How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

Spray Paint

Last Updated on August 1, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Spray paint dries in as fast as 10 minutes. It can take 1-2 hours to dry to touch and up to 24 hours to dry completely. However, some factors determine how fast spray paint can dry like humidity, temperature, and the thickness of the paint layer.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

Type of Spray PaintTouch Dry TimeHandle Dry TimeFull Cure Time
Acrylic Spray Paint20-30 minutes2-3 hours24 hours
Enamel Spray Paint1-2 hours4-6 hours24-48 hours
Lacquer Spray Paint20 minutes1-2 hours24 hours
Polyurethane Spray Paint1-2 hours4-6 hours7 days
Epoxy Spray Paint3-4 hours6-8 hours5-7 days

How Material Affects The Rate At Which Spray Paint Dries.

1. Metals

Metals are nonporous, therefore take a longer time to dry in comparison to other materials. The primer coat takes around 15 minutes to dry to touch. However, waiting for at least one hour before adding a second coat is advisable. 

Before painting, you should clean and scuff the sand, then apply the primer coat. After waiting for one hour, and again to apply the second coat for the best results.

2. Plastics

Plastic is another nonporous material that takes a relatively long time to dry, compared to wood. However, plastic does not go well with regular spray paint. For this reason, spray paint-producing companies manufactured special paint just for plastic. A good example is Krylon Fusion.

This particular spray paint dries after about 15 minutes. It dries to touch after about 2 hours. If you need to paint another coat, then you should do it after 2 hours. For this plastic spray paint to be fully chip-resistant, it takes up to seven days.

3. Wood

Wood is a very porous material, and it takes less time to dry since it absorbs paint. If you do not intend to sand between layers, wait for ten minutes before repainting. If you are planning to sand between layers, you should wait for about 30 minutes to sand lightly then repaint.

4. Furniture

Painting on furniture is just the same as painting on wood. The only difference is that the furniture has old paint. So it would be best if you sanded it down smoothly before applying primer and lightly sand again. After this, you are now ready to paint. 

Most furniture will be dry to the touch within 10 minutes, and you can repaint after 10  minutes if you don’t need to sand. If you want to sand between layers, it is best to wait for 30 minutes before lightly sanding and painting.

5. Cardboard

Cardboard is another very porous material, so it will dry to the touch within 10 minutes. If you are not planning to sand between layers, you can comfortably paint another layer in 10 minutes. 

6. Glass

Glass is a special material because the paint will not stick around waiting to dry. If the Glass is wrongly placed, then the paint will flow all over. For this reason, it takes more time to dry and needs special attention.

You should paint very lightly between coats so that the paint can dry well and give you a great finish. Glass can take up to 15 minutes to dry to the touch. If you need another layer, you should wait for one hour or two before adding the layer.

How Environment Affects How Fast Your Spray Paint Will Dry

1. Temperature

Temperature plays a great role in determining how long it takes for spray paint to dry. If the temperature is too low, then your painting will take a longer time to dry, which should not be the case as spray paint generally dries faster. However, being too hot will not give you the best results either.

It would help if you tried to paint when the temperature is optimal. The optimal temperature for particular spray paint is usually written on the can. Ensure to read that. The optimal temperature is about 65-85 degrees F. 

2. Humidity

The optimal humidity is about 70%. However, you should always confirm with your spray paint can. High humidity reduces the rate at which spray paint will dry. So this is another environmental factor you should consider before trying to paint.

How Long It Takes For Car Spray Paint To Dry

For rattle spraying paint, you should read the instructions on your can and then double the numbers.  You should sand first before painting and apply it in thin layers.

For you to be able to wash your car after spray painting, you need to wait as long as possible. You can limit your washing to water and a sponge if necessary. If you want to use soap, you should wait for about a month before washing with soap, if you need to. This is because soap may contain chemicals that damage fresh paint.

Spray Paint Odor

Spray paint odor can be annoying. So you’d probably want to get rid of it as soon as you can. You can do this by reducing the time needed to cure. 

You can paint outside if the conditions favor you. If you already painted, you can take it in the sun and take it back at night. It would be best if you did this for several days until you notice the odor has reduced. If you cannot take it out, you should keep it in a well-ventilated place until the smell reduces.

Points To Note

1. Spray Paint Is Highly Flammable. 

For this reason, you should always spray paint where there is enough flow of air. You can spray paint outside in the open. You can also spray paint indoors and use your fan for maximum airflow. However, it would be best to place your fan away from your painting to ensure it does not mess with the paint.

2. Spray Paint In Thin Layers.

 The strokes should be light and long to ensure that you paint in thin layers. Thin layers give the best results. Thin layers also take less time to dry.

3. Shake The Can Well. 

Ensure you shake the can well before use and during use.

4. Temperature And Humidity. 

Ensure that the temperature is between 65-85 degrees F and humidity is best at 70 percent. This is what will give you the best drying results.

5. Knowing If The Paint Is Dry.

 First, you should not touch the paint on your project as you may end up ruining it. You can use a separate material to guide you. So you touch it instead. You can also read your can to give you the estimated drying time.

6. How To Know When To Recoat.

 It would be best if you recoated when the paint has a tacky feeling. Remember not to touch your project. When the paint has a tacky feeling, it is usually surface dry.


Spray paint dries relatively faster than brush paint. It is also easier to paint since it is just spraying thin layers. You do not need to be an expert to use spray paint and get the perfect outcome. You only need to consider the humidity and temperature, and of course, the material. Try as much as possible to paint with optimal conditions.