How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry? Tips To Make Dry Time Faster!

Paint spray can be a great decorating option due to its versatility, affordability, and portability. The unique way of spray painting requires half the time and doubles the productivity compared to traditional brush painting. In particular, when you use multiple colors, it is important to let the layers dry after each coat.

Therefore, it is necessary for you to understand how long does spray paint take to dry? Using personal experience, we will also share tips on how to speed up the drying time of spray paint. Spray paint cans usually have a drying time listed on the back, and you may have to search for it since it is often small. However, this estimate isn’t always correct, as many factors may impact drying time for spray paint. 

How long does it take for spray paint to dry?

1. Impact of the Surface Material 

Painting on different surfaces will also change the drying time. A smooth surface will absorb less moisture and dry faster. On the other hand, a rough surface will require more drying time.

How long does spray paint take to dry on Metal? 

How long does spray paint take to dry on Metal

Metallic surfaces dry faster because they are not porous, and on average, it takes 10 minutes to dry. Environmental factors must be considered when dealing with metallic surfaces. Very hot temperatures and high humidity also prolong drying times.

How long does spray paint take to dry on Wood? 

How long does spray paint take to dry on Wood? 

Depending on the type of paint, the thickness of each layer, and the temperature, spray paint needs more time to dry on wood than on other surfaces.

Wood has a porous surface, so it usually requires multiple coats of paint because it absorbs moisture and ultimately affects the drying process. Generally, wooden surfaces take 1-2 hours to dry, and it is expected that wood will dry faster with water-based paint than oil-based paint.

How long to let spray paint dry on Plastic?

How long to let spray paint dry on Plastic

The easiest material to paint on is plastic. Usually, plastic surfaces take at least half an hour to dry after an application of paint. However, the paint coats might not reach the complete drying stage until they sat for at least three hours.

If the paint is completely dry, it won’t come off on your fingers, and you won’t leave an impression on it when touching it.

How long for spray paint to dry on Glass?

Painting on glass surfaces ( including mason jars, windows ) will require a very light touch, as the paint may run easily. The painting on glass can be difficult, and not letting the paint dry will lead to drip marks.

If you want to add another coat, wait for at least 15 minutes. However, The paint may take over 24 hours to dry completely.

How long to let the spray paint dry on Rubber? 

The rubber surface is highly porous, which means it requires a considerable amount of time to dry. You must apply the new coat after half an hour. Thus, you have to plan ahead, especially if you want to do multiple coats. A good 24 hours will be needed for the spray paint to dry completely. 

How long should spray paint dry on Cardboard?

In the same way as paper, cardboard’s porous and soft surface is an interesting choice for spray painting. Cardboard is the fastest-drying material.

The drying time for cardboard should not be more than 15 minutes in a well-ventilated environment. Ventilation is a great way to speed up the drying time of cardboard. 

What is the drying time for spray paint on a Car?

What Is The Drying Time For Spray Paint On A Car?

Most types of car paint require you to wait 20 to 40 minutes between coats. Plus, you should apply a primer 24 hours before applying a base or enamel-based paint. In addition, depending on your paint company and the coating layers, the time could differ. The spray paint will fully dry in 8 hours.

2. Paint types used in spray painting

The market offers a wide selection of spray paints, and each product has its unique construction, which can heavily influence the drying process. So, to find out which type of paint you should use, read through this section carefully.

* Enamel Paint 

If you use enamel paint right out of a tin, it will take quite some time to dry. Oil-based enamel paints have a thick consistency, so they usually dry in 8 to 24 hours under normal conditions.

* Lacquer Paint 

You will get a faster drying time if you use lacquer spray paint made from thermoplastic polymers. You can touch a dry surface within twenty minutes, but it takes about three to 24 hours to dry completely. 

* Epoxy or Polyurethane Paint 

Polyurethane or epoxy paints will be touch-dry in 5 minutes and completely dry within 1 to 2 hours. Waiting longer will result in a better and more durable surface.

3. Environmental and Weather Conditions

The temperature greatly influences how long spray paint takes to dry. Most paints perform best at temperatures of 65°-85° Fahrenheit. Hotter temperatures will not speed up drying time, and a much hotter day will negatively impact the drying process. However, extreme cold temperature can affect the consistency of paint and freeze the paint completely. 

4. Humidity

Another major factor that affects the drying process is humidity, and a low-humidity environment is usually preferred for painting projects. 

how long to wait between coats of paint?

The spray paint dry time consists of four steps. To figure out how long between coats of paint, you must know the stages of spray painting drying. 

1. A Dry Surface 

When the solvent evaporates, a thin layer forms on the paint surface. During this stage, you should be careful not to touch the sticky layer.

2. Touch Dry 

You may now touch the paint, but it will stick to your finger at even slight pressure. If it doesn’t stick to your finger right away, it may not mean it is dry.

3. Hard Dry

You cannot put pressure on the dry paint yet as it is dry. Fingerprints will still leave a mark on the color, although the paint is no longer sticky enough to stick to the finger.

4. Thorough Dry

It is ready to go when the paint is completely dry and can be pressed without breaking. Enjoy yourself after completing the task.

how long spray paint dry?

If you are in a hurry and need to use the painted area or item as soon as possible, here are some tips on making it dry faster. 

How To Make Paint Dry Fast?

* Using a thin paint coat

The paint coat should be thin so that it takes less time to dry. Do not coat over wet paint if you failed to get enough coverage the first time. Using thin layers makes it easier to avoid streaks and patches. 

* Use the heater or hairdryer

A warm workstation will allow the paint to dry faster. Hairdryers and heaters are ideal tools for increasing the temperature and reducing humidity for speeding up the drying process. However, staying too close to a thinner material may cause damage, so be careful. Keep in mind, too much heat will not dramatically speed up the process. 

* Work outside 

People usually asked, When does spray paint dry outside?

A sunny day is your best friend when you’re painting outside. In general, spray paint take about 10 to 15 minutes to dry outside. Also, you can start early in the morning so you can enjoy the weather and complete the project on time.

* Try proper ventilation

If you are working indoors, then the wind is your closest companion. It would be best if you use the fan to keep the optimal airflow. As a result of air circulation, the rate of evaporation increased. Thus, ceiling fans and stand fans can achieve the desired results. 

Make sure to clean the workstation of the fan to avoid dust and dirt that may come along with the wind and stick to the paint. 

Pro Tip: It’s better to use the fan only after the second stage of drying, known as touch drying.

* Coat with furniture polish 

With furniture polish, you can get the paint to dry quicker, and it won’t leave drip marks. After spraying paint on an object, spray the polish a few inches away and let it dry before applying another coating.


We hope you found our comprehensive article on how long spray paint takes to dry informative and valuable. In case you forgot, on a smooth and even surface the drying process is quicker. However, When a surface is uneven or rough, drying time increases considerably.

Additionally, you can use environmental factors to accelerate the drying process. One must remember that there isn’t a perfect day to paint, and you’ll probably never paint if you wait for all the conditions to be perfect. 

FAQs on How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

How long does it take for Rust-Oleum spray paint to dry?

When the temperature is above 450 degrees, rust-oleum spray paint may take 30 minutes to dry on most surfaces. Rain, snow, or high humidity will delay Rust-Oleum’s drying time. However, we have noticed that rust-oleum spray paint takes 2 to 4 hours to dry tack-free to fully dry in 24 hours.

Does spray paint dry instantly? 

Spray painting is much faster than brush painting, but the area you are painting should have good ventilation and lighting. In general, Metal is a smooth, fast-drying surface, and spray paint can be dry in as little as 10 minutes on a warm, sunny day with low humidity. A full dry takes approximately eight hours. You can speed up the drying process by using a space heater or painting outside on a warm day.

What are some ways to speed up spray paint drying time?

The easiest way to ensure that spray paint dries faster is to work outside and apply thin layers of paint. However, If you cannot avoid working indoors, then make sure the area is well-ventilated so the paint can dry quickly. Open the windows or place a fan in the room and direct it to blow on the freshly painted surface. 

Meet Your Hola Paints Author

Jennifer is an experienced professional working with paint sprayers, painting tools, and other supplies. She provides valuable painting tips for visitors according to her experience.