How Much Time The Spray Paint Takes To Get Dry

Spray paint is an excellent way to give your furniture a brand-new look. It is commonly used to restore the appearance of old machines, appliances, or furniture that have lost their shine.

The use of spray paint is also great as it is cost-effective to fix something rather than replacing it entirely. However, if you touch a fresh coat of paint, you could ruin everything, and you might have to start all over.

So how long do you need to wait??

To understand the answer to the problem of how much time will it takes for spray paint to dry completely, you must get yourself acquainted with the variables. It depends on the material of the surface that you are painting on, the type of spray paint you are using, the thickness of the colour, and stages of dryness itself.

Usually drying time depends on the material that is being coated and the number of coats it requires. If any object needs more than one coat than you have to let the first one dry. Here are some drying stages that will help you to analyze the time the object will take before you apply the second coat.

Drying stages:

· Surface dry: In this stage, there is only a single layer on the surface of the paint, which is quite sticky when it is being touched. 

· Touch dry: During this stage, the paint can come off when even a little pressure is applied, even those it doesn’t stick to your fingers.

· Hard dry: The coat of paint can still be damaged during this stage, but it won’t come off ultimately. 

· Thorough dry: This stage is about 24 hours after painting when your object is completely ready for use.

Drying depends on different materials:

While painting, you need to be very careful about the material of the object that you are painting. If you are not careful about that element, then you can destroy that object’s look and spill water on all of your hard work.

  Many different materials have different drying times, and you need to treat them accordingly. We have now listed some common elements and will discuss how much time they take to dry when they are being painted 

1) Cardboard

If you are fully aware, then cardboard is prone to accidental damage as it has a soft texture. This material has the fastest drying quality. It usually takes 15 minutes to dry when you are painting in a well-ventilated area.

2) Metal

Spray paints are widely used to restore many objects made of metals like doorknobs, cars, and refrigerators. If all metal objects are painted in a warm room with no or less humidity, it will just take 10 minutes to dry

3) Glass

Using spray paints on glass can be tricky, and if you will not give glass, it’s due time for drying, then it would have some drips marks. Make sure that you apply every coat as gently as you could and should wait for 15 minutes before proceeding to the next layer. Typically, glass takes 24 hours to dry fully 

4) Plastic

This is one of the smooth surfaces that can be painted. This material brings about 30 minutes to dry. But for the better result, it is recommended to leave it for at least 3 hours.

5) Rubber

You got to wait for like 30 minutes before applying the new coat because of its porous nature. Bear in mind that Rubber would not achieve it’s Through dry state in less than 24 hours.

Now when you know, that spray paint does take time to dry, but if you are in a hurry and want to speed up the process, then we have a solution to that as well. We have highlighted some factors that will definitely speed up the drying process and will help you to finish your painting in the required time

Have a look

1) Work Outside

A paint that has been done outside in the open air will definitely take less time than the one which is being done inside any room. Plan your painting on some warm day when there is no humidity. Also, try to start your portrait in the early morning; this will give you the advantage of the weather and give you ample time to finish.

2) Turn on fan

If you can’t avoid painting indoors, then at least make sure that you have enough ventilation and airflow in that room. You can even turn on the fan, and that will enable the single coat to dry faster, and you won’t have to suffer from the fumes of the paint as well.

3) Applying thin coats

Although this sounds so arduous, but obviously, thin coats will dry quicker than a thick one. Thinners layers also ensure a smooth finish without any streaks or patches.

4) Use of hairdryer

The hairdryer will decrease the humidity level and increase the temperature. Be careful while using a thinner material as you have to maintain some distance or else it would cause some damage.

5) Use of Furniture Polish

The wax-based furniture polish will let your paint dry quickly and without any drip marks. Use this furniture polish a few inches away from the object and give it some time to dry as well.

Then there are other factors as well that can affect your drying process. You must know them for having a smooth experience.

Factors that contribute to drying time

1).Environment factor

A high level of humidity can slow down your drying process regardless of the material that you are painting on. Besides that, painting in cold weather can cause issues with the consistency of the paint. Always select a warm room with low humidity to ensure that your colour takes less time to dry

2).Thickness of layer

As we have already mentioned that thick coat will not just help your painting to dry easily and quickly but also helps to gives it a perfect finish. Luckily spray paint gives you control in this regard at least than a brush. You can even mix paint thinner to have a lighter coat of paint and to have your purpose of speeding drying time fulfilled.

3).Type of spray paint

The formulation of the spray paint is also an essential factor that can alter your drying process. If we talk about the specifics, then we have polyurethane spray paint the best option in markets. It manages to give a hard look in about an hour but dries in 5 minutes.

After polyurethane, we have Lacquer which is the second-best option as it takes 8 hours to dry thoroughly and makes your object ready for use.

So, don’t lack patience. Give every coat its due time for drying and then check by touching an inconspicuous area with your finger. If you feel that there is no tackiness than it shows that your paint is dried and you can have a second coat.

Some spray paints have to get a cure as well for better results. To make sure if your paint is cured, you have to do the fingernail test. In an small area, press your fingernail into the paint. If it leaves an indent, then your paint is not completely cured. If no indent is seen and the surface is hard, your paint has cured, and your object is ready to use.


We all know how frustrating and irritating it can be to wait for the paint to dry. Either you are waiting to do second coat, or you want to use the item you have painted, patience seems to be some kind of impossible thing to remember. To decrease your wait time, ensure that you’ve purchased the right paint for your job.

Don’t forget to follow the instructions as we have mentioned and be aware of the warnings. In case if you forget, the rule of thumb is, on a smooth and even surface the drying process is quick, and on an uneven and rough surface, the time required to dry substantially increases.

If you want to accelerate your drying process, you can best use the environmental factor in our favor. Hopefully, you must have found our article informative enough, and perhaps you can enjoy the fruit of your labor.

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