If you want to transform a room quickly, paint it. Paint is available in as many colors as you would like. Further, it is an easy DIY task. The only drawback to painting is how long it takes for the paint to dry.

Different types of paint dry at different times. Oil-based paints are fully dry in about 8 hours. You also need 24 hours before you can apply a second coat. Latex or water- based paints dry in 1 to 4 hours depending on the surface painted. They are ready for a second coat after 4 hours of painting.

Depending on your project and the type of paint you use, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. They will give you a rough guide on how long it takes for the paint you are using to dry. Here are a few factors influence how long it takes for paint to dry.

There are different types of paint and each type of paint has its own drying time. See the table below for touch dry and second coat wait times.

SurfaceTouch Dry (Hours)Second Coat (Hours)
LatexWalls, Trim14
Emulsion paintCeilings24
Bituminous paintCement14


One of the most used types of paint is oil-based paint brands, which dries in about six to eight hours. If you have to apply another coat of paint, you will have to wait for 24 hours.

Latex paint

Is dry to touch one hour. For an extra coat of paint, you will only wait for 4 hours.

Water-based enamel

A maximum wait time of 2 hours ensures your paint is dry enough to touch and 4 hours before a second coat.

Emulsion paint

Is used for ceilings. It is water-based and is fully dry in about 2 hours.

Bituminous paint

Is the paint used on metals, concrete, asphalt, and even wood. It helps to protect these surfaces from the effects of the weather and corrosion. Surfaces with pores such as wood absorb it properly and ensure it lasts longer on the painted surface. Bituminous paint is fully dry in 2 to 4 hours.

How Long Does It Take For Paint To Dry

Factors That Influence Drying Times

Method Of Painting

There are several tools you can use to apply paint to a wall. You can spray, use a brush or a roller. You can expect the paint to dry at different times for each painting method used. Paint will dry faster if applied with a roller.

Paint Application Technique

A heavy coat of paint takes longer to dry than a light coat. For faster drying of paint, make sure to use only a light coat. If you don’t follow instructions on wait time before recoating, you will wait longer for your paint to dry. The paint on the wall will be too thick to dry speedily.

Your paint will dry faster if you apply two thin layers than a single thick layer. It will also be more attractive.

Start At One Wall

If you are painting a room, it is better to start on one wall. The first wall you paint will be ready for the second coat when you are through with the other walls. Starting at one wall means that you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry.

The Room’s Ventilation

Paint will dry faster in a properly ventilated room. Keep the doors and windows in the room open. There will be more air circulating in the room to speed up the drying process of the paint. It will also help to minimize the fumes from the paint.

You can also point running fans to the wall to help hasten the drying process.


It will take longer for the paint to dry in a room with high humidity levels. You can use a humidifier to reduce the amount of humidity in a room. Or, paint on days when the weather is hot and dry. It is the best solution for exterior paint jobs.


Extremely low or high temperatures impact the time it takes for paint to dry negatively. Paint dries faster and properly in mid-level temperatures.

Low temperatures cause your oil-based paint to thicken and be difficult to use. Water-based paints will freeze in low temperatures.

Extremely hot weather makes the paint dry too fast. As a result, it doesn’t stick to the painted surface as it should. Causing it to flake and fall off.

The Surface

You can paint on different surfaces such as wood, walls, or metal with either oil or water-based paints. Depending on the type of paint you use, you will have different drying times for different surfaces.

When you use water-based oils on concrete, your paint will be dry and ready for another coat in 2 to 4 hours. When you use it on plaster interior walls, it will be dry in 1 hour.

Oil-based paints on concrete surfaces dry in about 8 to 10 hours and you have to wait 24 hours before the next coat of paint. On plaster, you will have to wait for about 6 hours for the paint to dry.

How To Make Paint Dry Faster

Use A Hair Dryer

A hairdryer is a source of heat. Heat enhances the drying time of the paint.

Point your dryer to the slow-drying paint. Keep the hairdryer 2 inches away from the painted surface. Keep moving the dryer slowly over the paint until it dries.

Use Fans

Turn on your fan and point it to the surface of the paint you want to dry. It will help to enhance the rate at which the paint dries.

Paint A Thin Coat Of Paint

A light coat of paint dries faster than a heavy coating.

Don’t Use Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints are known for drying slowly. You can use water-based paint if you want your paint projects to dry faster.

Monitor The Weather

For the best drying times and results, carry out painting tasks in spring and summer. Make sure that on the days you paint, the temperatures are not too high. Extreme temperatures will cause your paint to dry too quickly and then fall off the walls. Don’t paint in winter as your paint will freeze.

Does Paint Dry Faster In Heat Or Cold

Hot or cold temperatures affect paint drying time. Heat will make the paint dry faster than cold. Heat causes the moisture in the paint to evaporate. Therefore, the paint dries much faster.

Cold temperatures make it hard for paint to bond to the surface. Therefore, it will not dry. Rather the paint will coagulate. You will have to look for a different time to repaint.

Extreme hot temperatures will make paint crack. Instead of making the room attractive, it will make it unappealing. Similarly, you will have to repaint.

Observe the weather before you start painting. Do not paint when the weather is extreme for the best results.

How Long Do You Have To Wait Between Coats Of Paint

If you want to ruin your paint job, apply your next coat of paint too soon. You need to give sufficient time for the first coat to paint before painting the second coat.

Make sure the initial coat of paint dries properly before applying another coat. This ensures the best results in your painting project.

How long you have to wait depends on the type of paint you are using. Water-based paints will dry faster than oil-based paints. Therefore you will apply your second coat of paint sooner if you use water-based paint than when you use oil-based paint.

Wait 24 hours before applying your second coat of paint when using oil-based paint. With latex or water-based paints, the paint is dry to touch in one to four hours. However, it will be ready for a second layer after about 6 to 8 hours of drying.

The weather will also determine how long you will wait between coats. In hot weather, it will only be a short while before you apply the second coat, especially when using water-based paints. Your first coat will dry faster due to hot weather.

In cold temperatures, moisture in the paint evaporates slowly. Therefore, you will wait longer before you apply the second layer of paint.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry

Spray paint is similar to all the other types of paint. How long spray paint takes to dry will depend on the surface painted, the type of paint used, weather conditions and, the number of coats applied.

Typically, spray paint dries in about 8 to 24 hours.

Spray paint has four stages of drying. Surface drying is the first stage. At this point, the paint forms a thin film on the painted surface. The paint is still wet to touch.

In the second stage, the paint is dry to touch but still not fully dry or ready for a second coat.

In the third stage, if you touch your paint, it may not flake but your fingerprints will be left on the paint. It is still not ready for an additional coat of paint.

In the last stage, your paint is fully dry. You can now add another layer of paint or use the room since the paint is completely dry.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry


You can add an oil-drying agent to oil-based paint to enhance its drying time. Siccative, also known as Japan drier is the most common drying agent for oil-based paints. Unlike water-based paints whose moisture content evaporates, oil-based paints oxidize and harden to dry.

Siccative hastens the oxidation and hardening process. Consequently, the oil-based paint hardens faster.

In painting, curing refers to when the paint is fully hardened and can be washed or touched. Depending on the type of paint used and the weather, it may take up to a month for the paint to be fully cured.

Oil-based paints cure in a week while water-based paints cure in a month. When your paint is fully cured, you can hang things on your newly painted wall without the paint cracking and falling off.

Paint dry time refers to the amount of time it takes for paint to become dry to the touch as described by paint manufacturers.

Depending on the type of paint you are using, when it is dry to the touch, it doesn’t mean that you can apply an additional coat of paint. When the paint is dry to the touch, it is not dry enough to add an extra coat.

For many water-based paints paint dry time occurs in three to six hours after painting. For oil-based paints, paint dry time occurs in about 8 hours.

Paint recoat time refers to the time it takes for paint to be completely ready for another coat of paint. It ranges from one hour to 6 hours depending on the type of paint you are using. If you apply an additional coat of paint before this time is up, it becomes soggy and takes longer to dry.

The best tool to use to apply paint for a quick drying time is a roller. When using a roller, make sure to paint in one direction and evenly. It will ensure that your paint won’t leave odd streak lines. A paintbrush applies a thicker coat of paint than a roller. Consequently, it will take longer for your paint to dry.

Is A Paint Brush Better Than A Roller

Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.