Paint jobs appear pretty exciting, especially if you use spray paints. It’s fun for many people to simply spray the paint instead of using a brush or a roller to paint. However, if you plan to do a paint job, you might wonder how long does spray paint take to dry?

If you have this question in your mind, then it’s time for you to learn new things today. Read this article till the end to find out what factors affect the drying time of spray paints.


What Is Spray Paint And How Does It Work?

In case you don’t know what it is, then here’s a quick rundown. Spray paint is what you get if you put aerosol paint in a pressurized canister. Unlike a normal can of paint, the pressure inside the canister allows you to spray the paint inside. This is possible because the pressure inside the canister comes in contact with pressurized gas or compressed air (industrial spray paint or commercial spray paints respectively).

Spray paints are pretty popular today because, unlike normal paints, you don’t need to paint them over a surface. Instead, you just press the sprayer, and voila! It will automatically spray the paint on the surface, also allowing you to have finer control over its application.

How Long Does Spray Paint Take To Dry?

There are several factors that affect how long does it take for spray paint to dry. The various factors that are involved here are the following:

1. Type Of Spray Paint Used

There are various types of spray paint that can be used. It’s important to know its type because they are all made from different materials and in different ways. Therefore, when you go to the store to buy your can of spray paint, check the type of spray paint.

Now, depending on the type of spray paint you have bought, here’s how long it takes for them to dry:

  • Quick Dry Spray Paint: Quick dry spray paint, or general-purpose spray paint, is the most commonly available spray paint on the market. This spray paint doesn’t take long to dry. On average, it takes around 5 to 10 minutes to dry.
  • Acrylic Spray Paint: If you want matte-finish paint to appear on the surface, use acrylic spray paints. This paint is mostly used for painting wooden, plastic, glass, and metal surfaces. It takes approximately 10 to 30 minutes to dry.
  • Lacquer Spray Paint: Lacquer spray paints are made with water-resisting materials and are used pretty often too. This spray paint is mostly used in painting wooden furniture. Regarding how long for spray paint to dry, lacquer spray paints take around 20 to 30 minutes to dry. However, it might often take an hour to sry as well, depending on the type of surface it’s used in.
  • Enamel Spray Paint: As the name suggests, these spray paints are made from enamel, a tough and glossy substance. These paints are mostly used for painting smaller objects. Such sprays will take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry.
  • Latex Spray Paint: Latex spray paints are water-based paint that is used in many scenarios. It takes around an hour to dry.
  • Polyurethane Spray Paint: This is a pretty versatile type of spray paint that provides a high-quality finish on the surface it’s painted on. It is used mostly for painting indoor cabinets, furniture, and doors. This paint takes around 3 to 4 hours to dry.
  • Epoxy Spray Paint: This is an industrial spray paint, which makes the surface paint resistant to scratches and moisture. It’s mostly used for painting dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines. This paint takes around 2 to 3 hours to dry up.
  • Oily Spray Paint: These oil-based spray paints produce the most “durable” paint on the surface that stays for the longest time. It’s mostly used on metal surfaces. Owing to its long-lasting durability, it will take around 8 hours to a day to dry up.
  • Anti-Rust Spray Paint: This is the most common type of spray paint that’s primarily used for metal surfaces, like automobiles. Rust-prevention spray paints also take anywhere between 8 hours to a day to dry.

2. Type Of Material It’s Applied On

How long does it take spray paint to dry also depends on the material of the object you are spraying it on. Spray paints are typically used for painting on three kinds of surfaces:

  • Wooden Surfaces: Wooden surfaces will take around 1 to 2 hours to become dry to the touch. However, it will take the entire day to dry up completely. This is because wooden objects have a porous surface texture.
  • Metal Surfaces: Metal surfaces dry up the fastest when it comes to spray paint. Therefore, 10 to 30 minutes is approximately how long does spray paint take to dry on metal surfaces.
  • Plastic Surfaces: It’s often difficult to paint plastic objects with spray paints because it’s smoother than other surface types. Therefore, 30 minutes to 1 hour is approximately how long does spray paint take to dry on plastic objects.

3. Texture Of Surface Its Applied On

Not only does the type of object dictate how long does spray paint take to dry, but its surface texture also does too.

  • Rough Surfaces: Rough surfaces have porous textures and are pretty irregular. Therefore, they take longer to dry. On average, it takes a few additional hours to dry up.
  • Smooth Surfaces: Smoother surfaces are non-porous, making them faster to dry up compared to rougher surfaces.

4. Climate Conditions

Depending on which season and time of the year you decide to apply the spray paint, its drying time will differentiate too.

  • Arid Weather: If the place is well-ventilated, then the windy nature of arid climates makes it easier for spray paint to dry.
  • Humid Weather: Humid climates make it harder to dry up since the air has lots of moisture in it. I would suggest better airflow in such climates to dry it up faster.
  • Warm Weather: Warmer seasons like spring and summer are the best for spray paint jobs. In this season, the paint will dry up the fastest.
  • Cold Weather: If you want the most inconsistency, then spray paint during winter. If the weather is too cold, then the paint can freeze on the surface, which might make it fall off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

People have asked various questions related to how long does spray paint take to dry. Here are my answers to their queries:

Q1. How Do I Know If The Paint Has Dried Or Not?

Ans: There are four stages of drying. They are:

Surface dry: The surface is dry enough for you to apply another coat of paint.
Touch dry: The surface is dry to the touch, but the inside is still wet. 
Hard dry: The surface has fully dried up, but it can leave smudges and fingerprints upon touch.
Thorough dry: The final; stage of dryness where it’s 100% dry.

Q2. How To Dry Spray Paint Faster?

Ans: You can dry spray paint faster by:
Apply quick dry spray paints:

Preferably paint over metal surfaces.
When spraying, make thin layers.
It’s best to do so during the spring and summer seasons.
Preferably spray paint over smooth surfaces.
Use heaters if you paint during winter.

Q3. How Many Coats Of Paint Should I Apply?

Ans: Depending on the object or surface you are spray painting on, two layers of paint are what it takes. However, some might benefit from three coats of paint.

Q4. How Long To Wait Before Adding Another Coat Of Spray Paint?

Ans: When it becomes surface dry after a few hours, then it’s time to apply your second coat of spray paint.


If you wish to know how long does spray paint take to dry, then the answer is pretty complicated. This is because the time taken for spray paint to dry up depends on various factors, like the type of paint used, the object, and the surface it’s painted on. In addition, the season you decide to do so also plays a big role in this process.

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Debamalya Mukherjee
Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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