How Fast Does Interior Paint Dry?

How Fast Does Interior Paint Dry?

While the transformation that comes with interior painting is exciting to see, nobody loves watching paint dry! That said, it is very important to know how long paint takes to dry, or you could end up ruining your newly-painted walls. So how long does it take for interior paint to dry?

There are three main stages in the drying and curing process for average interior house paints. Those stages are dry to the touch, ready for a second coat, and fully cured. As we discuss these stages, keep in mind that this is for typical latex/acrylic interior paints.

When Is Interior Paint Dry to the Touch?

After one hour, your interior paint should be dry to the touch. This means that if the cat brushes against the wall, it won't end up with paint on its fur! Likewise, if your hand or clothing makes incidental contact with the paint, there will not be any marring of the surface.

How Long Do I Need to Wait before the Second Coat?

Most interior paints are ready for a second coat of paint after four hours. If you move too quickly with the second coat, you are likely to end up with bubbling, dripping, or running. It's not worth it!

Here are a few tips for maximizing your interior painting day:

  • You can run a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce the humidity if it is high. However, don't bring the level too low, since interior paint cures best with moderate humidity.
  • A fan is also a good way to promote air circulation for faster recoating time. Just make sure you are not spreading hair or dust onto your freshly-painted walls.
  • Take note of the time you finish each wall. That way, you can start recoating each wall when it is ready, rather than waiting four hours from the time you finished the last wall.

When Is Paint Fully Cured?

In order to achieve fully-cured status, you need to wait two to four weeks. Once it is completely cured, the wall is ready for gentle washing. It has also reached its full resistance to scuffs, scrapes, and stains.

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Put Back Furniture and Pictures?

The idea of waiting 2-4 weeks before returning furniture and pictures to their normal places is probably not appealing to many people. Fortunately, you do not need to wait the full curing time prior to replacing your furniture. One day is generally enough time to wait, though two or three days might be better, just to be safe.

Williams Professional Painting

The best way to get beautiful, long-lasting painting results is by hiring a professional local painting company. For residents of the Washington, D.C. region, Williams Professional Painting is a great option to consider. We have been serving northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Capital region for over 40 years, earning a reputation for excellent customer service and exceptional results.

Call us for a free interior painting estimate: you won't regret it!

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