Next Level Painting

Next Level Painting

Monday - Saturday

7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

How Long Does Paint Take to Dry & Cure?

How Long Does Paint Take to Dry & Cure?

When you hire a painting contractor, he will tell you when the coat of paint is ready. But when you undertake a DIY painting job, you don’t have more options than to read articles like ours.

When it comes to exterior painting, there is no big deal because paint tends to dry faster. But with interior painting, you should be careful because wet paint smells strong and you don’t want to ruin the fresh coat of paint. So, today, we’ll tell you how long does paint take to dry.

What Determines How Fast Interior Paint Dries?

How long does paint take to dry? Water-based paint is dry to the touch in 1 hour, and you can apply a second coat in 4 hours. But oil-based paint takes 8 hours to dry, and you must wait 24 hours before applying a second coat.

Type of Paint: Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Paint

Type of Paint: Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Paint

There are two main different types of house paint. The oil-based and the water-based paint. And the type will greatly determine the drying time of your coat of paint.

  • Oil-based paint dries to the touch in 6 to 8 hours approximately.
  • Water-based paint is dry to the touch in about 1 hour.

This is in case you undertake a DIY painting project. But since each paint is different, you need to read the labels in the can because there you will see the specific dry and recoat times.

Application of a Second Coat of Paint

African American Housewife Painting Wall with Roller

One of the things that determine how quickly paint dries is the application of paint.

If the paint is applied too thickly, it will take longer to dry. Or applying the second coat before the first coat of paint is dry will increase the drying time considerably and there is a high risk the paint will dry gloppy and uneven. That is why it’s important to wait the right time between coats before adding a second coat of paint.

  • For oil-based paint, you will have to wait 24 hours before it is ready for a second coat.
  • In contrast, water-based paint is dry and you can safely add a second coat in 4 hours.

But since each paint has different ingredients, we advise you to read the instructions in the can’s label to get a specific time.

Curing Time: When Is a Paint Coat Ready for Everyday Use?

Curing time is the process that paint undergoes to completely harden. Once your paint dries, your project may still not be ready for everyday use.

Usually, it can take weeks for the coat of paint to be dry enough to be washed or resist scratching.

Sorry for the unexpected news, but we recommend waiting one or three weeks before mounting anything or moving furniture back into place. This is not ideal, but it is necessary. The curing time will depend on the type of paint, humidity, and temperature in the room.

How long it takes to cure depends on the type of paint:

  • Oil-based paints cure in about 7 days.
  • Water-based paints cure in a week or two.
  • Latex paints cure in about 30 days.

So, don’t put your newly painted cabinet or dining room table into heavy rotation until the paint is dry and has fully cured so that it will withstand everyday use.

4 Other Factors that Influence the Drying & Curing Time

Proper Paint Tools and Technique

Man Using a Roller to Paint a Wall in Gray

The best way to make sure each coat of paint dries evenly is to use the right tools and apply a thin, even layer of paint with each coat. Using a paint roller will help distribute paint evenly and apply a thinner layer than a brush, which often holds more paint than needed, leading to unwanted drips. You can use a brush to paint corners or trim. But for large, flat surfaces, a roller will achieve the best result.


Paint During Spring and Fall when the Temperature is Warm and Dry

During winter it is nearly impossible to paint, even if it is indoors. What happens is that paint dries due the heat in the air, but it shouldn’t be too hot. So, we recommend painting during spring and fall when the temperature is warm and with low humidity.


Humidity is the opposite to dryness. So, the more humid the air in a room is, the longer paint will take to stick to the wall and dry. If you are planning to paint soon, you should consider getting a dehumidifier to reduce humidity level in the air to 50% or less.


Air is crucial for drying paint. So, if you don’t have enough airflow going in and out your room, you can expect paint to take longer to dry. So, if you have windows, you can open them to speed up the drying process.


Painting a wall is a challenging task for the average homeowner. But if you take the decision to paint a room on your own, you need to be careful about the type of paint you are using and the drying time. Also, be mindful of when you decide to paint. You can choose a week with good weather. Once the weather is fine, you need to pick the right type of paint. If you don’t have a lot of patience, you can pick water-based paint since it dries faster than oil-based paint. And make sure you apply a thin coat of paint, and then wait until the ideal time before adding the second coat of paint. But also keep in mind the factors that influence the drying and curing time like using the proper tools and technique, temperature, humidity level, and ventilation. Now that you know how long paint takes to dry and the factors that affect its curing process, it’s time you start your painting project. If you need help, click the following link to book our painting service in Modesto, CA.

Click on the Facebook icon to share this article!

Rate this post