How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 8 hours

Painting is a popular hobby. Some love to complete DIY painting projects on vacations, whereas some love to complete painting their homes all by themselves when they have the time. People paint their interior or exterior walls for renovation purposes. The time taken by the paint to dry depends on several factors such as temperature, humidity, and the type of paint that one is using.

There are two types of paint that are used for both interior and exterior wall painting. The Oil-based paint is more durable and thicker. It is water-resistant and has a glossier finish. On the other hand, the Latex paint has a water-based finish and is thinner with a more matte effect.

how long does it take paint to dry

How Long Does It Take Paint To Dry?

Oil-based paint takes about six to eight hours to dry. It is considered a more durable and better-suited paint for areas with high traffic in your home. Latex paint is an easier paint for beginners. It takes about an hour or less to dry, however, the subsequent coats can be applied after every 4 hours.

Latex paint dries easily and gets ready for another coat in as little as four hours. This paint may be a good choice, if you are trying to finish the work in no time, due to its quick-drying period. While applying coats of paint, wait until the previous coat of paint is dry enough to be touched. Two coats for the recoating are recommended. However, make sure you let the second coat dry and go back over to touch up delicate spots on your walls.

In summary:

Oil-based8 hours
Latex1 hour

Why Does Paint Take So Long To Dry?

Several factors determine the drying period of a paint. One can attain a quicker dry time by properly applying the paint. This will prevent dripping and streaking, and save money. A high-quality paint roller can be used to evenly distribute a thin coat of both types of paint.

Most paints are dry within a few hours, but it takes considerably longer for the paint to be set up perfectly. This process may take more time for latex paints and oil-based mixtures and can take up to a month in rare cases. The paint has to fully attach to the surface to give a reliable finish and therefore it takes time accordingly. After this step, your wall is ready to be presented and you can arrange your wall furniture and photo frames.

Temperature is an important factor that influences the time taken for the drying of the paint. A home with air conditioning and heating will have a preferred temperature range for optimal drying, which is around 70° F. Avoid painting after it rains if you are painting outside of the home. Relative humidity of around 50% is preferred when painting outside.

To increase the rate of drying, you may use a fan or natural airflow that provides a constant blow of air to facilitate faster drying. A ceiling fan at low or medium speed or even an open window of a room can improve the drying process. High humidity is not a fan of good quality painting, because of which it is better to wait for a few days of dry weather and sunshine, witnessed in the spring and fall, or during the warm days of winter.


The type of paint greatly influences the time taken by the paint to dry. Oil-based paints take longer to dry. This paint type takes about six to eight hours. Latex is also known as acrylic paint, and it takes only about an hour to dry, in contrast to oil-based paint.

The product recommendations at the back of the paint will give you an idea of the temperature range and tools required to paint walls with no difficulties at all. Try to avoid humid climates and stick to warm or cold days to paint.


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