be aware of the four stages of drying to ensure the overall look of your project is as seamless as possible.

The Stages Of Drying

All types of paints go through the stages of drying. In order to determine how long it will take the color to finish drying, a basic understanding of the drying stages is essential.

1.Surface Dry

This is the rapid drying of the surface of a paint film while the paint between it and the substrate remains wet.

2.Touch Dry

At this stage, the paint film no longer feels sticky when lightly touched. However, when you apply even a tiny bit of pressure, the paint is going to stick to your fingers.

3.Hard Dry 

When the paint reaches this stage, it is dry but you still cannot apply pressure to it. Applying pressure will leave fingerprints on the surface, although the paint will no longer stick to your fingers themselves.

4.Thorough Dry

The drying process is finished. You can touch it, and place pressure on it without the worry of the paint transferring or leaving fingerprints.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

How long spray paint takes to dry comes down to a few variables. 

These include:

The Surface That You’re Spray Painting 

The first variable you will need to think about when considering the dry time is the surface that you’re painting.

How long spray paint takes to dry comes down to a few variables. Different surfaces have different textures, and the texture of a surface can largely affect the dry time of paint.

Generally speaking, the smoother the surface, the less time it will take to dry.

The Type Of Spray Paint That You’re Using

Another variable you will need to take into consideration when estimating the dry time for spray paint is the type of spray paint that you’re using.

There are a variety of different spray paints available on the market, and the construction of each paint will play a significant role in how quick the drying process is. 

Below are a few types of different spray paints you will come across.

Epoxy or Polyurethane Paint

Epoxy or polyurethane paint is the fastest drying spray paint available. In as little as five minutes, you will be able to see the surface dry happening and a hard dry typically takes an hour.

Lacquer Paint

Lacquer spray paint dries fairly quickly, with the surface dry taking as little as three to five minutes and a hard dry taking around three hours.

Enamel Paint

Enamel spray paint begins to dry within the first few minutes of application. After completing the application, it takes between ten to thirty minutes for a dry surface. It usually takes 8 hours for a full dry.

How Can You Make Spray Paint Dry Faster?

How long does spray paint take to drys

If you’re under tight time constraints, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your paint dries faster. These include:

Apply A Thin Layer Of Paint

This might sound simple, but applying a thin layer of paint is a good way to ensure that your spray paint dries more quickly as it means that there’s less paint to dry.

However, when using a thin layer of paint, you might find that there are a few patches that haven’t got enough coverage. Although it might be tempting to cover these patches with another layer of paint, you will need to make sure that the paint is completely dry before you add another layer of paint.

Run A Heater Near The Project

When it comes to paint drying, heat is good, and the cold is bad. The warmer you can make the room where you’re drying your project, the quicker it will dry.

You can either turn up your central heating or run a space heater directly next to your project to speed up the drying process. You could even try using a hairdryer to help it, but this will take significantly longer as you’ll only be able to dry the paint in small patches at a time.

If you’re painting outdoors, make sure that you choose a sunny day to take advantage of the strong sun beams. This will help dry your project at a much quicker rate than if you were to choose a freezing cold day in the midst of winter.

Choose A Dry Day Or Decrease The Humidity Inside To Allow The Project To Dry

Humidity can have a significant effect on the drying process. If you’re planning to paint outside, make sure that you plan ahead and check the weather forecast.

You will need to pick a day with ideal conditions if you’re under a tight time constraint, meaning that you should pick a warm, dry day to carry out your painting project.

If you’re carrying out your project indoors, running a dehumidifier can greatly help to reduce the level of humidity in the room and therefore help the drying process along. If you’re spray painting furniture or a bike, for instance, you will want to place it next to the dehumidifier as it dries.

In Summary

How long your spray paint will take to dry comes down to a few variables such as the surface and the type of paint. 

In addition to this, there are a variety of ways that you can help your project to dry faster. 

For the best results, always make sure that you have allowed the layer of paint to completely dry before you attempt to add another one.

Have fun and good luck with your spray painting project!

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About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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