This post has affiliate/referral links. Learn more.
With an ever-rising trend of DIY home décor, the number of people who opt to paint their own homes has never been higher. Though painting itself can be a long and cumbersome process, nothing is as torturous as waiting for your paint job to dry.
In the bustle of your daily life, a slow-drying paint job means extended exposure to wet paint. This means the risk of accidentally getting paint on yourself, your clothes, and anyone else you happen to interact with.
If you’ve taken that impulsive step and now have the hue of your dreams seeped into your walls, fret no more about the long wait until you can move your things back in. Here’s all you need to know about how to make paint dry fast.
How Long Does It Take for Paint to Dry Normally?
When you want something to dry faster, you need to know how long it takes to dry normally first. But even before that, you need to know the kind of paint you’re working with.
There are several paints that are apt for interior use including acrylic, oil, vinyl, lime, silicate, and even cement paints.
However, in any general-access DIY store, your options are typically between acrylic and oil paints. If you’re feeling particularly daring you could also try spray paints.
Out of these options, your fastest route to a fully painted room would be via latex or acrylic paints, at two to three hours.
The slowest of the lot are oil paints, taking over eight hours to fully dry. However, they’re still preferable over spray paint simply. This is because the application of spray paint takes far too long.
The material or base of the wall also plays a role in how fast your paint dries. Acrylic is fairly easy-going and can dry at an almost uniform speed on any base. Oil paints are far more choosy.
An easy way to set up faster drying in oil paints is to use an acrylic base. Oil also dries faster on smoother surfaces and wood, than say on concrete or popcorn plaster.
All in all, taking both the room prep and painting process into consideration, your paint job will safely take up to 24 hours to finish, depending on the paint of your choice.
How to Make Paint Dry Fast
While there are some specifics to make oil or acrylic paints dry faster respectively, the overall technique of how to make paint dry faster is pretty universal.
Here are five quick tips to keep in mind when painting so that your walls are dry and finished as fast as possible.
1. Optimum Circulation for Freshly Painted Rooms
Before you even set up your painting stations, you want to make sure the room is very well-ventilated. Open up all the windows and have your vents running at high.
If you have a ceiling fan or even a standing fan, keeping them running as well.
This is not just important for your paint’s drying speed, but also for your health. Most paints for indoor use are safe. However, extended exposure to paint fumes in a room without circulation can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.
2. Control Humidity
Humidity and circulation go hand-in-hand. Improved circulation means lesser humidity, which in turn means your paint will dry faster.
Aside from this, decreased humidity also helps prevent any paint drips that would otherwise ruin the finish.
It also helps to look at the weather forecast in advance and settle on the least humid day to begin your paint job. In the case that you live in a particularly humid region, using a dehumidifier would also prove quite effective. You can also find easier, user-friendly options like DampRid.
There are also several other ways you can make your very own dehumidifier, in line with the spirit of DIY. Rock salt, baking soda, or even charcoal are highly hygroscopic (they can absorb moisture from the air) and make for fantastic natural dehumidifiers.
3. Thin Coats of Paint Dry Faster
Keep your coats light, and you’ll be done in no time. This approach to painting not only allows your walls to dry faster but also allows you to be able to plan the paint job better over a series of days. This is ideal for individuals with tight schedules, who can’t just take a day or two off and power through.
This also allows for the paint job to be neater and more even. Multiple, even layers make for a far better finish than one thick layer.
And the best part of keeping up with thinner coats is that you don’t even need to wait until the first coat is fully dry before putting on the next.
This makes catching and fixing mistakes in prior coats far easier and time-effective.
4. Section your Walls When Painting
If you chose to paint your walls consecutively, you almost certainly will get paint on yourself. And while you’re most probably willing to sacrifice the ratty t-shirt you use for your arts-and-crafts projects, it’s a hassle that can be easily avoided.
Paint your walls either in sections or alternately. This will allow you to paint without the worry of getting anything on yourself and will save you the effort of having to repaint sections that you accidentally touched and ruined.
This system also helps to get the job done faster as you add second or third coats on alternate sets while the other set dries.
5. Drying and Heating a Painted Wall
If all of the above tips aren’t bringing you the results you’d like, it’s time to turn up the heat—quite literally.
If your paint job has a deadline or if it is drying unevenly, one of the most effective tools to ensure a speedy dry is a hairdryer.
Keep the dryer nozzle at least two inches from the coat and evenly cover the entire demarcated surface, with air on medium.
You can also use a radiator or a portable heater, but make it a point to check regularly on the surface being dried, as overheating can cause the coat to crack and chip.
Should You Sleep in a Freshly Painted Room?
Should you spend the night in your freshly painted room? Absolutely not. All paints, even the safer water-based options, have solvents in them that are made from mineral oil.
Even short exposure to these solvents can lead to irritation, especially in open membranes like the eyes or the mouth.
When you sleep, your breathing deepens and slows down, meaning that your exposure to solvent fumes increases significantly.
At this level of exposure, your body’s reaction to the fumes can be far more severe, with symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, respiratory issues, and in some extreme cases, even fatality.
Takeaway – Faster Paint Jobs for Everchanging Aesthetics
And there it is! Use the above five tips and add to your knowledge base of how to make the paint dry faster.
This will not only help make your paint jobs smoother and more time-efficient but will enable smarter executions of all your future projects that involve painting.
Your home is your own personal space—your refuge from the world, your asylum in the chaos of life. Take the time to make it your own. Take the time to paint it in your colors. You’ve got the execution covered.