How Long It Takes Spray Paint to Dry & How to Speed up the Process

by | Dec 27, 2021

How Long It Takes Spray Paint to Dry

How long does it take to dry spray paint? And what are some methods of speeding up the process? This step-by-step guide will answer those questions and more.

The “how long for spray paint to dry on metal” is a question that many people have asked. The answer to this question varies depending on the type of paint and how thick it is.

Spray paint is often associated with rebellious youths, although it may be used for a variety of reasons in daily life. It’s often used to revive the look of vintage devices, appliances, or furniture that has lost its luster.

It’s fantastic since it’s a more cost-effective option to mend something rather than completely replace it. Instead of renovating your property or replacing your windows as they become outdated, just paint them over.

If you touch a new layer of spray paint, on the other hand, you risk ruining everything and having to start again. So, how long does spray paint take to dry, and how can you speed up the process?

How Long It Takes Spray Paint to Dry

How Long Does Spray Paint Take to Dry?

The amount of time it takes to dry varies on the cloth you’re using, as well as the number of coats, colors, and other factors. Also, if you wish to apply many coats, you must let the first one dry before proceeding. If you’re using more than one color, you should give the paint additional time to dry to prevent streaks.

Stages of Drying

You must wait for the paint to dry if you don’t want to spoil the work you’ve already done (and have to start again). Before the drying process is finished, paint passes through four steps.

  • Surface Dry — A thin coating will appear on the paint’s surface, which will be rather sticky to the touch.
  • Touch Dry – Even if the paint doesn’t stay to your fingertips during the touch dry stage, it might come off when you apply little pressure.
  • Hard Dry – During this phase, the paint coat may still be damaged, but it will not come off entirely.
  • After allowing the paint to cure for around 24 hours, the painted item is ready to use.

Time to Dry Depending on the Materialtime

Different materials may be more porous or susceptible to paint damage, so you must treat them properly. The amount of time it takes for a new coat of paint to dry depends on the surface you’re painting on. Cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, and rubber are the most prevalent, and I’ll go through them in greater detail.


Cardboard has a fragile feel that makes it vulnerable to damage, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll most certainly destroy it. The material, on the other hand, has one of the quickest drying durations. A coat of paint should dry in less than 15 minutes if you’re painting cardboard in a well-ventilated environment.


Spray paint is often used to refinish metal things such as doorknobs, refrigerators, and automobiles. Spray paint may dry in as little as 10 minutes if you’re in a warm environment with no humidity.


Painting on glass may be difficult, and not allowing enough time for the paint to cure might result in drip marks. Apply each layer as carefully as possible, and let it dry for at least 15 minutes before applying another. The paint, on the other hand, usually takes at least 24 hours to completely dry.


Plastic is one of the simplest materials to paint on and takes around 30 minutes to dry. However, you won’t be able to tell whether the paint coats are completely dry until you’ve let them set for at least 3 hours.


Due to the permeable nature of rubber, you should wait at least 30 minutes before adding another application. Also, bear in mind that it will take longer than 24 hours to reach the completely dry stage. You must prepare ahead of time if you wish to paint a rubber item.

How to Make the Process Go Faster

If you’re in a hurry and need to use the spray-painted chair right away, there are a few things you can do to speed up the drying process. Following that, I’ll go through a few pointers to make things go ahead more quickly.

Work in the Open

Working outdoors allows you to breathe fresh air while also allowing your paint to dry faster. You should, however, prepare ahead and paint on a warm day with low humidity. You should also aim to start early in the morning to take advantage of the weather and ensure that you have enough time to complete the task.

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If you really must work inside, at the very least switch on a fan to improve ventilation. This manner, the various coatings will dry faster, and you won’t get a headache from the fumes.

Use a hair dryer to dry your dryer

A hairdryer helps speed up the drying process by reducing humidity and raising the temperature. If you’re dealing with a thinner material, though, don’t go too near since you can harm it. It’s also possible to employ the cooling mode. If your hairdryer has one, use it, but don’t anticipate immediate results.

Using Thin Coats

Applying thin layers of spray paint may assist speed up the drying process, despite the fact that it may seem difficult. Thinner layers will help provide a more consistent finish, free of streaks and spots.

Make use of furniture polish.

If you use furniture polish (particularly a wax-based one), the paint will dry faster and leave no drop traces. After spray painting, spray the polish a few inches away from the item and let it dry for a few minutes before adding the next layer.

Other Contributing Factors to Drying Time

How Thick Is the Paint Layer?

It will take longer for the coating to dry if the layer is too thick. If you want the paint to dry fast, you must use the right quantity of paint. Fortunately, spray paint allows you more control than a brush when it comes to application. To get better results and a faster drying period, always apply a thin coat of paint. You may also dilute the paint using a paint thinner or solvent before beginning to apply it.

Environmental determinants

Regardless of the substance you’re painting on, high humidity might lengthen the drying time. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, might affect the consistency of the paint. Always work in a warm, low-humidity environment to ensure that your paint dries quickly.

The Spray Paint Types

The chemicals and formulae have a significant impact in reducing the amount of time it takes for paint coats to dry. Polyurethane (epoxy) spray paint is now the finest alternative on the market. The reason for this is that it may dry a surface in as little as 5 minutes and achieve a firm dry in as little as 1 hour. Lacquer paints come in second with a hard drying time of just 3 hours, whereas latex paints may take up to 8 hours to fully dry.

Last Thoughts

Spray paint is a convenient, inexpensive, adaptable, and efficient way to remove minor scratches and evidence of wear. When it comes to how long spray paint takes to dry, there are a few things to keep in mind. Temperature, weather conditions, and humidity levels, for example, are all important factors to consider while using it. However, the kind of material and paint you use must be taken into account as well.

You should also keep track of the drying phases to ensure that you aren’t merely layering on fresh coats while the base layer is still wet. Finally, work in thin layers to provide a rapid drying time and an even finish. Working with spray paint is really straightforward, and I hope that this tutorial assists you in achieving your desired outcomes.

Watch This Video-

The “how long does it take for spray paint to dry on concrete” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is not one-size-fits-all, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you make spray paint dry faster?

A: There are a number of ways to speed up the drying time for spray paint. One way is by using additives like alcohol or acetone, which will evaporate quickly and help dry the paint more effectively. Another option is to use an electric fan nearby your work area so that it blows air over your work surface in order to accelerate evaporation process.

How long does spray paint take to dry before clear coat?

A: This is a very difficult question to answer, as it depends on how thick the paint is and what type of clear coat you are using. Usually spray paints take anywhere from 1-2 hours before applying a second layer of paint over it.

How long do you let spray paint dry on metal?

A: This is a tough question to answer. It really depends on the paint and what it was sprayed onto.

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