How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry_Speed Fast

If you are searching for an answer to “How long does spray paint take to dry?” You should know that your answer will depend on the type of surface you’re painting. 

Spray paint has successfully made its way into every sector of life, from street culture to high art, from DIY projects to automobile engineering. Spray paint has presented us with a rapid, effective, and uncomplicated means of beautifying our workpieces at a fraction of the cost of using a spray gun. But as fast as spray painting makes our job, the drying time might be a tricky part.

Keep reading to find out more:

How Long Does it Take for Spray Paint to Dry?

In general, It takes 1-3 hours for the spray paint to dry. Spray paint dry time is primarily affected by the painting surface. Smoother and non-porous surfaces dry faster than their rougher and porous counterparts.

  • Fabric: 2-3 hours
  • Metal: 20 minutes
  • Plastic: 30 minutes
  • Wood: 3-5 hours
  • Glass: 30 minutes

For instance, when spraying paint on glass furniture, the drying duration will be different from spray painting a wooden sign.

But the good news is that you can always speed up the dry time. There are many ways by which you can quickly speed up the drying process. You can decide only to spray a thin layer of paint, take your painted item outside for air or bring it near a fan. If all these fail, there are other things that you can try. Stick around to find out more.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about spray paint drying. We’ll be discussing the drying time of spray paint on different surfaces, factors that can affect the drying time of spray paint, and many more.

Let’s get to it.

Drying Time of Spray Paint on Different Surfaces

Spray paint has given us the freedom to create masterpieces from any item we want. The ease that spray paints bring allows users to do the work in about half the time it would take if you were to paint it the normal way. A major hiccup in painting items is their drying time. 

If you are not careful, you might ruin your beautiful creation just because you didn’t calculate the drying time properly. Since we won’t want that to happen to you, we have decided to come up with this article to help you understand the drying times of different surfaces. Let us begin.


First, we have fabric. Painting on fabric is not a new thing. People create masterpieces on different cloth materials. However, the fabric to be painted on can influence the drying time. For example, a painting is done on silk fabric, and a wool fabric won’t dry at the same time. 

Also, the layers of spray paint you apply to the fabric might also affect the spray paint dry time. But in general, it should take about 2-3 hours to dry and about three days for the paint to be completely cured.


The quickest to dry are metal surfaces. This is because metal is non-porous. Spray paint on metal usually only takes 20 minutes to dry completely. Metal often takes less time to dry than other materials. However, spray paint thin layers on metal can be dry to the touch in as little as 10 minutes. However, the paint can take up to 24 hours to properly cure.


Spray paint takes around 30 minutes to dry to the touch on plastic surfaces. The paint has cured when you can touch it without getting paint on your hands or leaving a mark on it. However, you should allow 24 hours for the paint to set before utilizing plastic goods. It takes around 2-3 hours for it to completely dry.

Related: Best Spray Paint for Plastic of 2022


Spray paint on wood takes 3-5 hours to be completely dry at its best. However, you should know that the rate of paint absorption is affected by the hardness of the wood. The time it takes for spray paint to dry on wood varies and it takes more time than it does on other surfaces.

The duration of the drying period is also determined by the paint type, the thickness of each layer, and the ambient temperature. The paint may take up to 24 hours to fully cure.


Spray painting on glass is a unique experience that requires skill and expertise because the surface is smooth. Hence, paint on a smooth surface tends to run, drip, or smear.

To avoid this, apply the spray paint in thin, light applications for the best results. Allow ample drying time between coats. Your time can start anywhere, and It Usually takes 30 minutes to dry. To speed up the process, use airflow or heat. You may also cure glass in a toaster oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.


Since most cars are made of metal, it takes a relatively short time(30 minutes) for them to dry after being spray painted. But since there are different kinds of car paints, the drying time can differ based on the paint that is being used. 

After you’ve painted your car with a car paint gun, you’ll need to wait around half an hour to cure and another 5 hours to completely dry. But as we said, the drying period will vary depending on the layers and spray paint types used.


Aluminum is another type of metal. This means that it also takes about 20 minutes for the paint to properly dry on aluminum and about 24 hours for it to be fully cured.

Factors Affecting the Drying of Spray Paint

Even though we have already explained the drying time of spray paint on different surfaces, we want to show you a few more exciting things. Now we will discuss the factors that can influence the drying of spray paint. Keep reading to find out more.

Surface Material

We have already discussed how fast things dry on different surfaces but let us explain further. A tiny rule is applied here. It states that ‘the smoother the surface, the faster it will dry.’

Types Of Spray Paint

There is a variety of spray paints you can choose from. Each product has its unique construction. This can have a significant impact on how long the drying process takes. Let us look at 3 major spray paint types and their drying period.

  • Enamel Paint

Enamel paint dries in a matter of minutes. The rate of evaporation of the solvent is the main factor contributing to this. The presence of air in the formula causes the polymers to cross-link, resulting in a hard surface. Therefore, it takes about 10 to 30 minutes for the surface to dry after the treatment is completed. A complete dry takes typically 8 hours.

  • Lacquer Paint

Using lacquer spray paint will save you a lot of drying time. If you dilute the paint with water, you can get a similar result with some varieties of latex. This is because a thermoplastic polymer is used to make lacquer paint. The surface-drying procedure can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. It usually takes 3 hours for a firm dry.

  • Polyurethane Paint

Polyurethane paint dries the fastest. To use this paint, you must wait for a little while to allow the two ingredients (paint and surface) to react chemically. In five minutes, you’ll notice that the surface has dried. It usually takes around an hour for a firm dry.


In general, it can be difficult for the paint to dry when the weather is hot. This is because it can harm the paint’s characteristics, which affect its ability to cure and adhere to the surface. It may run away and lose its color.

Colder temperatures can speed up the drying process, but you must not make the space too cold. Colder temperatures can help things dry faster because they compel the water to evaporate faster.


Humidity is a critical component that alters the drying process as a whole. When it comes to painting, a low-humidity environment is usually preferred. The paint will dry faster in warmer conditions when it comes to heat. 

Wind Speed

The wind speed might affect how quickly spray paint dries depending on where you’re spray painting. Winds can rip the paint and cause it to run. It may also make it difficult for the spray paint to reach the desired location.

On the other hand, the wind can help the surface dry more quickly. It accomplishes this by evaporating the water in the paint. Light winds less damage spray paint. It also dries the water, allowing spray paint to dry faster. The wind can also lower the temperature of a region, reducing the time it takes for the material to dry.

Various Stages of Drying

Drying occurs in four stages for all paints. Understanding the stages of spray paint drying is critical for determining how long it will take the color to finish drying.

  • Surface Dry

Surface dry means that the paint’s solvent has evaporated. However, you must exercise caution because this layer may be sticky.

  • Touch Dry

You can now touch the paint layer, as the name implies. However, even light pressure on it will cause it to break and stick to your finger.

  • Hard Dry

The paint is dry at this point, but you should not apply any pressure to it. Applying pressure will leave fingerprints on the color even when the paint is no longer sticky enough to go on the finger.

  • Thorough Dry

Here it is completely dried. You can put pressure on it and touch it. 

Thickness Of Paint

The longer the paint takes to cure, the thicker it is. The thickness of the paint may be determined by the formula of the paint you’re using. This is why the ratio of paint thinner to actual paint to water is also important.

How To Make Spray Paint Dry Faster

Apply quick-drying spray paint

Use quick-drying spray paint like Epoxy Resins Spray Paint or Polyurethane Paint to help your work dry faster. 

Suitable temperature

Always try to follow the instructions on the spray paint can. There you would find the most suitable temperature where you can use such paint. It makes your work easier, more beautiful and faster too. 

Use dehumidifier

If your environment is humid, consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. Home is humid and it may be beneficial to open windows and doors while painting. If it is very humid outside, close the windows if possible. Low humidity is required for spray paint to dry rapidly. High humidity slows down the drying process and might even cause harm to your paint job.

Accelerated airflow

When working with paint, especially spray paint, proper ventilation is essential. Many types of paint, including most spray paint brands, contain hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It’s critical to open windows and allow plenty of airflows before you begin painting.

Using thin Layers

The general rule of thumb is to apply thin coats of paint on the surface when you’re painting. The shorter the dry period, the thinner the paint coats are. Spray painting is usually done in thin applications due to the technique used. You may, however, make mistakes that cause the paint to dry more slowly. 

Using furniture polish

Applying wax-based furniture polish to help spray paint dry faster is a little-known tip. Although the polish can be challenging to come by, it can make spray paint dry almost rapidly. It functions similarly to a matte sealant. For easy application, look for a wax-based polish that can be sprayed.

Cure in Oven

Spray paint can be dried in a toaster oven. Bake the spray paint for about two hours at 120 degrees Celsius once it is dry to the touch. Enamel paint that has been baked is an excellent choice. However, at high temperatures, some paints may bubble or break. Make sure you’re using paint that can be cured in the oven.

Work outside

Why not let Mother Nature assist in the drying of your paint? By painting outside on a great, bright day, you can control the setting without having to worry about the heat, humidity, or airflow. Furthermore, using spray paint outside on a warm day is the safest alternative.

Best Fast-Drying Spray Paint: Krylon 1602 12-Oz Fast-Drying High Gloss Finish Spray Paint

The Krylon 1602 is your best bet when it comes to buying fast-drying paint. This high-quality gloss paint will not smudge or smear across your surface. Krylon 1602 spray paint would dry in half the time, leaving you with an amazing work of creation. It is smudge-proof and moisture-resistant. It enhances the contrast of artwork with its brilliant matte finish. The best part? In 10 to 15 minutes, the surface will be dry to the touch. In 2 hours, it will be dry enough to handle.


How long should you wait between coats of spray paint? 

The intervals would vary according to paint thickness and surface, but you should give at least 15-minute intervals. 

Does spray paint dry faster at high or low temperatures?

When the weather is warm and sunny and the humidity is low, most spray paints tend to dry rapidly. The wind can also help dry your painting faster.

How do you spray paint perfectly?

Instead of one thick coat of spray paint, apply numerous thin applications to the object. Begin and end your spray pattern by releasing the tip at the end of each object pass. Make a smooth, side-to-side motion. With each pass, overlap your spray pattern by about a third.

Can a hot air gun help spray paint dry faster?

Because of the high temperatures that heat guns can achieve, they are used to remove paint from surfaces. On the other hand, a heat gun can be used to dry paint on some surfaces at a lower temperature setting. While using a heat gun to cure paint isn’t a quick answer, it can considerably reduce the time it takes for your paint to dry.

Does spray paint dry faster in the sun?

Spray painting in direct sunlight should be avoided. Spray paint might dry too quickly in the sun, resulting in peeling or markings. You want to work outside on a sunny day, but don’t leave the painting to dry in direct sunshine.

Is it necessary to add another layer of spray paint after completely dry?

All you have to do now is apply more paint to spots that are already spotty until you can’t see what has to be done any longer. After each coat has completely dried, you must paint the fresh one to replace the old one.

 How long does Rustoleum spray paint take to cure?

Because Rustoleum is a very thick paint, it takes about 2 to 4 hours to dry to touch. It would be entirely dry in 24 hours. In around 7 days, it would be fully cured.

Final Words

We have finally come to the end of this article. Now you know all there is about how long it takes spray paint to dry. The next time a friend asks you, ‘how long does spray paint to dry?’ you won’t hesitate to state the conditions involved. The drying time of spray paint depends on the type of paint, thickness, environment (temperature, humidity, wind speed). Knowing this, you can make appropriate strategies to speed up the drying of the spray paint: such as applying fast-drying paint, increasing to the right temperature (with a warm air gun), reducing humidity (with a dehumidifier), and accelerating the airflow rate (with a fan), or even curing correctly in the oven.

Read this post again and again to have more comprehensive knowledge. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *