” how long does spray paint take to dry ” If you are planning decorative work, spray paints can be a great option: they are available in a wide range and are inexpensive. Plus, you can easily take them with you.

However, in connection with the peculiarities of the application, a number of points arise that are important to consider.

Be sure to wait until the previous coat is dry before applying each subsequent coat to ensure an even coating – especially if you are using a wide range of colors. But how long does the drying process take?

We will tell you how long paint dries on various types of surfaces – cardboard, metal, glass, plastic, rubber – and share useful tips to speed up this process if time is running out.

You will find a lot of useful information about building paints here .

4 stages of how long does spray paint take to dry

how long does spray paint take to dry

First of all, you need to understand that there is no clear point dividing the coating into “before drying” and “after drying”. After applying the paint, there are 4 stages of drying:

  1. Superficial drying. When the solvent evaporates, you will notice that a thin membrane forms on the surface of the paint. At this stage, the coating becomes tacky to the touch.
  2. Touching does not leave marks
    At this stage, it is most likely that the paint will come off the surface if you press lightly on it. If the touch does not leave marks, this does not mean that the paint is already dry.
  3. Dry thoroughly The
    paint will not come off, but if you hit or press hard enough, the surface can be damaged.
  4. Final drying
    If the paint is completely dry and not susceptible to mechanical stress, a second coat can be applied.

Wondering how to calculate the consumption of building paint? Don’t worry, read this!

how long does spray paint take to dry on Cardboard


The choice of cardboard as a surface for coating is quite interesting because it has a relatively soft structure and the material itself is less resistant to damage than paint.

However, spray paints dry quite quickly on cardboard. If the work is carried out in a well-ventilated area, one layer dries in about 15 minutes.

how long does spray paint take to dry on Metal

how long does spray paint take to dry

In warm weather and at low humidity, aerosol paints dry faster on the metal surface – in 10 minutes or even faster. It is helpful to keep in mind that, in general, high humidity will increase drying time on any surface.

how long does spray paint take to dry on Glass


When painting glass surfaces – food jars, windows, and so on – streaks and smudges may appear, so try to apply the paint as thinly as possible.

The rest time between coats can be about 15 minutes, but for the spray paints to dry completely, you will need at least 24 hours.

When painting plastic surfaces between coats, it is enough to take a break of 30 minutes. For the paint to dry completely, you need to wait about 3 hours.

how long does spray paint take to dry on Rubber

If you need to paint a rubber surface – for example, a ball for a particular sporting event – plan ahead. Since the structure of the material is rather porous, spray paints will dry for at least 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

How weather affects paint drying time?

As we mentioned, moisture will increase the drying time, while high temperatures will decrease it. But what about cold temperatures?

First of all, you need to understand: if you are painting, and the temperature is below freezing, you must ensure good ventilation.

Also make sure that no frost has formed on the surface or on the spray gun. In addition, paint consistency can become thicker at low temperatures, so try to apply the coating as soon as possible.

Expect the paint to dry longer at low temperatures. If you are short on time, and the object you are painting is easy to move, it is better to do it indoors, because there you can adjust the temperature so that the paint dries faster.

If you are looking for a way to remove old paint, read this.

How to make skin color paint | helpful Tips

How to speed up the drying process with spray paints?

Here are some tips on how to speed up paint drying:

  • Work outdoors if possible;
  • If you are working indoors, turn on the hood;
  • Apply paint in a thin layer;
  • Use hair dryer to dry the surface;
  • Use furniture varnish after each coat.

These simple tips and useful information will help you make staining more productive and faster!

How to quickly dry paint from a spray can?

The issue of proper drying (including with a hairdryer) is very relevant among novice artists and decorators.

Each material has its own characteristics, scope and purpose.

And, in order to correctly answer the question of whether to dry with a hairdryer or not, you need to clearly understand the materials and compositions used.

In order not to spray, let’s talk today about the most common materials for creativity: acrylic primer, paint and contours.

General recommendations when working with acrylic primers, paints and other compounds ?

Before starting work, no matter what exactly you are doing: painting, decoupage, scrapbooking –  carefully read the information from the material manufacturer . Usually indicated on the label.

This is the shelf life of the material, and its purpose / application (for which surfaces it is suitable, the recommended drying time, consumption), etc. You should not work with expired materials.

And, of course, you shouldn’t work on a metal surface with soil “on the fabric” either.

Be careful! Choose the correct formulations for your surface.

By the way, the drying time also directly depends on the surface you are working on. Porous and absorbent surfaces (paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, etc.)

dry much faster than metal, glass and plastic.

The latter have a very smooth surface, so the materials applied to them dry out only due to surface evaporation of moisture.

How long does acrylic (artistic) primer dry?

The primer is a composition intended for priming hard and flexible surfaces such as: canvas, paper, cardboard, wood, chipboard, fiberboard, plastic, glass, fabric, stone, etc.

After drying, it forms a dense, rough surface that is resistant to water.

Possesses excellent adhesion properties when working on difficult surfaces (glass, stone, fabric, plastic).

Evens out and whitens the surface, preventing the absorption of all subsequent applied materials. Dries on average from 30 minutes to 2 hours in natural conditions.

Drying with a hairdryer is permissible when using a primer on highly absorbent surfaces – wood, paper, cardboard, fiberboard, MDF, fabric.

It is necessary to dry with a non-hot air stream at a distance of 15-20 cm from the work surface.

It is not recommended to use a hair dryer when drying soil on plastic, metal, glass.

How long does acrylic paint dry? Can acrylic paint be blow-dried?

Acrylic paint is a composition based on acrylic binders and colored pigments. It comes in a variety of colors, hiding power, lightfastness and gloss.

Widely used by artists and decorators in painting, decoupage, scrapbooking and painting. It dries quickly, which is a big plus when compared to oil paints.

Acrylic is a water-based paint, non-toxic, ideal for children’s creativity.

Drying with a hairdryer is ideal and acceptable  within the framework of live master classes, when the time for making the entire work is strictly limited. But not with a hot stream of air and at a distance of at least 30 cm from work.

It is not recommended to use a hair dryer if you are doing acrylic painting.

If you want to get a durable canvas – leave it to dry naturally! True, given the ability of acrylic paints to dry quickly, painters do not have any problems.

How long does a spot painting made with acrylic contours dry?

Acrylic outlines are acrylic paints in small, thin-nosed tubes. Designed to work on almost any surface: wood, glass, leather, plastic, metal, fabric, etc.

They have good adhesion (adhesion) to the surface to be decorated. They are widely used in the technique of spot painting and contour painting, decoupage, scrapbooking and stained glass decoration technique.

The standard recommended drying time is 24 hours naturally.

What is the best way to dry the paint faster?

To allow the paint to dry faster, they should be applied in thin coats. Do not try to apply the paint thickly, hoping to use fewer coats and save time.

You want to cover thin layers and ensure good ventilation and air circulation to allow the paint to dry faster. You can place the fan in the room and direct the fan so that it blows on the newly painted surface.

Also Read: What is the difference between partial highlights and full highlights?

Final thought

The drying time of the paint is determined by the type of paint you use and the method by which the paint is applied. Your drying time is also affected by air and air temperature.

When starting a painting project, be patient, take your time and enjoy the process. This will always give you a professional looking finish.


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