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How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry On Metal, Wood, Plastic


One of the biggest concerns when you are painting is the amount of time it will take for the paint to dry.

You have to wait for paint to dry completely before you apply another coat, and most people hate to wait.

Have you ever heard the saying, “It is like watching paint dry”?

The best thing that you can do to end your waiting anxiety is understand the length of time it will likely take for each coat to dry so you can plan properly and ahead of time.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

How Long Does It Take Spray Paint To Dry On Plastic

Plastic chairs in white and red

Typically it takes half an hour or longer for a layer of paint to dry completely on a plastic surface. You have to remember that in about ten minutes the paint will be dry enough that you can touch it but it will likely still stick to your finger.

In about 20 minutes you can touch the paint without getting paint on your hands, but if you press firmly the paint will stick to your fingers or you will be able to see your fingerprint on the paint.

When spray paint is completely dry it will not come off the object onto your hands and you won’t leave any marks.

How Long For Spray Paint To Dry On Metal


The beauty of spray painting metal is that the paint layers will normally dry in ten minutes or less.

You have to apply thin coats of paint and you will likely have to paint the object several times to get complete coverage, but the wait time between layers is so low that you won’t be bothered by the extra work required.

How Long Does It Take For Spray Paint To Dry On Wood

Best Spray Paint for Wood Reviews 2019

It is difficult to estimate the exact amount of time it will take for paint to dry on wood because there are so many variables to consider. Most of the time paint will dry completely on a wooden surface in about one to 2 hours.

  • If using oil based paint it will take longer for the paint layers to dry than if you use water based paint.
  • If you apply the paint with a roller or brush it will take longer to dry than if you use a paint sprayer to apply the paint.
  • If you apply the paint in a thick layer to reduce the amount of layers you have to apply then it will take the paint longer to dry.
  • If the temperature is below 45 degrees the amount of time it takes for the paint to dry will be increased.
  • When you place a fan in the room where the paint is drying you will reduce the drying time because of the increased air circulation.
  • If the humidity levels are high then the paint will take longer to dry.

How Long For Spray Paint To Dry On Rubber?

Rubber is a unique material to be painting on but nevertheless, people do spray some rubber materials like tyres etc.

You should know that rubber is highly porous which is why it needs a long time to dry when paint is applied, minimum 24 hours. After this time you can apply a second coat if you wish to depending on how well the first coat has come out.

How Long For Spray Paint To Dry On Glass?

Painted wine glasses

First things first, can you really spray paint glass?

the answer is yes. But you have to be meticulous and a steady hand is required. Typically once you have sprayed an item of glass such as a vase, you must leave it alone for atleast a couple of hours.

If you don’t, you risk leaving finger print marks which won’t look good. For best results it’s advised you leave it overnight to dry fully.

How Long For Spray Paint To Dry On Cardboard?

Cardboard is another interesting choice of material to be painting on. We can think of children’s toy houses that could require some colorful painting.

Carboard is a highly porous material which means it has a quick drying time of around 10-15 minutes. It’s best to spray paint in a well ventilated area. If the project needs a re spray then you are good to do this after 15-30 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Make Paint Dry Faster?

To make your paint dry faster you should apply thin coats. Do not try to put the paint on thick hoping to use fewer coats and save time.

You want to apply thin coats, and provide ample ventilation and air circulation so the paint can dry faster. You can put a fan in the room and direct the fan so it blows on the newly painted surface.

How Long Does It Take For Rustoleum Spray Paint To Dry?

Rustoleum spray paint will dry in a matter of minutes on the majority of surfaces. 30 minutes is about the longest wait time you will have between coatings of this spray paint.

This time period is based on thin coats being applied in temperatures above 45 degrees. If it is raining, snowing, or the humidity levels are high it will take longer for Rustoleum to dry.

What Is The Difference Between Dry Time And Cure Time?

A spray paint’s dry time is the length of time between painting coats or the re-coat time.

On the other hand, cure time is how long it takes the paint to dry before your project is finished and you can use the object.

Final Thoughts

The amount of time that it takes for paint to dry is affected by the type of paint you are applying and the method you use to apply the paint. Your drying time is also affected by the weather and the air temperature.

When you start a painting project be patient, take your time, and enjoy the process. This will always give you a professional looking finish.

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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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